Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.
– Khalil Gibran
To receive real love from another, the greatest human attainment, we must first accept the truth about ourselves, and love ourselves anyway. Otherwise, we will never know love. This is the birthplace of true love. True love for or from another can’t be perceived or experienced unless we truly love ourselves, our true nature, our spirit. Real love comes from spirit. If we haven’t yet accepted who we really are, and learned to treasure this person fully, then we can’t give or receive real love. Anything less than this results in us simply performing roles, pretending, and fooling ourselves, playing parts, like those in romance novels, frothy films, or well-perfumed poetry, filled with emotions and our biological drive to procreate—but no love. Such works of art can be awe inspiring, but they are not usually true; and if they are, they are someone else’s truth, not ours. So, when you peer through the murky mental layers, remove the chimerical cobwebs and gaze at the starkness of your true nature, do you cherish and accept it? If not, then this is the starting point for finding and accepting real love.
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
– Oscar Wilde
Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.
– Henry David Thoreau
Most of us have done things we regret, feel guilty about, or are ashamed of. We may or may not have faced the truth and accepted the responsibility for these things yet. If we haven’t, then our mind may have spun them into all kinds of illusory distractions, to keep us from seeing them and feeling bad about them. These distractions commonly include issues and defenses, such as having a hard time admitting our mistakes, trying to prove ourselves, hypersensitivity to criticism, avoiding uncomfortable situations, a higher than usual need for control, or a distorted sense of unfairness. They could also include projection (externalizing the blame for what we did on to others), control, and distrust. Although these issues and defenses are usually directed at, or based on our perceptions of, others; they always point back at the things within ourselves that we need to deal with. So, if we have them, we can use them as a mirror to first help us identify the themes (e.g. projection, control, etc.) and then the specifics underlying these themes (e.g. we broke a promise to someone, hurt them deeply, and then tried to make it seem like their fault). All the clues, maps, and signs to these things exist in our thoughts, emotions, and day-to-day lives. But we need to open our mind and look for them fearlessly, or they will continue living within their various disguises (the issues and defenses). Let the truth of our lives shine its light on the things we have done.
Only in love are unity and duality not in conflict.
– Rabindranath Tagore
We can’t forgive ourselves for something until we accept the truth about it. As long as we are trying to attribute what we feel bad about to someone or something else, we can’t take responsibility for it, resolve it, or let it go. This causes inner conflict, misdirected pain, hypertension, relationship problems, and dis-ease. We can’t love ourselves until we forgive ourselves.
Love cures people—both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it.
– Karl Menninger
So we need to discover, through the signs and signals of life, those lingering things that need to be addressed. We then need to accept responsibility for them, make amends if needed or appropriate, and then let them go. Letting them go means releasing them from our mind and heart, so they are no longer in there, behind the scenes, influencing our perception of ourselves, and through issues and defenses, our perceptions of important others in our lives. We want to hold on to the lessons, but release the pain, confusion, and conflict. Meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and journaling can help with this. Work with a trusted spiritual teacher, coach, or shrink could also spark the flame of self-discovery and forgiveness, and from its flame the light—the light to see the love.
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Once we forgive ourselves for the things we were holding on to, we need to learn to value, treasure, and cherish the natural beauty of who we were created to be. We are worthy. Regardless of what others, the voice in our head, or conditioned beliefs may suggest; our true nature, or spirit, is formed from pure love, joy, peace, and truth. It is perfect in its natural state. It does not need to be changed to be good enough. We have all made mistakes, as humans, in our walk through life; and that is why we are here. We are here to interface with the material world, encounter various life situations, make mistakes, and learn lessons by going through these experiences. Human existence is a three dimensional training video in our curriculum for the soul. If we don’t make mistakes, we probably won’t learn as much.
Realizing that our real identity, our true self, is our spirit, may make it easier to accept and love ourselves. Doing this will remove the confusion created by our ego, the voice in our head, and free us up to see who we really are. When we see that we are pure love, joy, peace, and truth; regardless of what we have done; then it will be easier to forgive and accept ourselves. It will also be much easier to make any changes we may want to make to contribute to our spiritual development (because we will no longer have the unforgiven and unaccepted things blocking our access to the truth of who we are). It will be easier to find and accept real love.
If there is a day to act on the Love in your soul it is today, it is this moment.
– Mike Dolan
Finding and Accepting Real Love
Let your love be like the misty rains, coming softly, but flooding the river.
– Malagasy Proverb
Since real love comes from spirit, from our Fourth Chakra energy, we must be careful not to confuse the energy of the Second Chakra emotions and sensuality with love. Just as we often confuse our ego, the voice in our head, with who we are; we also frequently mistake our emotions and biological drive to procreate for love. Our ego has nothing to do with our identity, and our human emotions and sex drive are not related to the nature of love. Unless we primarily exist in spirit, the Second Chakra illusion of love can seem more powerful and compelling than real love, because of its intoxicating influence on our body, mind, and human senses. Real love, spirit love, can seem more subtle at first, as it flows from the spiritual connection and harmonizing energy between two people. But when it starts from this Fourth Chakra energy and also incorporates the other elements of romantic love, whoa!
To find someone who will love you for no reason, and to shower that person with reasons, that is the ultimate happiness.
– Robert Brault
I believe that real love exists, in spirit, before we find it. If both lovers live primarily in spirit, then they will discover the matched energy and spiritual connection of this supernatural love immediately when they find each other. If one lives in spirit, and the other is mostly human in orientation, then the spiritual being will notice right away, and it may take the human a while (although he or she will probably be aware of something amazing when they are together in person). If neither person is primarily spiritual, then they may feel something while together in person, but it will probably fade away fairly quickly when they are apart, and may not seem as powerful or electrifying as the Second Chakra connections (emotions and sexual). But Second Chakra relationships do not include real love, and usually fade away in six months to a year; while Fourth Chakra love shines with the power of the stars, is eternal, and considers the illusion of time irrelevant.
We choose those we like; with those we love, we have no say in the matter.
– Mignon McLaughlin
When two people discover such spirit love together, and take the time to get to know their human personalities and histories, the ecstasy, passion, richness, and fulfillment is unsurpassed! This is because they are sharing love across all parts of who they are: spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical. They are sharing energy vibrating at the frequencies of love, joy, peace, and truth; while also connecting in all ways human. It is spirit-based love being shared openly and freely between human beings. It is bringing the spiritual into the human world to help us heal and grow through the bliss and beauty of real love. It is the ultimate human experience!
Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
– Erich Fromm
By Kai Swigart, PhD, MFT, CEAP, SAP, CAI