Love can be such a loaded thing. From a very young age, we absorb messages about what it means, who can have it, who can give it, who deserves it, and who doesn’t.
As I entered adulthood, I got stuck in a place where I believed that I didn’t deserve love. Under the cloud depression and anxiety, I was unable to accept any of the love that was flowing my way. I scarcely believed that anyone could possibly love me just as I was – lost, grappling with an eating disorder, and on an anxiety trip in my mind when I was supposed to be engaging in quality time with my partner.
I felt unworthy, and that feeling built a wall that kept the love out.
I had absorbed the idea that I was only worthy of love if I was doing awesome and impressive things at all times. So when I needed to press pause on life to take care of myself, by my own definition, love was not for me.
Perhaps my most profound moment happened in therapy. My therapist asked me to picture a child – any child – and asked if I felt that she deserved to be loved. Of course I did. She then asked me to picture myself as a child. Was she deserving of love? That was a big moment for me. It allowed me to access a feeling of love for myself that was unconditional. It was the first time that I had directed this sort of affection toward any representation of myself at all. We ran through a few different descriptions of people, and of course, in the case of each, whether a stranger or someone I knew, I thought that they were each deserving of love. Why was I the only person that I felt didn’t deserve love?
When she held that mirror up to show me this belief, I felt it beginning to lose its grip – it was so freeing! I had been looking at love from an ego-based place – where it was earned, deserved, enjoyed based on proving yourself worthy. In truth, this system of checks and balances has nothing to do with love. I knew this in my heart, but as I said, I was stuck. We all get stuck sometimes, right? I’m grateful to have learned that love is from the heart. It’s the very stuff that makes up our soul. It’s the energy of the Universe, and it’s there for each and every one of us. All we must do is let go, and open up to receive it.
As Rumi says,
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
Love is for all of us.
Love is unconditional.
Love is expansive.
Love is expressive.
Love is energy.
Love is powerful.
Love is limitless.
Love is for me.
Love is for you.
We are all worthy.