What is Love?

Someone once described ‘love’ to me as having a beholding quality - I could feel how beautiful that felt, and I understood what the words meant, but I couldn’t relate that statement to how I felt about love in my own body. Now, many years later, I absolutely understand what it means and also how exquisite it feels in my body to love and be loved, which is a forever deepening quality, if we allow it to be so.

Love is something we all crave - to love and to be loved. In order to love another, we must love ourselves first. It’s quite shocking how hard this can be to do, particularly when we’ve been sold a lie and conditioned to believe that love is a complete bastardisation of what it actually is.

Valentine’s Day is part of the conditioning! Words are cheap, gestures can be grand, yet they can be both empty and meaningless if we’re not understanding and communicating what it truly means to love one another. We’re just chasing rainbows and are at risk of settling for a version of love that isn’t IT at all.

Valentine’s Day encourages us to look for love from another, to feel it’s something to be found outside ourselves that’s reserved for our one and only, that it is something that’s given to us and that we give to another.

This seeking love from another is actually very ironic as it is already nestled deep inside every one of us, just waiting to be re-discovered and shared.

Love is our essence, it’s who we are and yet we disconnect from this knowing, lured away by the lies we’re fed in life, that we’re not enough, that we need to be something else; we end up settling for crumbs, emotional highs, which we convince ourselves must be love as we feel great compared to the emotional lows. Who doesn’t enjoy a bunch of flowers, a candlelit dinner, a gift that you’ve been wanting but haven’t been able to buy?

However, what is it that we really appreciate in all of those things?

It’s actually not how lavish or expensive those things are - it’s the honouring of you through the thought that has gone into the choice of flowers, the meal, the gift – the expression of love in that particular gift for you.

Re-connecting with the love within is simple, it’s a choice. Love is a constant, it’s always there. If we’re not feeling it, it’s because we’ve chosen to disconnect. You can love someone, and they can feel your love, without you ever saying the words. Love is shown and felt in the way we move, in the tenderness of our touch, in the way we look at another, pre-empt how they are feeling - there is a knowingness because we can feel what is going on for the other person, we allow them to just be who they are without needing anything from them or for them to change in anyway.

To love someone is to hold them as equal, to meet them in the gorgeousness of who they truly are and to allow them the space to be who they are. To be on the receiving end of this is like being held, energetically, in a very tender hug. There is nothing physically touching your body, yet you feel held, there are no expectations or demands being made of you, rather, you can feel that your next movement is absolutely 100% your choice.

Re-connecting with the love bomb inside allows us to deepen all our relationships, including the one with yourself, in fact, this is where we need to start. If someone asked me 10 years ago if I loved myself, I probably would have said yes, despite the fact that I didn’t even like myself a lot of the time and I was by far my harshest critic. If I said I adored myself I definitely would have been lying. However, today, I definitely adore myself, maybe not 100% of the time, but more often than not.

So, what changed?

It started with the way I took care of myself, being super tender as I washed myself in the shower, I actually told myself that I was washing a newborn baby to allow myself to drop into the deepest tenderness that I was capable of. I started paying more attention to my appearance, not for anyone else, but for myself and I noticed how I moved very differently when I made this effort and could appreciate how beautiful I looked. It’s not what we wear, but how gorgeous we feel in what we choose to wear. I became more honest about what food was truly nourishing for my body and the things that I was clearly eating to numb how I was feeling.

It’s never about perfection, simply having the intention to do the best that we can. The more I loved myself, the more I felt loved and the more love I was able to share with everyone around me.

Sharing the essence of who we are is the most exquisite way to live. Love is a constant warmth that radiates from within and embraces all in its path. The more you love, the more love feeds you back and your living reflection invites all those around you to re-connect within themselves - how beautiful.

Image by Ben Kerckx from Pixabay


Further reading

Do we remember Love?

Ripple effect or tidal wave?

What do our children see?


With enough love

Hurts and nursing expectations

The power of love and the heart