How to Be More Loving
Ever wonder if the people who love you would love you if the circumstances were different?
Why do certain people love us, and others don’t?
What’s the purest kind of love? Is it a parent’s love of a child? Or the love experienced by family and siblings, life-long friendships, or romantic connections?
As we experience being loved, do we feel that the love is unconditional, and without strings attached?
I don’t know the answer to any of the questions above. And I feel I may never know. But …
What I think can transform our relationship with love is to shift our focus from wanting to be loved, to loving. Just loving.
“A loving heart is the truest wisdom.” ~Charles Dickens
Today let’s stop analyzing why others love us (or don’t), or whether we’re worthy of their love. Instead of waiting for answers, we can choose to do the only thing we can do: to love with all our hearts.
- Can we love people who don’t love us?
- Can we love ourselves, even if others don’t love us?
My answer to both questions is a resounding YES!
Yes we can. Loving is our natural state, when we remove all the layers of ego, expectations and motivations.
Love is one of the highest and most evolved states of being. We all have boundless love within us.
We can choose to be loving and to give love at any given moment—regardless of the situation, or the people involved.
Love is freedom, not attachment. We love people as they are, and life as it is. Our love is not crushed when someone moves on, or life hands us a blow. We still love, maybe with a surge of other emotions, but the love remains there.
“Feelings pass like clouds but love endures like the sky.” ~Peter Roberts
The thought of being loving is daunting. We’re human after all. Can we love without attachment, motivations, and expectations?
It’s humanly possible, if we embrace our humanity and imperfections, and the imperfections of others (meaning we continually forgive ourselves and others when the ego rears its head and ulterior motivations take over).
Loving doesn’t have to be a grand gesture of generosity and selflessness. We can shine the light of love starting with the smallest acts we do every single day.
It’s the small acts that add up and, over time, transform the biggest of acts.
Loving in practice is not really about the things we do as much as how we perceive life and how we act and interact with others.
How do we tap into the natural loving state within?
Being loving is a work in progress. As we learn to give love in everyday life, we connect with the expansive state of love within. Our capacity to love grows with every act and expression.
To love and to be loving is to live the best life possible. The following areas were discussed in various articles. Today I’m compiling a few ideas that might be of help.
Attention: Our attention is the most valuable asset we have. Giving someone our full attention is an act of loving. We give love when we’re fully present, listing intently, and engaging genuinely.
Doing anything with focused attention is a loving expression of life itself.
Can we give attention to the doing, or the person, without expecting anything in return? We sure can try.
Respect and appreciation: When we respect someone, or appreciate life as it is, we love with no strings attached. We see the value and beauty in life and people as they are.
Kindness and compassion: Interacting with others and life kindly helps us tap into the innate loving nature of life. We can’t be judgmental when we’re kind. We can’t feel guilty or resentful when we’re compassionate towards ourselves and others.
We give love when we forgive, extend a helping hand, or offer a few words of encouragement.
Acceptance and surrender: Allowing life to unfold, without resistance, is the ultimate act of loving what is.
Joy: Love is an eternal state of unconditional joy. From attention to surrender, we pave the way for joy to emerge.
In this state of joy, we love with all of our hearts and become one with life. We feel calm, connected, and peaceful.
Do for the joy of doing. Love for the joy of loving. Connect for the joy of being with the people you care about.
We can love more with attention, acceptance, kindness, appreciation, and joy—all within us, rich or poor, old or young, healthy or sick.
Let’s make this holiday season about loving and expressing love, if not all of the time, at least part of the time.
Make a decision to give the gift that matters most—love. It’s within you to give.