When we are afraid, it’s hard to love. We are constantly vigilant, trying to protect ourselves. We dare not risk letting anyone close for fear that the person may want more from us than we have to give or they will see something shameful about us or we may fear that we will be hurt if we risk opening up to that person. Often we fear all these things.
The trouble with fear is that it sucks up all our energy. Worse, it causes us to focus on what could go wrong in our lives rather than what could go right.
What if we focused on what could go right? What if we focused on giving love freely to everyone around us WITHOUT ANY EXPECTATIONS?
It’s important to understand what I DON’T mean! I don’t mean becoming a doormat—for anyone. I don’t mean letting someone else abuse you. I don’t mean believing that if you love someone you must have sex with them. I don’t mean feeling you have to become who the other person wants you to be. I don’t mean feeling you are incomplete without a partner. I don’t mean jumping into relationships just because that’s what anyone expects.
Love, true love, doesn’t demand anything of the other person. True love is grounded in kindness and respect. Loving someone does not prevent us from saying “no” to the other person if what they ask or want to do is wrong for us.
We can love someone and recognize that they do not love us. We can love someone and recognize they are not safe to be with. We can love someone and let them go. We can love someone and discover that we like who we are when we are with them and that they bring out the best in us and then we may choose to deepen the bond with that person.
The thing about love is that when we withhold it from others, we are actually withholding it from ourselves. When we let ourselves see the good in others, we are more likely to be able to see the good in ourselves. When we are able to respond to others with love, we are more likely to be able to allow others to love us.
That doesn’t mean abandoning commonsense. It doesn’t mean being reckless. It’s choosing to say that even if we have been hurt in the past, we do not want to become shut down and closed off. It’s choosing to say we are strong enough to love and to say “no” when that’s appropriate. It’s choosing to risk loving, knowing we can and will walk away if we realize a situation isn’t right or good or healthy for us and/or for the other person.
Maybe most important of all, choosing to let ourselves love is a statement of power. It is saying that WE choose who we want to be. WE choose how we want to live our lives. WE will not let anyone take away from us the ability to love.
No matter what words were used to justify anything hurtful ever done to us, real love is never harmful. Actions taken out of fear of losing love can be harmful, but love itself never is. And the more we allow ourselves to love others, the less vulnerable we will be to letting someone hurt us (out of fear of being abandoned if we don’t) and the less likely we are to take actions or speak words that could harm someone else (out of fear of being/feeling unloved if we don’t force them to do what we want).
What if...today (and every day) you let yourself interact with others from a position of love? What if today (and every day) you choose to love yourself?
There is real power in love.
Sending safe and gentle ((((((hugs))))))),