What is love?
Perhaps you wrestle with questions on what love is. Love can be overwhelming, feeding, inspiring and supportive. To experience love is one of the basis needs of every human being. But what is love? And what can you do to experience love in your life?
To answer these questions on love to yourself, you first need to find out how you relate to love at this moment. Answer the following reflection questions and write your answers down in a notebook for example:
- What does love mean to you?
- Which place does love have in your daily life?
- How much attention, energy and time do you invest in (the maintenance of) love?
- During which moments do you enjoy love?
- And during which moments do you experience love as a struggle?
Now read further and discover the answers others gave to the question “What is love?”.
Love is everywhere, always. Love flows through you and passes you, just like air. Love contains you. The most intense, most healing and overwhelming form of love is unconditional. It is this kind of love that makes you feel seen and heard the most. That makes you feel that you can be who you are. That enables you to feel nurtured and secure.
“Love is a force that cannot be dictated; you can only blend with it.” – Bob Moore
Unconditional love is intangible. It becomes ‘invisible’ and falls out against the background. You can’t experience unconditional love without immediately letting it go. “Love can’t be dictated, you can only blend with it” Bob Moore said. And that’s exactly how I experience it.
How do you create love?
When you experience love in your life, there is nothing that feels more natural and ‘normal’ than that. It stems from your daily actions and choices. But what if you experience a shortage of love? How can you supply this shortage in yourself?
When you yearn for love, it is often difficult to accept your present situation. You struggle with the pain and disappointments that led to this love deficiency. For years I’ve looked for love everywhere. In the book The wisdom beyond emotion and feeling I mention the following:
“I became aware of a whooping deficit of maternal love inside of me. A deficit that I acted upon for as long as I lived. As a child, I was assiduously looking for other ways to experience love, since my parents were uncapable to do so.
I tried to find maternal love in the presence of the mothers of children from the neighbourhood. Or at my teachers from primary school. During secundary school I looked for it in contact with the coffee lady. I was welcomed into the family of a choirmaster during my adolescense. I tried to hide from the deficit during a friendship. I looked everywhere. What I found was temporary reassurance. (…) It gave me the courage to pay attention to what lived inside of me.“
Eventually healing the inner deficiency turned out to be the key to experience love. I learned to take care of myself. To contain myself with the care and love that I so dearly missed earlier in my life. It made me feel seen and heard nonetheless. It enabled me to reach out and receive in relationships more easily. Now I experience love in and around me on a daily base. It flows freely.
Love is space
Love communicates space: space inside of you and space in contact with others. Space to listen, to receive and to set borders by time. Space to enjoy what is present. Space to learn to deal with pain and fear. Space to reach out, in order to move beyond vulnerability. Space to be.
“Every relationship is a dance of individual needs that blend in some moments and in other moments don’t.” – Wendy van Mieghem
Love invites you to share how you’re doing, without the necessity that the other understands what you’re trying to say. Every relationship is a dance of individual needs that blend in some moments and in other moments don’t.
Ask yourself: “How can I offer space to another, without abandoning myself?”
Like to know more?
Would you like more to taste? Read the book The wisdom beyond emotion and feeling. It is a highly appreciated conscious living manual that offers insights and tools on getting to know yourself and others. The book is already available in Dutch; the English version will be published summer 2018. Here you take a peek at the English version. Subscribe to my newsletter and read the first 2 chapters in English for free!
Do you feel the need to receive individual feedback? Join one of training I offer. Or join an online course and book an individual session.
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What is love