By Ifetayo White
It is February and most everyone’s minds and hearts are giving more attention to the thing that everyone wants: love.
So much thought and energy is directed to how to get love, how to hold it and how to give it.
Just as surely, the experiences of anxiety, emotional pain and even depression increase greatly during Valentine season. What’s a person to do?
In our culture, looking for love in all the wrong places has become a national pastime.
We have been conditioned to expect that the love of our parents, our children, our family, our mates or partners, or our friends will create endless and perfect joy in us. We believe that the more of these folk we can enlist into our fan club of unconditional love, the happier our lives will be. Stop for a minute and let yourselves feel if this rings true for you in any way.
I remember when I believed that in order to earn and keep my parents love, it was necessary for me to be the good and quiet daughter.
So many hours of my married life were devoted to how could I get my husband to love me more. I changed my hair, dieted to look more desirable, wore clothes that he favored and even adoringly approved of every “brilliant” idea that popped into his head to win more love and attention from him.
How often have I agreed to participate in unfulfilling activities with friends just so that I would continue to be loved by them.
The truth is that all this seeking love from others ever accomplished for me was greater anxiety, stress, deeper sadness, migraine headaches and more self-denial.
When we get right down to it, what is the real motivation for choosing the “right” school for our children, the “right” program for our growth, the “right” job or exercise program?
All are reasonable choices for being the best that we can be, for sure! But if the truth be told, so often we go for the “right” because of our insatiable thirst for more love and admiration. Choosing what is right for our lives begins inside, in our hearts, as an act of alignment with love.
Love actually always begins and ends with me. The presence of true love is never found outside of ourselves.
After we have taken the time to heal and nurture our own hearts, our own bodies, our own minds, our own spirits, then we can experience truly loving relationships with others.
Ask yourself how would it feel to give and receive love freely and unconditionally without stress or the fear of losing it? Is it indeed possible to be in truly loving relationships while being true to myself?
Let’s take a moment right now and connect with our own hearts. Close your eyes if you wish or not, and begin breathing into your heart. Are you feeling resistance to this request? Are thoughts flooding your mind right now? Just continue to be still and breathe. What are your feelings in your heart? Is there lightness and joy, or sadness and tightness? Are you aware of any feelings of wanting something different in your life, in your relationships? Don’t ignore any feelings that come up. Just notice them and continue breathing into your heart.
How would it feel if I was totally loveable just as I am right now … with this body, with this amount of money, with this training? Say the words, “I am loveable and I am worthwhile” either silently or aloud to yourself. Now open your eyes if they were closed and begin to breathe regularly.
This is a simple way of checking in with your heart, your body, your spirit to feel what is real about the nature of love in your life. Affirming being loveable and worthy might not feel real at first, but over time with practice these words and feelings will become your reality.
Happy journeying, happy discovering and uncovering, and most of all, LOVE actually!