The dictionary defines love as “the fatherly concern of God for man; brotherly concern for others; unselfish concern that freely accepts another in loyalty and seeks his good; the attraction based on sexual desire; the affection and tenderness felt by lovers.”
Many spiritual philosophies define love as an invisible force that connects all life forms on the planet to each other, and to the Source of all creation. Spiritual Love embraces everyone, excludes no one, never dies, and knows no fear. It is constant and has no conditions. All beings are worthy of it. You do not have to prove yourself. Spirituality is not attached to any dogma or religion. Everyone came into this life as spiritual beings.
It is not the same as emotional love which is personality-based, ever-changing, subjective, and most often conditional. (I’ll love you if you change in some way and conform to my idea of what you should be; or I’ll love myself as soon as I become perfect.)
Love is your essence, your innate spiritual perfection, and is your truest nature. It is the place from which you can find meaning and purpose in your life, and access answers and solutions to your challenges. It will always lead you in the right direction if you are listening to its voice.
You are equipped with an innate guidance system that is pure spiritual Love. Some call this Inner Wisdom, Soul, Spirit, or Higher Self. This aspect has no limits and only knows qualities of Love. It is a direct path to the Source of all creation and is available to you 24/7. Build a relationship with this aspect of yourself by sitting quietly each day and calling on it. Ask questions, let go of mind, and you will receive answers.
Expressions of Love
You experience spiritual love in many ways in your day to day life. It shows up in acts of loving kindness; a warm smile to or from a stranger; gratitude toward or from another; giving when and where you see a need; and having the ability to receive freely.
Love is joy, goodness, understanding, forgiveness, acceptance, respect, generosity, authenticity, honesty, kindness, compassion, empathy, gratitude, unity, humility, and more. Expressing these qualities allows more of the authentic you to emerge. These aspects of Divine Love are at the core of everyone. Love, Light, God, Source, and the Divine are all interchangeable words.
Love can be found everywhere in the beauty and perfection of nature, and in all people if you have the vision to see it. Love is seeing the good in everyone and everything, including yourself, rather than focusing on the negatives. Spiritual Love means understanding the oneness of all of humanity. You are not separate from anyone. When you look at another you are seeing some aspect of yourself.
Opposite of Love
Fear is the opposite of Love and it has many faces. Anger, criticism, resentment, arrogance, hate, bitterness, guilt, control, regret, inability to let go of the past, superiority, and inferiority are all aspects of fear. Low self-esteem, feelings of unworthiness, anxiety, impatience, depression, worry and many other emotional states are rooted in fear.
These fear-based qualities are learned, and constantly change. They are saboteurs that keep struggle, unhappiness, sickness, poverty, lack, and all problems in motion. Fear and its many expressions are obstacles to your greater good. They are continually reinforced by the media, science, religion, the culture, other powerful and influential institutions, and often by well-meaning friends. Fears are often fed and amplified by your food choices. This is a topic that deserves much attention and will be addressed in another post.
Aspects of fear are potentials within all of us. At times they surface and at times they are dormant. The same is true of qualities of Love. With awareness, intent, and focus we can continually activate Love. Keep in mind that some fear-based emotions such as anger, at times, can be a good thing when it causes us to reflect and positively change in our personal world, and to become active at making changes to the many injustices in the world.
How You Treat Yourself Matters
Often it is easy to extend kindness, compassion, empathy and forgiveness to others. However, for many, bestowing this spiritual love upon oneself is a difficult task. Are you quick to judge yourself, make yourself wrong, when you are not living up to your self-imposed perfection expectations? Do you tell yourself that when you get it “right”, or achieve perfection, you’ll love yourself?
Or, worse yet, do you love yourself based on your accomplishments, weight, looks, bank account, success in the world, and what others think and say about you. Some are waiting for the right person to make them complete and whole by loving them and validating that they are lovable. This is a backwards approach to having what you want. Authentic self love and acceptance as you are is a tool to bring you good health and all that you want.
Negative self-judgment is the opposite of love. It is one of the most demoting factors in your ability to deeply know yourself, to change and grow. It creates non-action. Why are you so hard on yourself and so unwilling to accept that you are a great human being just as you are? You are worthy and deserving of all the goodness life has to offer by your birthright.
Your view of life and of yourself is often learned from your role models, the media, and religious and cultural conditioning. Unfortunately, our culture does not often support self-acceptance and self-love without accomplishment. Your degree of self value is too often based on tangible, material things, rather than spiritual qualities.
