Possibilities Playground Newsletter

Love Is An Inside Job

Love. That’s such a charged word, isn’t it? After all, it’s what we all want – to be loved. And yet, there’s a lot of missteps and heartache that comes with it.

February is, of course, the quintessential month of love. With Valentine’s Day approaching, you’re sure to see it pop up all around you. And even though you may be in a wonderful relationship that fulfills you in every way and not ‘need’ confirmation of said love come the 14th – if you’re anything like me, you still have one or two fantasies roll through your head of what your special someone might do. Perhaps an over the top bouquet of flowers (delivered to your office for full visibility of wonderful love)… a surprise picnic outside with nothing for you to do but lay back, look at the clouds, and be hand fed. Or, you may not be in a romantic relationship at all and are responding to this time of year by torturing yourself with all the reasons why that is. In either case, Valentine’s Day can be a doozie for some of us.

For that reason, I’d like to come at this time of year from a different angle. A more honest one, really. I think it’s important that we all realize love doesn’t come to us from anyone else. We don’t experience it because someone does something sweet for us. We experience love to the extent that we allow love into our lives.

For example, no doubt you know what I mean when I say there’s been a time in your life when someone did something really sweet for you, but you didn’t ‘feel the same way’ about them. Which meant the act didn’t result in any kind of pitter-patter from your heart.

Another example, albeit an odd one, comes from Ebeniezer Scrooge. As the story goes, he was a man who really loved his money. Yet, do you think his money loved him first? No, of course not. So where did all the love he was feeling come from? It actually came from all the emotion he himself poured into that ‘relationship.’

In both examples, love didn’t come or get held back from some source on the outside; it originated from within.

You know what that means, right? Love is an inside job. As in, it starts and ends with you. You are way more responsible for it than you may realize. I know that can be a bummer because it’s always easier to blame someone else…I totally get that. Yes, of course I know that other people ARE involved in your life – but they aren’t responsible for you experiencing love, you are.

With that in mind, you may feel a little upside down right now – wondering what in the world you should or should not be doing. Well first of all, there are no shoulds. I’m sharing my truths and you may or may not want to consider doing something different in your own life if they ring true for you. But of course you don’t have to do a thing: you may like your life just fine and not see a need to change any part of it. That’s totally cool.

However, if you recognize there’s room for improvement in this area of your life, then let me be the first to say, “Congratulations and good news!” There are a gazillion books and programs out there centered on how to ‘improve’ your love life. Great. I don’t want to reinvent the wheel and quite frankly, a little newsletter like this can’t go deep enough on that topic anyway. However, I can (and certainly aspire to) make a pretty significant scratch in the surface and give you something to seriously ponder that has the potential for making a real difference.

It’s both simple and complex at the same time. Something that Dr. Wayne Dyer likes to quote sums up the idea nicely. I can’t remember who he’s quoting but it goes like this, “Even after all these years, the Sun doesn’t say to the Earth ‘you owe me.’ Imagine what a love like that could do …it could light up the world.”

In short, to improve your ‘inside job’ on love – you’ve got to give love first and ask for nothing in return. Give without expectation of receiving.

How can you do that? There’s a million ways, so let me share a few examples that might work for you or at least inspire other ideas. I’m going to break them up into three categories: strangers, people in your life, and yourself. That may seem odd, but I find that some people have an easier time getting into the spirit of loving without expectations with strangers. Then, once they’re ‘bit by the bug’ so to speak, it’s a little easier to do with people in their lives. Finally, loving ourselves has got to be one of the hardest things to do, so it’s last.

LOVING STRANGERS

  • Make eye contact and smile
  • Compliment someone you’re in line with (only if it’s genuine)
  • Leave an anonymous note for someone you saw doing something nice (I recently watched an elderly woman working a mall food court and was in awe of how engaged she was with her job, which could be perceived as menial; it was really quite inspiring)… the note could be a simple ‘thanks for all you do’ on the back of your business card
  • Buy one or two carnations next time you go to the grocery and find someone to give them to on your way out (perhaps a mother with little kids or a woman there by herself looking a little down)

LOVING PEOPLE IN YOUR LIFE

  • Leave them a note in their lunch, book, purse, etc.
  • Let them have the last bit of an awesome meal, dessert, etc.
  • Look them in the eye, hold the eye contact, thank them for something they did
  • Write a serious ‘love letter’ to someone you care about but don’t get to see often and mail it off (who doesn’t love getting tangible mail nowadays!)
  • Ask those you feel comfortable with, “How can I be more kind / loving?”

LOVING YOURSELF

  • Give yourself something for no particular reason
  • Have a conversation with your body, mind, or spirit and thank it for all it does for you
  • Write yourself a ‘love letter’ and mail it
  • Ask friends/family to send you notes of what they like/love about you (I know this seems odd, but how easy would that be to post on Facebook and you know people would eat that up – everyone craves positivity and helping others so this would be a win-win!)

There you have it – over 10 ways to initiate love in your life from the inside. While I can promise love will return to you in your life, I want to point out that it may not come back to you from the same direction you sent it.

Hopefully today’s newsletter gives you a different perspective on what love can be like. Whether it’s a way to reframe and ‘survive’ Valentine’s Day or better yet, a new way of being in the world, it’s all good and you’re pretty awesome for just considering it. Now off you go to spread love and good cheer through all the kingdom!

Until next time, here’s to your grand possibilities!
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Love Is An Inside Job by Sara Russell of Feel the Possibilities
Visit Sara at: www.feelthepossibilities.com
Send email to sara@feelthepossibilities.com