Love exists in each and every one of us as a fountain that is always flowing—no, overflowing. Most of us, though, have this piece of putty that we use to seal the flow inside of us so it doesn’t bubble up and show on the outside until we give it permission.
The permission comes when we fall in love. We hear those three words and the putty puts itself away, the love bursts up and out, and suddenly you have that “I’m in love” glow about you. You see it in your eyes, in your lover’s eyes, in the trees, in the sky; all of a sudden, everything is beautiful because you are looking through the rose-colored lenses of love.
I bet you can see where this is going. As humans, we are all destined to experience heartbreak. It can come when somebody we love passes away, when a tragedy occurs, when we lose something we love, and the one we all know too well, when our romantic relationships ends.
The “I’m in love” glow is gone, and with it went the rose-colored lenses. Almost instantly, that putty that stored itself away is back, sealed tight over the overflowing stream of love that exists inside of you. You don’t see love everywhere, and in fact, you don’t see it anywhere. The dark cloud of heartbreak and loneliness feels like it’s here to stay.
I’ve been there. I’d venture to say that every one of you reading this has been there. I’ve learned a lot since my first love, more since my second, and now I’ve been through this wrenching experience of being love and falling (or in my case this time, being aggressively shoved) out of love three times.
I’ve also had a series of spiritual and soul awakenings that taught me some things about love.
First of all, “love lost” is very poetic and all, but love is never lost. I’ve already told you where it is. It’s inside of you, bubbling with abundance always, whether or not you’ve stopped the flow. Second, we treat love like it is a faucet that somebody else has the controls to. They can turn it on and they can turn it off. The flow of love is not controlled by a faucet. It cannot be turned on and off. And to indulge you, even if it could be turned on and off, absolutely no one other than you would have the ability to control it.
We are never lacking love. It is always available from the bountiful fountain inside of us. So why do we shut it down? Why do we insist upon keeping that putty nearby so we can seal the overflow before anybody sees?
What’s happening is that you are actively stopping the flow because we have learned and picked up through our upbringing that it takes someone “choosing us” to partner with in order to let love show on your face. There is a stigma and a fear that if you were to be walking around with the love glow all the time, people would wonder what’s wrong with you, and further, I’ve even believed that walking around with love flowing is an invitation to be hurt or abused. What’s wrong is that idea.
As humans and living beings on Earth, we are created in the divine. By nature, we are love. By nature, we are abundance. We should be asking, What’s wrong with those of us (pretty much all of us) who are NOT radiating love? Why on Earth would you stop the flow of something so beautiful and fun? What is wrong with them?
All things on this planet are energy. Energy is never created nor destroyed, only transmuted. When my relationship ended a few months ago, I knew I was going to need to redirect all of that love energy. I’ll put it in myself and I’ll put it in my work, I thought.
It was working for a while; I was able to keep my mind off of the subject of heartbreak. What I realized, though, is that all of the dreams and goals that I used my newfound energy to cultivate and clarify were unattainable in this state.
Blame it on too much meditation and one too many soul awakenings; I knew what I was going to need. This time, though raw the burn of heartbreak may be, I could not seal off the flow of love. I knew I was going to need it.
See, what I really want and what I believe is the purpose for all of our existences is to live a soul-driven life. In order to live a soul-driven life, we have to be more in touch with our hearts than our heads, and we can’t access the heart when it is sealed. I realized I was going to have to release the love.
I was afraid because I thought that if I released the love, then the only two options are in love or heartbroken. Still committed to walking through fear, I burned the putty once and for all. I immediately fell in love with something else—two things, actually. I fell in love with myself and I fell in love with life.
I am in love and it’s not the romantic storybook love we were taught. I am completely enamored with life. Beyond the present circumstances and challenges I face at any given time, the prospect of all of the experiences I’ve yet to have, all of the places I’ve yet to see, all of the people I’ve yet to meet, excites me beyond any feeling of loss that I have. I am in love with the experiences I’ve already had, even the ones that feel too raw to go to, like the ones I made when I was in love. Though I still shy away from going there, I know that I am so lucky to have those memories and to have shared that love with another and the world. I get chills at the thought of making more memories like them.
I also started to notice all of the things I love about myself. I love how I seek adventures, how I’ve committed to living freely, how much I give, how much I care. I noticed and fell in love with my own strength and my own beauty.
Love is not reserved for when somebody “chooses you”. Love is not reserved for being in love with another. That kind of love, I believe, comes with ease once we can learn to access love without it. You have to throw out the putty; burn it, shoot it to space, throw it in the ocean. You have to let the love fountain flow out of you all of the time. How do you do that?
You have to look for it. You dig out those rose-colored glasses and you wear them. All the time. You go out of your way to fall in love with what surrounds you. That cozy blanket you use at night, the perfect cup of coffee, the smell of your favorite candle burning, how warm the sun feels today, how good the song playing is, how beautiful the sky looks.
When you start looking for things to fall in love with, that’s exactly what you’ll see.
Romantic love is beautiful, and how lucky are we to experience such an incredible adventure? But that’s not the only love. We cannot walk through this life waiting for somebody else and this one specific combination of stars aligning to live with love.
When you fall in love with yourself and when you fall in love with life, the Universe, God, the divine—whatever higher power you believe in—will reward you by continuing to give you reasons to be. Why? It is what is natural. Just as the river wants to flow, the trees want to grow, the sun wants to shine (and that they do so all by themselves without our assistance and can only be stopped by our interference), love wants to exist in abundance. And it does, as long as you don’t stop it.
Romantic love is an incredible aspect of life; it is not the only aspect of life. There are awakenings, there are adventures, there are accomplishments to be had, and every single one of them requires love. When you stop the flow of love, you’re preventing yourself from so much more. You are preventing yourself from living a life of abundance, a life of flow, a life of ease, a life of joy, and most of all, a life that is true to you.
I know what it’s like to be in love, and I know what it’s like to be heartbroken. These experiences are so grand and life-altering that I understand why we get confused into thinking that love only means romantic love, but it’s simply not the case.
The Greeks believe in eight different kinds of love. I’ve heard this before, but it has never made as much sense to me as it has of late. Heartbreak affects one kind of love; it does hurt and it will hurt for a while. Let the other kinds of love heal it.
Eros is the type of love that will sting when your romantic relationship ends. As eros stings, you can choose to cultivate philia, love in friendship; storge, love in family; agape, selfless, universal love, like that for our world and the divine; and my favorite, philautia, self-love.
At first, this will not come naturally. When your eros is hurting, you will likely shut down as a product of habit. You’re going to have to gather the strength to remember these other kinds of love. You’re going to have to put on your rose-colored glasses and go out of your way to look for them.
Love is not something that comes and goes. It is not something that can be lost. It is not something that somebody else has the ability to light inside of you. It is always in you, always abundant, always flowing; your job is to let it. This is your job because it is your nature and your purpose to live with love and joy. In order to live a soul-driven, thrilling, can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-bed life, you have to move from love. I want you to live a soul-driven, thrilling, can’t-wait-to-get-out-of-bed life. So please, don’t wait to be “chosen” to fall in love. Fall in love with yourself. Fall in love with your life.