Looking for Love
For most of my life, I have been looking for love and yet it has eluded me. For instance, I have looked for it in hobbies, like bodybuilding. I certainly love my time in the gym. It’s peaceful. In fact, it’s equivalent to a form of mediation for me, but I don’t feel loved because of the gym. I’ve also looked for love in my job, thinking if I loved my job I would feel love. And I do love my job, but I don’t really feel love from it. Material things offered the promise of love as well. I love my home and I love my car, and yet I don’t feel loved with them in my life. Of course, the biggie has been looking for love from others. I thought if I was in a relationship I would feel loved, and sometimes I do, but not always.
Certainly expecting others to love me hasn’t proven to be the jackpot of love I thought it would be. Real love eludes me even with all these things to do, be, and have. It seems I am a classic example of the old song, “Looking for love in all the wrong places.” So where is love if it’s not in what I do, who I can be, and what I have?
Perhaps all of these things are nothing more than obstacles, or barriers, to love. Perhaps we are focused more on obtaining love than on experiencing love. Maybe love just isn’t out there in the having, being and doing. Of course, if love’s not out there, it must be somewhere else. Perhaps love is within us rather than outside of us. Maybe, in order to experience love, we have to remove the barriers to love and then we can simply experience it in all its healing, connecting, joyful glory.
Barriers to Love
We have seen that we mainly look outside ourselves for love whether it is in having things, doing things or expecting others to love us in order to experience love. And these are obvious barriers to love as we expend quite a bit of energy and give up our lives in the pursuit of them. But, even more than all that, the biggest barriers to love are our beliefs about ourselves and others. Even if we stopped looking for love in our things, accomplishments and other people, we would still have to deal with the beliefs and thoughts we have. The barriers that come from our beliefs include judgment, blame, resentment, and expectations. It is our involvement in these that keep us from experiencing love.
Let’s get an idea of how these barriers to love work. One example is when we look at someone and judge them for how they dress, what they look like, for the color of their skin or anything else where we apply derogatory, judgmental ideas, thoughts, or words. In this moment of judgment, we have just put a barrier to love in place and we automatically are not going to experience love. Another example is when we blame other people for anything. All blame is a hidden method of relieving ourselves of any responsibility or to keep us from seeing the divine process interwoven through the fabric of our lives. In moments of blame, where anger, rage and separation is standard fare, we have placed barriers to love between us and others. Resentment tells the same story of barriers.
Expectations are similar to judgment, blame and resentment, but with a little twist. With expectations, we may find a partner and expect them to love us and they probably will. But because we expect them to love us, they will let us down at some point, unable to meet all of the expectations. This will be through no fault of their own. It will be because of the expectation. You see, expectations are a funny thing; they have very specific requirements and all requirements must be met or the expectation is seen as not being met. In that moment, the partner is considered unloving. But no one can meet all of the requirements of another person’s expectations all the time. It is exhausting and, in fact, not possible. So we expect others to do what is impossible to do and then we believe they don’t love us when they don’t do meet our impossible expectations.
The other issue with expectations is that they are a moving target. They tend to change with the wind. What was okay last week is no longer okay this week. It seems with expectations that no matter what a partner does to meet them, they fail. So love fails. But expectations are not love, they are barriers to love. To experience love, we need to remove the barriers and the love will shine through automatically. This is because we are the love we seek.
We are Love
It is hard to imagine that the love we seek is within us. However, at our core, we are nothing less than the most powerful force in the universe—love itself. Saying this sounds lovely, but is hard to imagine for a few reasons. One reason is that we are trained away from this deep knowing within us. This serves to turn our attention to all of the having, being, and doing. The second reason is that we don’t know how to experience love on a regular basis. We certainly don’t believe it is possible to live a life filled with the peace of love. But we do experience love many times throughout our lives. For instance, when we look at a newborn baby, whether it is our own child, grandchild, niece, nephew, or other similar relation to us. Without words, without judgements, we love. In these moments, we are experiencing love. The same happens when we look at our pets, when we are surrounded by the beauty of nature or when we are grateful for the gifts of life. In these moments, there are no barriers to love. Instead, we experience love openly, easily and freely. The only way we could experience this pure love is if we were already that. And we are.
Knowing we are love itself becomes more and more evident each time we remove the barriers to love. That’s because experiencing love has a snowball effect. The more we experience it, the bigger it becomes in our lives. Pretty soon, it’s all we know. The judgments, blaming, resentment and expectations are a thing of the past as we rarely entertain the old beliefs in favor of honoring our authentic selves.
In order to experience love, we just have to remove the barriers to love and love automatically appears. It’s that simple and that easy. Both simplicity and ease are characteristics of love. It may not seem possible, but it is. I encourage you to remove barriers to love every chance you get. Then you will see for yourself what I have discovered and am sharing with you today. What we are taught to believe about ourselves and others is not true for any of us. So, don’t just remove the barriers to love where others are concerned, do the same for yourself. You deserve it.