Loving and respecting yourself is the most direct route to good health, happiness, prosperity, loving relationships, and fulfillment from life. However, many lives do not reflect self love. Some say that they love themselves but don’t like themselves. Perhaps its behaviors or choices you’ve made that you don’t like. Those choices were meant to give you wisdom and evolve you. Do the loving thing—extract the positives from your experiences; make peace with them; let them go; and commit to being different. Be compassionate with yourself.
Love heals because it embodies everything that is good and positive. When absolute, unconditional love is present, it means there is little or no fear, doubt, control, guilt, anger, or judgment, all of which are the opposite of love. Or they may surface temporarily and you will reflect and respond with Love.
Building Your Love Quotient
This is not intellectual work; it is heart-based. So get out of your head and into your heart, the place where the Divine you resides. Discover and experience the beauty and magnificence that’s there.
Immunize yourself against fear and all of its manifestations with regular doses of the Love vaccine. I’ve listed some ways to do that. Choose some of them and work on them regularly. It takes consistency and effort. The rewards are huge.
- Intention is first and foremost – know what you want and why you are choosing it. Intention is not the same thing as wishing and hoping. It is a spiritual quality and is definite. Get relaxed and join with the energy that creates worlds and focus on your intention.
- Forgive yourself for everything. If you have guilt, forgiveness is necessary. Make amends if possible. There are no mistakes. Everything you’ve done has always been the best choice you could have made based on the amount of wisdom, experience, and knowledge you had at the time. What’s important is how you’ve grown.
- If there is any anger or resentment towards another, figure out what the positive is from the experience, forgive those concerned, and let it go. Forgiveness does not mean that you condone bad behavior. Seek professional help with this when needed.
- Acknowledge yourself everyday for something. Likewise, compliment, acknowledge, and express love to others daily.
- Say no when you mean no, and yes when you mean yes. When you honor yourself by not over-committing, you open the door for the unlimited, all-knowing Source of creation to take over on your behalf.
- Engage in daily activities that make you feel light and joyful. Laugh every day.
- Perform loving acts of kindness regularly—anonymously.
- Quiet time daily for self-reflection, and connecting and communicating with your higher self or inner wisdom.
- When negative feelings emerge from or toward another, try to get inside their shoes and feel what they are feeling. If you truly understood a person’s history, it would be easier to replace judgment and criticism with compassion and empathy, both of which are qualities of Love.
- Become the person you are trying to attract. That’s right. Define the qualities of someone you would like to have in your life and live those qualities. Like attracts like. You will become a magnet for the kind of love you are seeking.
It is not selfish or narcissistic to engage in self-love as many believe. It does not mean that you are superior or better than anyone else–you are not. You, and all people, came into this world as expressions of Divine Love. Denying this is refusing your birthright to co-create your life in delightful, beautiful, and meaningful ways. An unwillingness to love yourself is another way of saying “I’m not good enough” and not worthy of a healthy, happy, prosperous life.
Love or lack of it affects everyone and everything in the universe. We are all connected by the invisible force of Divine Love and there is no place where that connection starts and stops. You don’t have to like everyone, but loving them is essential. It’s likely the behavior of some that you don’t like. Keep in mind that is not who they are at their core. Bad behavior, mean spiritedness, abusiveness, and worse all stem from fear. A lot of people are conditioned with fear. Be an example of Love and show them another way. What you wish for others often comes right back to you.
Can you imagine what life would be like if everyone came from spiritual love? We would create a healthy, unified, peaceful world for ourselves, our children, and generations to come, a humanity based on Love and Respect rather than Fear.
If you would like to understand your life’s challenges from a holistic perspective; identify and release saboteurs and resistance; create more satisfying relationships (including your relationship with yourself), and a healthier, happier, more abundant life; consider some professional Holistic Life Coaching with Deborah Barr. I became certified in Attitudinal Healing in 1989. This modality is characterized as a “Psycho-Social-Spiritual Approach”. It resonates well with Traditional Chinese Medicine, a body, mind/emotion, spiritual approach to health and lifestyle problems. My training in TCM represents my approach with clients who want to recover good health.
“…I was full of worry, anxiety, and fear when I first consulted with you, and my health suffered as a result. Your insight and knowledge continue to inspire me to better physical and emotional health, greater self love and acceptance, happiness and peace of mind. Had I know how much attitudinal and spiritual practices could change my health and life for the better I would have been to see you a lot sooner.”
“I really appreciate the way you are able to shift in our Life Coaching sessions to move me through difficult health situations with your wealth of knowledge of nutritional therapy and herbal medicine. I can clearly see now how my poor health and mental/emotional states are reflected in my business, level of prosperity, and relationships. With deep gratitude!”
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