Wednesday, January 27th, 2021

Cultivating Love In Your Life

By Roxanne Thornton on Feb 13 2011 • Filed under Balance

Choose to cultivate more love in your life.

Love is the most important thing in our lives. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.

We all know this to be true. And yet we can get stuck in our beliefs about what love SHOULD be like, or limit our love to those few objects or circumstances we deem WORTHY of loving. What opportunities to experience the various heart-warmings of love have we missed due to holding back or inattention? What flower has gone unsmelled, what melodic bird songs have we not heard, what person did we not smile at, what friend or relative has come and gone unappreciated?

According to the popular author M. Scott Peck, "True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision."

Love is a heartfelt ‘yes’ you direct to someone or something. Cultivating the art of loving involves increasing the number of objects you are willing to love. Ultimately, this experience can confirm your ability to love any object you choose. The myth of romance is that romantic attraction is the only real loving, and if you want to love, you must keep looking for the right person. Then you live in the dream of romantic love – searching and hoping, with bursts of optimism and excitement and long periods of frustration and discouragement.

If you are not blinded by the romantic myth, you can use each relationship to love as intensely as you can, confident that the skills you acquire will carry over into your romantic life. When you practice loving in all arenas, you will find that you live in a rich and lovable world.

We all crave love, and may secretly believe that what is really important is not to love, but to be loved and approved by others. Yet isn’t the opposite true? After all, it is the lover rather than the loved one who has the heartwarming experiences. The lover is the artist who takes the individual or circumstance and paints awe or celebration out of it.

Perhaps St. Francis of Assisi expressed it best when he wrote: "May it be, O Lord, that I seek not so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love, because it is in giving oneself that one receives; it is in forgetting oneself that one is found."

When you experience the heart-warmings of love, tell someone about it. Saying it strengthens it, warms the lives of those you tell, and makes a world in which love is more valued, supported and experienced. It takes determination to put messages of love out into a world that is caught up in how bad things are. But you can do it, and over time you are likely to be appreciated for doing so. After all, most people believe in loving; they just want the other person to begin first!

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