Years ago I met an amazing lady from Columbia. When meeting new people she wouldn’t ask them about their relationship status, she’d simply say “are you in love?”
Of course the answer would usually only be yes from people who were in a relationship, and would lead people to talk about their partners and romantic experiences in the process… but it always seemed like a very cute way to start that conversations.
Recently though, I’ve started to realise that only answering her question with a yes if you’re in a relationship is a pretty sad way to be on.
Actually it’s something I’ve realised over and over in the years since I met that lady, but that realisation came one more time recently when I spend a day with some friends at a gorgeous old Abbey.
As I walked around this beautiful place that was pulsing with both history and nature, I soaked up that feeling of how lucky I am to be alive. And talking with good friends, I could physically feel the love flowing to me from those people… and the same energies flowing from me back towards them.
There I was – love streaming to and from me; love pulsing around me; and me right in the centre of that love.
Yup, I was in love.
And as that phrase filled my mind it struck me all over again that the idea we must be in a relationship to be in love? It’s crap.
In fact, not only do we not need to be in a relationship in order to be in love; I’d argue that being able to see, place and find ourselves in love without a partner is pretty bloody important.
After all, as anyone who’s been in the first flushes of romance will tell you, there are few feelings more utterly wonderful than being in love. In fact, society will tell us that being in love is a must for our happiness, but that we must rely on finding our “other half” in order to find that feeling.
That whole idea is more frustrating to me and damaging to all of us than I can write in one blog post; convincing ourselves that we need another person is a damned good way of making us feel incomplete and inferior as our own selves, of breeding dependency between two people, and of causing problems in a relationship when the everyday strains and frustrations of life overtake that love-focused viewpoint from time to time and we decide it must be because the love has gone. Talk about placing pressure on our relationships before we’ve even started them?!
But as my experience last week shows, we can be in love without a romantic partner… we can be in love with the very idea of life itself just as long as we’re willing to open up and accept it.
I know as I write that sentence that the “opening up and accepting” isn’t always easy; I say that as someone who’s been single for a little while and who’s quite comfortable on her own right now so is often more than willing to step back and stay in her own little bubble from time to time.
But that opening up and accepting brings that feeling of being in love right into the moment; no matter who you’re with, where you are, and what’s going on around you; everything feels suddenly better and life just feels extra bright and more sparkly than before.
Not only that but it also invites even more of that feeling of love into your life… in the form of people, circumstances, and general peace of mind. As you start to see the world through those love-tinted glasses you’ll realise that more and more of that love is catching your eyes.
In short – for all society tries to convince us we can’t fall in love all on our own, it’s wrong – and doing that is definitely worth the change of mindset and the healing it might take to get you there.
Maybe you’re reading this right now and thinking “I’ve been in love before and in those moments it felt AMAZING! But how in the hell do I do it without another person to get gooey eyed over and have wine and dine me?”
So here’s my tip: Put down whatever it is you’re reading this on, step back and look around. What and who do you truly love in your life? And where you can’t think of that right now step outside and look at the world – really look at it and at how much there is to be thankful for and appreciate.
Then turn inwards and think about who loves you – the people who give you soul deep hugs; those who regularly tell you how wonderful you are; the ones who give you their time and energy as and when you need it most.
Close your eyes and feel their love coming towards you; then feel the love that you’re feeling about the people and things you’re most grateful for.
Feel that? It’s that place of love. And there you are, right in the centre of it.
Where those feelings are eluding you don’t panic – losses, broken hearts and feelings of disappointment can all play a big part in helping us put up the walls to feeling and being in love.
But those walls aren’t insurmountable.
Give me a shout… helping my lovely clients break them down and find themselves back in a place of love is one of my favourite things to do, and I’d love to take that journey with you!