For me, love is a feeling; a way of being. Whilst we can choose how to use it, participate with it, and understand it, it can also feel choice-less.
There’s observations or behaviours that I can personally link as symbols of love both within myself and outside of me. Some of these include loyalty, support, companionship, connection, kindness, time and presence, prioritisation, information, accessibility, respect, intimacy… I could go on. However these things themselves are not love, they are just some of my personal stories and measures to detect it. They aren’t ever in their entirety right or wrong; sometimes they serve me and sometimes they harm me. As the complex individuals that we are, another’s collection of stories and symbols will differ, perhaps strongly, even if that difference is to show up in their meaning behind the exact same symbol.
The instance of healthy love being masked by fear is one of the most intriguing I’ve explored. From my experience, this is when love of a healthy nature feels so deep, so uncontrollable, or so potentially exposing that fear creeps in as a protective barrier. Such a convincing barrier of protection it is, that it can feel as if we’ve perhaps had it all wrong, that the love was never there, or perhaps it was but now it has most surely disappeared. It’s an experience that can take the form of energetic and emotional paralysis. To be clear, this is not in any way limited to love for another. Whilst it absolutely includes that for another, love is founded within self, and the expression of self.
Reactions and decisions drawn from this masked love, will with time, gift us access to pain. A message from love that has been ignored, unfulfilled, sold short or misunderstood. Or, to that point in time, only partially heard.
That mask is there only to keep us “safe”. Safe from risk, rejection, failure, and ironically, equally “safe” from accessing wholehearted fulfilment, pure joy, certainty, safety and peace from within self and with another. The masked love is a cycle that left unchecked will cause havoc.
We can cheapen love, allowing it to overrun us, and steer us down a lessor path, undoubtably delivering us to the illusion that we have no influence or choice of its course. But of course, it’s only our own series of mini choices with love that has allowed us to arrive there.
At its most valued and honoured, love invites us to unify with it and be the recipient of unshakeably insightful tales. It requests our partnership from a place of softening, to intimately participate with pain for a warm and rewarding ‘coming out the other side’.
In truth, love is our greatest teacher. It’s a light to the path we are called to on a cellular level, and to be serviced firstly and most importantly from within. It’s a signal to ask better questions, to source deeper and more revealing answers, to check on our truth. It’s a reminder to honour our deeply deserved desires and the very prize that we are, everyday.
At its very sunshine finest, love is contentment in who you are. It’s a source to certainty, confidence, and safety from within. It’s an unapologetic participation in life from your self discovered values. It’s a showing up as your own source first and aspiring with others second.
Love is a drug, more powerful than we are often present enough to realise.