.Awakening - Love & Self-Love
Love is the basis of life. Love is the foundation of life. Love is life. We exist because there is Love in this Universe.
We humans have come to a point where we highly misunderstand Love. For many people, evening listening to or reading that word makes them feel sad and low, whereas Love is the exact opposite of that feeling. Let's see if we can resonate with the true meaning of LOVE.
Simply stated - Love is nothing but the elevated feelings of Freedom, Joy, and Power you experience.
Let's look at the individual feelings one at a time:
Freedom - is the innate ability to choose the thought you desire, irrespective of the surroundings
Joy - is the feeling of elation
Power - is your potential to create anything you desire
If you're surprised to read this, just go back your memory lane to remember that one loving moment in your life. It could be a brief moment between you and someone. Didn't you experience these three basic feelings in that moment?
Freedom, Joy, and Power are the natural and inherent qualities of any person in this world. These feelings combine to form the feeling of love, which is the basis of life, and which we are here to experience. Just that, due to our flawed conditioning of life, we experience these three feelings very rarely, so we haven't captured them enough to be able to easily relate to what they feel like. You will read more about Conditional Love and Unconditional Love through this article.
The article "Who are you?" explains that you are energy, and not this physical body. Love is that state of consciousness when you're aware and connected with your inner non-physical being and experiencing those three feelings together. So, hereafter when you read the word "connected" in this article, this is what it means.
For ease of writing, I will only be using the word 'he' throughout the rest of this article, although it equally applies to a 'she'.
Love is your own personal feeling. It is inside of you. You don't need to "look for" it. You experience it (for whatever reason it could be) from within yourself. You may experience the connection on thinking about, or looking at, or pursuing, or interacting with something that is outside of you. It could be a baby, a pet, a plant, a flower, a material object, an art, a sight, another person, or anything else. These objects act as catalysts in your connection. That is what makes you feel powerful, free, and joyous. However, it is important to note that the feeling is inside of you. It is being generated inside you. It is not being poured inside you from outside. In fact, you are pouring it out from yourself (like a fountain). If you've met an artist who has immense love towards his work, you may have experienced that overwhelming feeling of love oozing out like powerful beams of positive energy, and that's what makes you spellbound on meeting them.
I read a very good line in the preview of an ebook "The Art of Happy Living" by G. D. Budhiraja. He defines love as Clarity of perception and precision in response. However, according to me, there is no spiritual-ness in this definition. This definition somewhere still carries the incorrect belief that we're this physical body and not the creative energy that drives this body.
Love and Lover are not one and the same
We humans have, through our physical life's trail, come to a very basic flawed understanding / conditioning of life, and that stems from the illusion that we're this physical body. We have forgotten that we're the energy that has the immense potential to create everything we desire. Due to this, we have become more of Consumers than Creators (mentioned in the article "Who are you?" for more).
We have come to an understanding that only what can be experienced through the five physical senses is real, pleasurable, and that makes life complete. Well, that does complement life, but in its absence, we tend to feel incomplete. Such an incomplete feeling is nothing but an illusion. To add to that - as we look around other people living their lives differently from ours (with the same conditioning as ours), we tend to negatively pursue want what they (because we want that as well).
As far as LOVE is concerned, the bigger problem with such incorrect conditioning is that we think that only another human being is tbe bringer of love into our lives. When we use the words "love life", we are strictly referring to a partner / mate. That is not true. Majority of us have chosen to experience love only in the presence of another human being. That is why the percentage of people who choose to experience love irrespective of another human being in life is very low today. Well, even if the number of non-committed couples is high in the world, when they are banging around unhappily with other people, they are looking for nothing but love.
Choosing to feel love in the absence of a lover does NOT mean that you don't want a lover in life or that the Universe will assume "You're already feeling love and that you don't need a lover". Choosing to feel love in the absence of a lover only brings a better matching lover into your life, and when that lover says, "I love you", it's a feeling that takes you to cloud nine. It's an elevated, elating, life-giving, nourishing, freedom-giving, positive feeling.
Let us first understand that love is irrespective of a lover. Love is yours. You are love.
