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Bringing Love Into Your Life

project 365: day 227
Creative Commons License photo credit: erin MC hammer

Where love rules, there is no will to power; and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other. – Carl Jung

For many of us, love is an elusive thing.  Oddly enough, as there is no shortage of it in the universe.  We enter into relationships – with a romantic companion, with friends, with our family members, and, yet, maybe we have love and maybe we don’t.  Or maybe we are not even sure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what love is, what love isn’t and how you fill your life with it.  Assuming that the love is directed at another person (although you can also direct love towards other things, for instance, the work that you do) here are my ideas:

  • Love has no expectations – Sometimes we look to other people, and see what they can do for us, how they might be of value to us, but when we love we don’t need something from the other person.  We simply want to love them because of who they are.
  • Love is whole – When we love someone, we love all of them, not just certain parts.  We actually appreciate and have affection for the whole person, good and bad, because that makes them who they are.
  • Love is not a competition – We don’t have to pit our needs against the needs of our loved one.  Your own desires are no different than the desires you have for them.  This is not an either/or situation, it’s an and/both.
  • Love is not a distraction or an amusement – Love isn’t about your own amusement and it’s not a distraction from situations in your life.  Love is its own end.  You love for love’s sake, not to create a favorable circumstance for yourself.  Then you are using love towards another end.
  • Love is not about you…or the other person – It is simply about Love itself.  When you enter into a relationship with another, remember to create a space for Love.  That bonds you to the other person and puts the relationship on the right track.  Love first.
  • Love does not need to control – Love allows things to be as they are.  Love does not need to control people or situations.  Love has no conditions.
  • Love grows – The nature of love is to grow over time.  Time and Love are very good friends.  Sometimes it can seem that love diminishes over time, but really Love is simply shedding it’s external wrapper of intense attraction.  What is left when these things leave is a substance that bonds people together with all the strength of concrete and the flexibility of rubber.
  • Love is open – To both giving and receiving.  Love can not circulate through closed doors!

I would love (no pun intended!) to say that I have been practicing these things faithfully all along, but in reality I have been able to pick them out, because these were the things that I had trouble grasping.  There are many false imitations of love, and the real thing can actually be difficult to spot.  But when I think about the relationships that are truly filled with love in my life, the basics of what love is stand out to me boldly.

As far as bringing love into your life goes, first you have to recognize what it is and what it is not.  (You probably have a few examples from your own life as to what it is not!)  This has been the place where I often stumble in my own life.

Once you know how to recognize it, how do you invite it into your life?  I will leave that to you.  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Positively Present June 19, 2009, 10:00 am

    I love what you’ve written about love. These are great points and all of them are so true. I have a hard time letting love in sometimes, but I’m working on that by learning to love myself more. I think loving yourself is the first step to recognizing and receiving love from others.
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..8 ways to make yourself shine =-.

  • Amanda Linehan June 19, 2009, 6:25 pm

    Hi Dani – Yes, certainly. Without being able to love yourself first, it’s much harder to really love someone else.

  • Lance June 19, 2009, 11:04 pm

    Hi Amanda,
    I feel much peace being here tonight. And that’s because love IS here. In a very comforting way…I feel I belong. And it’s good.

    I see love as taking away any layers that are there – getting to our core – and in exposing that core, that “real” us – this is where love can be truly invited in. And that’s hard! It can feel like we’re exposing ourselves, laying it bare, and setting ourselves up for disappointment/embarassment/ridicule/and more. And going to that place – that is scary. Getting there, though, and really being “us” – I feel this is also the only way to really attract love that is real. I’m not sure if I’m making any sense here, Amanda. I guess this really maybe ties into what Dani discussed – about loving ourselves first. And in so doing, we more deeply understand that our true being is. Then, letting that out – authentically – is where love rules…
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..Old Hat, New Hat =-.

  • Tess The Bold Life June 20, 2009, 7:34 pm

    Love is not about you or the other…love is.
    Love is getting my ego out of the way
    Love is acceptance without approval
    Love is not wishing to change anything about anyone
    Love is being present with who you are with
    Love is allowing the other person to be right
    Love is ignoring what bothers you about someone and praising what is good
    Love is commitment
    Love is never giving up
    Love is getting help along the way
    Love is healing
    Love is knowing when to speak up and when to be quiet
    Love conquers all. How’s that?

    I’ve been married since I was 17 and that was more than 37 years ago. This has worked for me.
    .-= Tess The Bold Life´s last blog ..10 Powerful Tips for Financial Freedom =-.

  • Amanda Linehan June 21, 2009, 9:08 pm

    Hi Lance – I like this idea of love “taking away layers.” Often we are so “built up” with things that we think will protect us. But, I guess, when we try to put up that protection, we block things, like love, that we never meant to. This has given me some food for thought. Thanks.

    Hi Tess – I like these ideas also. I think you summed it up best with “Love is.” Thanks. 🙂

  • Andrea Schad June 30, 2009, 12:42 pm

    I recently read someplace one of the most resonant concepts that has helped me in changing my personal perspective on love. “Love is a verb”

  • Amanda Linehan July 1, 2009, 6:01 am

    Hi Andrea – Short and sweet. Nice! Thanks for your comment.

  • Matt July 14, 2009, 11:19 pm

    I have been in a relationship with a woman I love deeply. My mentor suggested I look at what I was calling “love” to help me with this relationship. He asked me if my feelings of love were moving outwards, unfettered, or did my feelings of love feel closed inside, hidden, protected but strong. I said my feelings were deep inside but I gave them to her without reservation. Immediately I knew that I had nothing but reservations, that this was not love moving freely out of my heart. He asked me if I could let go and always recognize that love is a movement out of the self and heart towards the beloved, the neighbor, the community, the world and the Universe. I did as well as I could and my love for her changed from one tinged by fear, jealousy and restraint to one so light that even time hasn’t been burdened by it.

  • Amanda Linehan July 16, 2009, 8:15 pm

    Hi Matt – I like the way you describe love as something “moving out of the self.” It is definitely a gift and one we need to give freely.

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