forget-your-first-loveThe Sufi poet, Rumi, said, “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

Real love… we strive for it, we yearn for it. Yet the search and attainment of it can be thwarted by our own deep fears, hidden or exposed. Fears like… if I find that love and intimacy, it might be taken away and the pain would be unbearable. Or… I might lose my sense of self in the relationship and lose my personal power. All kinds of reasons that make you not want to take the risk. Do you know what your fears are? Do you have false beliefs that have bound you to a reality that has prevented a true or lasting love in your life? Those beliefs can be changed.

But what is real love? The subject of love has been on my mind ever since I was a child and I heard it said that “God is love.” But what kind of God would destroy “his” children if they misbehaved? It did not make sense. It makes more sense that real love is about loving for the sake of loving, loving another even when they aren’t being their very best—love without expectations. Sure, we always have certain expected guidelines or behaviors in our relationships and hopefully they are respected. But the real love I am talking about is unconditional love, being loved in spite of our so-called flaws, being accepted for who we are, all aspects of ourselves.

We want a Big Love. But the first and foremost Big Love is loving ourselves. Jesus said, Love your neighbor as yourself. No matter what messages we may have heard as a child, we can discover and strive to unravel any negative thoughts or beliefs about ourselves that keep us from loving and celebrating the unique expression we are in the world. When we love all parts of ourselves, we can then love and accept others for who they are, also, and have freedom in our relationship to be our authentic self.

When we know that we are the essence of love itself and fully realize it within, we become love magnets and together with focus and desire can create that other Big Love we are seeking—true spiritual love with another human being, our spiritual partner.

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