Conditional Love with other humans
Conditional Love is when you want someone or something to be or behave in a particular way so that you experience that inner connection. As far as non-living objects are concerned, we're pretty understanding and not too conditional, but when it comes to a person (especially our close / loved ones), our expectation from them is higher (than our expectations from the rest of the world), and that makes our love more conditional towards them - when it actually should be the exact opposite.
The problem with Conditional-ness is that there is a high factor of uncertainty involved. We feel happy only if our predefined conditions are met. We definitely feel unhappy when our predefined conditions are not met. For example, if my Boy Friend gives me a rose on a Valentine's Day, I feel happy. If he doesn't, I will definitely feel sad. In fact, I might waste the entire Valentine's Day fighting with him or crying. The Condition here is - I feel happy only if / when my Boy Friend does something that satisfies my definition of happiness / love - when it was never his job to please / satisfy me.
Expectations are not wrong as such. In fact, we expecting life to be smooth is an expectation in itself. This entire world is moving ahead on expectations. 'Expectation' is just a word. It's the Condition that we tie to that expectation that makes life painful for us.
We add Conditions to our Love because of all the incorrect beliefs we have towards life. We believe that it is the other person's job to make us happy, to acknowledge, respect, and (even worse) reciprocate love back to us. We tend to forget that "my love is my own feeling, and I can feel that love without even thinking about whether the other person deserves it. In fact, I can feel LOVING even if there is no person in my life". One of the points emphasized in the article "Who are you?" is that when we're not aware that we're the CREATORS of our life experiences, we just move around like CONSUMERS, wanting something that is outside to fill us. However, this is like filling water in a bucket that has a big hole at the bottom of it.
The primary reason behind domestic fights / arguments / inter-personal conflicts / break-ups / divorces / separation today is Conditional Living / Loving. "Do this, then I'll be happy. Do that then I'll feel secure. Don't do this, otherwise I won't feel happy. If you cannot do what I want you to do, let's separate, because neither of us will be happy." Nobody ever says, "Hey Partner, Do or Be whatever or however you want to, and whether or not you deserve my love, I will love you".
It's the difference between I Love You, but... and ... but, I Love You. that I am talking about here.
We have completely left our own personal choice to be happy on the behavior of someone else, and now we've proudly started saying that fights are part of love and if there are no fights between couples, there's something wrong in the relationship. This is so completely untrue. There can always be differences in opinions and disagreements, but there is no room for 'fights' (i.e. even the slightest negative energy) in LOVE.
What Unconditional Love is...
Ah! Here comes the most interesting part. So, does unconditional love mean - Do anything you want and I will still love you? Yes!
You may say that if you let the other person do 'anything' he will actually do 'anything'. So what? If he does something that is unethical or wrong according to you, can you control him? Never! Take any relationship between two people (parent-child, or lovers), this holds true.
You may be forcefully able to stop the other person from doing something that's wrong according to you, but it's only that individual who (if he wants to change out of love for you) can change himself - not for you, but for himself. You cannot change someone else. Ever! Read more about this on "Changing the World".
So, does that mean let your loved ones do anything they want? You may be shocked to read, but it's a YES! Every individual has the freedom to execute his life in the way he wants to. Every person has his own inner guidance, inner power, and the ability to make the decisions that suit him. You can only guide them when they need your guidance, you can only share your experiences with them, and that's the maximum thing you can do. Rest, the ball is in their court. Only your ball is in your court. There is not just one ball to spin around. We all have our own individual choices. Understanding this rectifies the way we would now want to look at the idea of "Soul-Mates". Visit the article to which a special / separate page has been dedicated.
You can bind someone to be monogamous / loyal with you using the power of the physical worldly legal laws defined by human beings, but can you really make someone love you? Do you want the person to be just monogamous with you and that's all? Is that sufficient for a happy relationship? I don't think so.
There are many "soul-mates" who are just together living miserable relationships. On the other hand, there are many soul-mates who are living such wonderful, magnificent, life-giving, freedom-based relationships that words would fall short of describing their relationships. And it is in such (latter) relationships when there is no binding necessary, while freedom is never misused.
