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Friday Inspiration - 12 February 2010
By Melissa Bult

What is Love?
 Hello everyone,
With Valentines Day approaching this weekend I have been thinking a lot about love and what it means.   We each experience love in different ways and it can mean different things to different people.  So today I want to reflect on love.
What is love?  I think it would be pretty hard to come up with one definition because it can mean so many different things.  We could say it was a deeply passionate affection for another person as in romantic love or a warm personal attachment to someone like a friend, child or parent or it could be something we have great enthusiasm for such as ‘I love travelling’.  
Love to me is something of the Divine, it is the essence of all of life - the highest feeling we can have about ourselves, another or life in general.  Love has no demands, expectations, boundaries, restrictions, judgments, conditions or needs.  It is the experience of the divine life within us, our true essence or higher self. 
Love is always expressing through us because it is our true nature but sometimes we forget our nature and we can feel like there is a lack of love around us and so we may go out and seek for it.  Seeking for love can cause us much pain, frustration and grief because we are often looking for it in all the wrong places, that is, we are looking for it outside ourselves. 
Remember that love is not experienced from receiving it as much as it is experienced by giving it.  As it tells us in A Course in Miracles - the only way to truly experience anything is to give it.  The love you seek is the soulful form of love, that which is already within you and that which comes from connecting to the ALL - a true sense of connection to everyone and everything in existence.
We can sometimes believe that if we knew someone else just loved us or many people loved us then we would be loveable, feel safe and know we were worthy.  But the only way to feel that kind of love is to love your-self.  In loving yourself you allow others to love you and you will feel safe to love others with an open heart. 
How can we love ourselves?  We start by making a decision to accept ourselves fully as we are right now and become more consciously aware of how we look after ourselves.  Louise Hay (‘The Power is Within You’) offers ten ways to love your-self:

1. Stop all criticism
2. Don’t scare yourself (with terrorizing thoughts)
3. Be gentle and kind and patient
4. Be kind to your mind (let go of self-hatred)
5. Praise yourself (And use affirmations)
6. Support yourself (reach out when needed)
7. Be loving to your negatives (acknowledge what you don’t like about yourself but love it anyway)
8. Take care of your body
9. Practice telling yourself ‘I love you’ or ‘I am willing to love you’ in the mirror
10. Decide to love yourself right now! (Not when you have lost weight, or got a new job or a relationship)
On another note, from a spiritual perspective we are either coming from a place of love or a place of fear in our choices in life.  To me this means we are either coming from the soul (which works from love) or the ego (which works from fear).  The decisions we make and the thoughts we have will all be based around which one of those two we are choosing to work with.  In every moment and every decision you can ask yourself am I choosing from love or fear in this situation. 
We all want to love and be loved.  So often we forget the true essence of loving another and what we are really saying to someone is not ‘I love you’ but ‘I trade you.’  Love is not a trade of any kind because we are designed to love as God does – unconditionally.  Remember that love is without condition, without limitation and without need – ‘Friendship with God’ by Neale Donald Walsh. 
Unconditional love can be a love you cannot imagine receiving because it is a love you cannot imagine expressing.  But like ‘A Course in Miracles’ tells us ‘only love is real’ all else is an illusion of the mind and this applies to all forms of love.
So think about what love means to you in all its various forms and take some time this weekend to love yourself, to love others and to recognise that your true essence always has been and always will be love. 
Love and blessings

Melissa x
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