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Feeling “Love” Vs. “Loved.”

 

author's personal photo: Kristen-Connolly

Another year past. Time to reflect and dream about the year to come…

I’m hosting a “New Year Resolution Party” and the attendees are: myself, a Himalayan rock salt lamp and votive, mala beads, crystals (rose quartz, turquoise, strawberry quartz), a cup of tea and The Desire Map by Danielle LaPorte.

This year, I’m creating a shift from concrete, materialistic goals—to general, soulful goals.

In the past, a new year meant concrete goals—a specific grade in class, travel destination, materialistic purchase (I just needed the new Canon camera!) as the avenue to goal achievement and happiness.

Yet, I started realizing—even when these goals were achieved, I was unfulfilled and always wanted more.

Was I chasing the right thing?

As a recovered, chronic over-thinker—with a history of obsessively creating “If…Then” scenarios—I shifted to living intuitively and trusting my heart more deeply. I now understand we should meditate on more soulful goals, and allow room for interpretation, as the universe likes to create its own magic.

So here I am—reflecting and dreaming.

When thinking about how I want to feel, I’ve often expressed the desire to feel “loved.” However, I am now deeply contemplating this emotion. Do I want to feel loved, or would it be more appropriate to stay I want to feel love?

Feeling “Loved.”

Being loved is beautiful. The thought of being loved immediately transports me to a bubble bath, snuggling in a hammock with a loved one, holding hands while walking on the beach and a shared bottle of wine.

I, like most of us, often wrongfully associate feeling “loved” with 1:1 relationships—relationships with significant others. When I think about feeling loved—I picture someone else there, someone giving me this feeling. Yet, it’s so much more. It stretches beyond a significant other.

Being “loved” means our unique divinity is recognized and honored by the outside world.

This soulful feeling of being “loved” may (and should) come from within. We should limitlessly love ourselves for our existence as an accumulation of our past, present and future self.

Yet, there are limits to being “loved,” as it alludes to a one-way street. It suggests there is a unidirectional flow of love into the self. It suggests, then, that there are two involved parties—a “beloved” and a “lover”—shouldn’t we all experience this love?

Receiving love is amazing, but is it fulfilling enough?

There are some days when I’m lonely—watching my friends tie the knot and find true love. They are so loved.

If I am only in a relationship with myself, am I only receiving love from myself?

This seems restricting. I believe love is limitless and infinite. I believe love fills the earth and can be found all around us. Love simply cannot only be felt from a 1:1 relationship. Yet, being “loved” means you are receiving it, and someone is giving it. If nobody is directly giving me love, how am I to feel loved?

Feeling “Love.”

When we remove the directionality of feeling “loved,” we are left with the seemingly simple feeling of “love.”

However, it is quite complicated and more encompassing than it seems. Love is multidirectional, flowing and not always concrete.

Our lives should be guided by love in all its complexity and beauty. To me, love is also open-heartedness, fearlessness and gratitude. Maintaining an open heart enhances our life.

“You live in love, and it feeds you and strengthens you. That is an open heart. That is the instrument of the heart as it was meant to be. Allow yourself to experience every note the heart can play. If you relax and release, this purification of your heart is a wonderful thing.” ~ The Untethered Soul

We should be ready to give and receive love at all times. We find love, rather than fear, in all situations. Our love is deeper than surface relationships, material objects and measurable sources. We should identify more with complicated, immeasurable sources of love. We can find love in all the universe’s power.

“What does it feel like to identify more with Spirit than with form?…You just feel love for no reason. Your backdrop is love. Your backdrop is openness, beauty, and appreciation.” ~ The Untethered Soul

Though a feeling is often fleeting, we should not allow love to dwindle. We should keep love in our hearts at all times. When we do not have a significant other, we love ourselves. We love the universe, Mother Nature and the physical world. We love our families, our jobs and our homes.

By maintaining this backdrop of fearlessness and gratitude, we constantly welcome love into our lives.

Love is always available, and we are abundant in love.

I’ve made my 2016 theme: “Embrace limitless love.”

Why? I embrace the backdrop of my life as love, gratitude, joy and spiritual connection with the world and myself. I embrace new adventures and familiarity. I embrace the current season of my life and where I am. I am limitless—abundant. I am living—embracing—my life through a loving heart and soul.

I embrace feeling love (rather than “loved”) and am ready for love to fill all areas of my life. Daily joys bring me love—the South Florida sunset driving home from work, curling up with a good book, “FaceTime” with a friend miles away or swimming in the ocean.

All of these things make me feel love.

Meraki (noun): the soul, creativity or love put into something; the essence of yourself that is put into your work.

I devote myself to what I do. Love and passion—rather than money and material things—govern me. My soul thrives when it is full with purpose, sparked from the heart center. I do all things with love. I put love into my writing, relationships, yoga practice and work as a physical therapist.

What I’m trying to say is—what we give, we receive.

Every time.

We should give love—and we will get love in return.

It really is that simple.

This year, let’s embrace the endless love on our earth.

“Life in abundance comes only through great love.” ~ Elbert Hubbard

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Relephant:

The Self Soothing Truth of Feeling Love.

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Author: Kristen Connolly

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

Photo: Author’s own.

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Kristen Connolly

Kristen Connolly is a passionate and enthusiastic individual. She a free-spirited traveler, dreamer, avid reader, artist (photography, drawing), yogi, ocean lover and adrenaline-junkie. She follows her heart and pushes herself outside her comfort zone. Check out her website for more information!