What Unconditional Love is NOT...
As people tend to evolve spiritually, they start believing that unconditional love means not needing to have a physical human life-partner, quitting all bodily relations, or having love towards humanity. That's neither the purpose of life, nor the meaning of unconditional love.
Unconditional love is not "I will do anything and everything for you"
Unconditional love is not even "If you love me, you should do anything and everything for me"
Unconditional love is not looking at someone's bad qualities and still loving them. It is impossible to focus upon the unwanted and still feel good about it.
Unconditional love is not continuing to love someone (or doing gestures for them like wishing on birthdays, giving gifts, etc.) despite knowing that they don't love you. Unless you're doing that from a very spiritually elevated place, that's not love, that's your own hollowness. And, of course, if you're spiritually elevated, you will just let go of the person altogether.
I usually have the habit of washing my own utensils (cup, glass or plate) after using it for consuming food / drinks. My mum stops me from doing that, not just because we have a maid to help us, but because my mother doesn't want me to effort that. This is NOT unconditional love. Not that it is conditional love, but if you understand this deeply, it's her own irritation that makes her stop me from washing my utensils. Love is never binding. Love is to Let The World Be The Way It Wants To Be.
Unconditional love is not filling someone else's void like a selfless person. One human being can never fill another human being's void.
Love is not attraction or obsession. Love is not "You do what I think is right, because I love you, and I'm telling this for your own good."
Clarifying the phrases that we use for LOVE
We use a lot of phrases around the word LOVE, but now that we're on this topic, let's get to the basics and understand what our commonly used phrases mean, and what they don't mean:
I love you - means I experience the feeling of love when I think about / meet / interact with you. It means that I am using you as the center of my universe to feel love. It has actually got nothing to do with you. You do not need to be lovable. Since I am a loving person, even if you behave like an asshole, I will still love you. Such love is powerful and a true winner. Such true love comes back!
I love so much that it hurts - This is an untrue statement. Love can never hurt. If it hurts, it's obsession / attachment, not love.
You're my love / He's my love - doesn't mean that my love is within him. It simply means that I experiencing love because of him.
I have no love life - by which people say that they don't have a lover or a partner. You may not have a lover, but you always have love. You always have access to love that is within you.
Absence of Love and Vacuum
It's not the lack of a lover or a loved one in life that causes vacuum.
Lack of love for the self is what creates a vacuum in life. If someone is experiencing a vacuum in life, it's an indicator of spiritual progress, because it means that person has started realizing that THINGS do not make you feel good, but only inner connection and love for the self. One must make efforts to FIND things* that make the self feel happy and joyful and pursue them to fill the vacuum. *Things could be anything - hobby, spiritual knowledge, meditation, art i.e. material or non-material. That's the first step. The statement that realizing that THINGS do not fill voids, and then finding THINGS to feel happy may sounding - but it is not, because pursuing someTHING for happiness is not the same as pursuing someTHING with the awareness of the knowledge that THINGS do not bring happiness.
As the number of people in this world is growing, we are coming across a variety of human behavioral patterns. Each individual is unique from another. In the process of observing those around us, we are conditioning our minds in a way that is more externally focused than internally. We see someone else doing something in a better manner for their partner than our own partner, we see unhappy couples around, or we see too happy couples around. This causes people to take extreme steps in this area of love. People either want to stop loving humans and surrender to God. Or people just want to enjoy with multiple partners one after another. And since anything that YOU choose to achieve the Purpose of your life is right you, people are doing more of this, only to go away from the Unconditional Love that is hidden within them.
Unconditional Love and the Law of Attraction
When you accept and experience this inner connection with yourself, and understand that love is your own personal feeling that you can create irrespective of what is around, as you train yourself to do that more often (day-by-day), your perception towards your life changes. Along with it, your perception towards the world changes too.
Unconditional love (as written above) is not looking at something unpleasant and being unconditional about it. You cannot look at a terrorist doing harm to others and feel unconditional love for him. Doesn't mean that you spoil your vibrations by creating negativity, but unconditional love means generating love without looking outside.
