We are so busy looking for love, that we miss seeing it and feeling it.
In truth, love is everywhere. It is inside of us and around us. It is the very essence of us. When we know what love really is, it is not so difficult to find.
Most of us have been trained to think of love as this euphoric state we experience when we are falling in love with someone. We believe our in love feeling, is produced outside of ourselves by someone else. It appears as though this person is the object and source of our love. When and if this person ever goes away via divorce, illness or death, we feel devastated, believing we have lost love.
What is love? What is this experience we spend our lives searching and longing for?
I once heard a powerful definition of love that changed how I view love. It is this. Love is granting space to someone or something to be. Just as it is. It is giving your attention, your interest to someone. It is allowing. It is being with…
What the hell does this mean?
Well, let’s start here.
Everything in the universe wants to be loved. Everything wants to be seen and appreciated. Every ONE wants to be celebrated and noticed.
In relationship, YOU tend to notice where your partner isn’t noticing and loving YOU. You focus on where he or she doesn’t make time to be together, where they don’t appreciate you, where they forget anniversaries or don’t make you the center of attention. You daily focus on all of the ways they ignore or devalue you. You become an astute researcher into where your partner is not, unconditionally loving, YOU.
Think about it.
You become obsessed with focusing on where your partner is not SEEING and loving YOU.
It’s all you talk about. How you want more love, more appreciation, more attention, more connection, more quality time together, more support to be free and do what you love. You want to be noticed, cherished, seen, appreciated. You want LOVE.
Of course you do. We all do.
So does your partner. You partner wants love from you too. And they are just as focused on where you aren’t loving them!
But you don’t notice that they are doing the same thing to you! They are wanting your attention and interest and focused appreciation too and are noticing all of the ways in which you DON’T see and love them! They are busy wanting more from you too!
So, here you have two people wanting nothing more than to be loved and cherished, but both of you are so focused on where love and attention are missing that you can’t feel or provide it!! Insane, huh?
What’s even more crazy making, is you actually ARE expressing your love for each other all the time in many ways! But without LOOKING for and noticing these ways, you don’t see them, so you think they aren’t there!!
To fall back into love’s space is relatively easy actually.
Instead of noticing all of the traits about him or her that drive you crazy and ALL the ways in which your partner doesn’t notice or give undivided attention to YOU, give your partner your interest. Just look at them with love. Curiously drink in this being with whom you share life. Look at the shape of their face and body as if for the first time. Take interest in how they move and talk. Just “be with” your partner, giving them your undivided attention.
After you have allowed yourself to just notice your partner, begin to focus on what you appreciate about your partner. How beautifully they have prepared this meal. How they have cleaned themselves up for supper. How they comb their hair. How they placed the flowers so perfectly on the table. See their beauty and power and wisdom and strength and grace and ability.
When ready, speak a few of your appreciations aloud: Thank you for making such incredible nourishing food for our family. Thanks for mowing the lawn and making it look so inviting outside. Thanks for cleaning the kitchen. Thanks for going to work today so we can have money to live in this wonderful house.
Notice what is produced in the air when you speak your appreciations. Notice what arises on your partner’s face when you express something you are grateful for. You are likely to notice your partner perk up, their face light up, a smile emerging, a sense of delight at feeling seen and noticed. You will see their deep appreciation at being loved and seen creep out through their response.
Now, notice what you feel when you GIVE attention and interest. How do YOU feel when you love – when you grant space to someone to just be with your attention?
Ahhhh, yes - Love. In between the words, in the spaces of your appreciations and attention, there is that feeling of love you have wanted more of. Here it is, sneaking its way into your experience just by your giving interest and attention to your partner.
When you cultivate this habit and practice of GIVING attention and interest and love to another, you will discover that you can produce this experience of love inside yourself.
Extend this noticing and attention to yourself too. What do you love and appreciate about yourself? And feel free to sweetly ask your partner to focus on you for five minutes – to see you and share their appreciations too.
It is this noticing and allowing that brings love to the surface.
Love is what is present when there is nothing in the way. It is present in the silence when we turn off our minds and tune inward. It is present when we make eye contact or lay in the arms of another and allow ourselves to connect with their divine soul. Love is in the space between talk and activity. It is always there.
Take time every day to drop down and notice. Just give your attention and interest to someone or something. You will find ALL the love you want there…. Well, actually, you will allow the love you already are to present itself. ☺