“There are only two emotions in life: love and fear.” — Marianne Wilson
When you open yourself up to gratitude through love, fear melts away, paving the way to joy, acceptance, and freedom. It’s not about how someone responds to our love, so much as it’s about connecting to yourself and how you love.
Divine love doesn’t have to be deserved by someone else. Most of us love what is good in our lives and withdraw love when we are displeased. But, it’s important to remember that God (or any higher power) loves the “bad” too (he breathes life into all of us), as the grace that comes with love, isn’t a choice. Grace exists in the infinite field of consciousness, which means love is already part of your awareness.
When we love, we can’t love in a vacuum. We need to remind ourselves that loving unrequited, produces karma – positive energy that the universe receives and sends back to you tenfold. Loving unrequited is super tough to do – especially when there are so many negative influences surrounding us. So how does one combat this? By loving (and being honest with) yourself first.
Loving yourself is something we are not socially programmed to do. We are taught to love and respect others and through this, love for yourself will follow. But, unless we know how to fully love ourselves, we can’t really understand how to truly connect with and love others. The reason for this is we are seeking for someone else to fill those voids we have been yet to figure out how to fill for ourselves.
I have seen (more times than I want to) people float through life, bouncing from short relationship, to short relationship, trying to fill that “love void” they refuse to fill for themselves. They end up in meaningless “relationships” (usually physical in nature) that satisfy instant gratification “needs”, but do not satisfy long-term “needs”. Because they are not honest with themselves about their “needs”, they are not honest with others. As a result, dramatic “flare-ups” occur, feelings are hurt, and two people are left complaining about how “it’s so hard to find someone decent in this town”. Had they learned to love themselves, they’d be able to open themselves up to more quality individuals that not only accept truer love, but also have genuine, unrequited love to give.
I always tell people that I’m curious as to what most think about before they fall asleep at night, and what they first think about when they wake up in the morning. Are they happy? Do they truly want to float through life? Do they really want to settle down? Are they miserable with how they live their lives? Do they wish for a more quality life that doesn’t involve their common daily activities? I usually suspect many don’t have positive thoughts because it’s at both those points when you’re most honest with yourself. When you’re constantly seeking new, instant stimulations that produce the same feeling as giving unrequited love in short bouts, you get bored, sad, and complacent. So how does one reverse this?
First, begin to remove yourself from the normal behaviors you tend to exhibit socially. I’m not saying you must remove yourself from your environment entirely, I’m saying, practice worrying about you, practice more kindness, practice moderation. Are you prone to gossiping? Practice listening and not responding to it. Are you prone to drinking too much, causing you to make bad decisions you regret in the morning? Practice sticking with 2-3 drinks throughout the night (alcohol causes weight gain anyway). Are you prone to going on a date, finding something wrong with the person because they might not possess (insert materialistic good/personality trait here), and calling it off? Practice listening to them, observing body language and chivalrous gestures. If they are doing everything right, then take some time to self-reflect on what you need to love about yourself first, before you can let someone else in. In other words, practice being honest with yourself and following through with what your mind and heart are telling you to truly do.
My first rule in learning to love with gratitude is to like/love everyone until they have done something negative to truly affect my life. The second rule is to not take on people’s problems, and when a situation arises that might call for help, making sure I’m helping objectively, and not out of emotion.
Focusing on myself means listening with an open heart, offering SOLICITED advice, not gossiping about others, being fully present on dates and get togethers, practicing moderation when drinking, keeping myself on the forefront of every decision I make, and working on my own interesting story to tell – not relying on anyone for my happiness.
When you can figure out how to do these things for you, inadvertently, people take notice and feel that love, light, and warmth radiate out of you. This is the point where you know you love with gratitude, so much so that you have more than enough love to give. So spend some time with just YOU, think about what it is you truly want, start to chip away at those desires, and practice self-love first. Remember, you have you and only you for the rest of your life.