Unconditional love means generating love without looking at anything (neither good nor bad), and even if you stumble upon something unpleasant, you choose to ignore it. That's exactly what Self-Love is. As you develop this habit of looking more at the wanted things and feeling love, the law of attraction brings to you more things you love. These are not just empty words, but that's exactly how it works. All you need to do is make efforts and practice this for a couple of weeks and keep observing your life closely.
We are looking for love at all the wrong places, and once we realize what love is, we realize that love is actually everywhere. When you appreciate things around you, when you feel grateful in your heart, when you feel content for your present life situation and are now eager for more, that's Love. I am not talking about "rising above or renouncing this physical world" in order to experience the love. That's not required at all.
We must not stop ourselves from experiencing the feeling of love just because of the absence of a human lover in life. We must keep in mind that all that we need to do is remind ourselves of the love within us, and once we realize that we are a moving love magnet, we will naturally and automatically be surrounded by the love that we're looking for. You don't need to stop looking for a partner (just because you're now spiritually awakened), you just need to keep connected and the partner will be magnetized towards you.
Once you become a powerful love magnet, the law of attraction not only brings to you general things you love, but if you desire a partner and take the right actions towards looking for one, the law of attraction brings all other love magnets towards you from all over the world.
Self Love only means being able to control your thoughts enough to be able to remain in a mental / emotional state that feels good. This can be done only by realizing that one is energy that has the power to create anything that one desires. That is indeed the purpose of life.
And yes, it's fine if it takes you time to develop this. Simply ignore (with a smile) the ones who say, "You're spiritual, still you're getting disturbed." Say in your mind, "I am at a much better place than where I was earlier, and I am proud of that."
Self Love does not mean being self-obsessed. It does not even mean selfishly only doing everything that you love, although that is one outside-in way of getting to that mental state, and there's nothing wrong in doing that. First and foremost, there's nothing wrong in being selfish, because freedom is the inherent desire of every individual on this planet, and no matter how much we claim we are not, we all are naturally and inherently selfish. Someone may say to you, "You're so selfish that you're doing everything for yourself. Do something for me.". One who says that is demonstrating selfishness himself. However, if you try to do something for someone else's happiness, by the time you get there, since that person's life does not pause, that person will also evolve and will have a new definition of happiness. This is like a 'donkey and carrot' game. That's why you can never make someone else happy. It's not about whether you should or not. It is simply not possible. It works momentarily sometimes i.e. the person may feel happy, but it doesn't last long. His / her definition of happiness will change / modify after a while, and this is a never-ending process. So, do everything only for your happiness first. First be happy yourself. First love yourself. Even if this appears selfish, this is only 0.5% selfishness. The rest 99.5% benefit is yours and that of your loved ones.
Inside-out is always a better direction of maintaining one's mental state. That's because when you gain control over your thoughts, your vibrations (energy) change over a period of time. That is when your focus shifts to all that you desire in your life, and that is when you begin to get all that you desire by the virtue of the law of attraction. This becomes a permanent change (as you evolve in your personal individual life), and it only gets better and better. Your relationships improve, your well-being, wealth, abundance, and life as a whole takes a new level, and you simply feel better and better as life progresses.
You must at least be stable-minded first, before you can reach out for that Feeling of Goodness within. That's where the Purity and Clarity of the mind helps. That's where the various Mind Exercises on this website, along with inculcating a Spiritual Lifestyle becomes essential. It's all closely knit with one another.
By outside-in, I refer to taking external actions in order to feel good. This introduces dependency and uncertainty. By inside-out, I refer to channelizing thoughts in order to feel good i.e. accepting the present situation, and then positively and happily calling for what you want after acknowledging where you are at present in life.
Links to my talks on Self-Love
- Why SELF-LOVE is IMPORTANT
- Is SELF-LOVE the sign of SELFISHNESS?
- DEEP: What is Self-Love and what it is NOT
- Anger - Part-1 - SELF-LOVE is the ANTIDOTE
- How to LIVE like a CELEBRITY (some very good points on self-love)