That crazy little thing called love.
We all want it. We all crave it. It’s a natural part of being human. So why does it sometimes seem so fleeting? Why does it sometimes elude us? Why does it seem so hard to get? Why must we chase love???
The truth is, all the love you ever need comes from within. There’s absolutely no point in chasing love because you have divine love as the truth of who you are — at the very core of your being. Unfortunately, many of us feel unloveable. We don’t really, truly, feel worthy of love. And we certainly don’t feel totally fulfilled with the love we have within — because we’re not tapped into that boundless, unending source of love. Instead, we seek love outside of ourselves.
SEE ALSO: The 3 Laws Of Happiness
Love is not the same as approval seeking
But love was never meant to be chased. When we chase love from others we wind up attracting people who don’t match up with us because we’re seeking approval. And when we seek approval we often act in a certain way that we think will make the other person like us or love us. But in doing so, we’re not really being ourselves. We’re not honoring our true nature. Instead, we’re putting on an act that in the end does us far more harm than good. We end up putting our true selves aside in order to live up to someone else’s expectations, or what we think their expectations of us might be. We wind up loving someone who doesn’t love the real us because they might not even know the real us.
So what do you do?
Choose the approval of yourself
You stop chasing love. You get really, really grounded in who you are. You choose radical self-acceptance over approval-seeking. You spend time with yourself—doing yoga, walking in nature, writing your thoughts, hopes, and dreams in a beautiful journal. You take the time to meditate every, single day—to get to know yourself. You get intimate with your heart’s vast, innate intelligence. You discover who you are at the deepest level and wind up loving that person more than anyone in the world.
“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.” – Rumi
We must learn how to love ourselves, first and foremost. And we must learn how to access all that boundless love that is our birthright. There are lots of heart-opening yoga and meditation practices that enable us to get in touch with the deepest and most authentic source of divine love that lives within us. Spiritual teachings that we can read in books or online offer us ways to access our divine nature — our source of unconditional love, for ourselves and others.
One simple but powerful self-love technique is looking in the mirror every day and telling yourself how beautiful you are. This may seem silly at first, but with time it will feel natural and you’ll truly believe that you are indeed gorgeous — inside and out. Being kind to ourselves and accepting all parts of who we are is essential to know true love. Choosing to see the good in yourself without letting others get you down is key.
Be eternally grateful
Another way to love ourselves is to be grateful. It seems gratitude works for just about everything, including self-love. When we count our blessings, those blessings end up increasing in surprising ways. The many blessings show up in our lives more and more. When we take the time feel eternally grateful for our lives, we’ll naturally tap into a deep wellspring of inner love. So, take some time each day to journal about what you’re grateful for. Incorporate a statement that focuses on how wonderful you are. For instance, “I’m so grateful I have so much compassion for animals. I am so blessed to have such good physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.” Write these affirmations in your journal and you’ll find a healthier, more self-accepting you comes to the surface.
We all need to know ourselves at the deepest level in order to love ourselves. We need to know what we really like to do, what our boundaries are, and what feeds our soul. Only then can we glow with self-confidence. Only then can we tap into our heart’s desires. And only then can we attract a love that loves us for who we really, truly are. Yoga teaches us self-study, known as svadhyaya in Sanskrit. This self-knowing comes primarily through meditation. It teaches us how to know who we are, which in turn teaches us how to love ourselves without conditions.
Only when we love ourselves, quirks and all, can we really truly love others — and stop chasing love. Then the paradigm changes and love will show up when you aren’t expecting it. Falling in love with yourself ends the chase. And that, my friends, is a very, very good thing.