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Winter retreat in the Netherlands 30.11.-3.12!

What is love?

Bubbly feeling in the stomach.
Some call it butterflies.
Excitement.

Also peace.
Restful happiness.

Feeling of being held.
Not only physically but also mentally.

I asked in the Honesty Europe community Facebook group what people want to read in the upcoming newsletters. One answer was love.

This person wrote ”I imagine the meaning of love is beyond what can be taught or discussed. And I do think we can talk about removing blocks to the awareness of love’s presence”.

I like that wording removing blocks to the awareness of love’s presence. For me it sounds like we all have love in our lives in different forms and sometimes we don’t recognize it.

We might be conditioned by romantic movies to think love looks and feels in a certain way.
That it’s something like ”you just know” when you meet ”the right one”.
Or ”it just feels different than anything before”.

Bullshit.

Love is all around.
We can experience love in many different ways and forms.
And it’s ever-changing like our other emotions.

Maybe in the eyes of our neighbors or team members, in kids, our old relatives, children around us whether they are our kids or born from someone else, childhood friends, adult friends, parents, grandparents, the whole chain of generations.

In my opinion love has many ways of showing up.
I was going to write ”love in nature too”. Then I felt weird thinking about writing it.

I will anyway.
So: love in nature.

That feels true to me.

Another person wrote ”what aspects of love we imagine and which aspects of love we can notice in our body. And how to keep on loving is easier and feels lighter, I judge, when we tell each other our resentments”.

In Radical Honesty we like separating facts and imagination or fiction. When it comes to love, maybe this distinction is not so useful.

There are some bodily sensations which can be associated with love such as warmth in the body or heart area, expansion, relaxation or movement and tingling, blushed cheeks, increased heart rate and sometimes decreased heart beat.

Happy, joyful or excited thoughts might be related to love. Or peaceful.
Depends what kind of love we are talking about.

For me love is maybe best described as a combination of pleasant bodily sensations and warm happy thoughts.

Love is also a choice.
Choice to love even when we are angry or others do not live up to our expectations.

Love things and nature around us even when things could be better in our lives.

Loving ourselves while not being blind of our unhealthy patterns and shortcomings.
That kind of loving acceptance: I am okay as I am.

I think falling in love or experiencing feelings of love is quite easy.
However the bigger question is: how to keep loving?

For me there are few elements to help us to keep loving
(also when things get tough)

❤️ Personal work to work on obstacles of loving and receiving love.

Whatever those obstacles are: learning to trust, building our self worth and self-love, working on our past and relationship with our parents, healing trauma

❤️ Making a choice to love
This sounds easier said than done and I do believe having an intention does help.
This intention creates in my opinion more awareness that we can choose to love and stay angry or bitter.

❤️ Talking honestly, also about our wants, not wants and fears
I like relating to people who are willing to be open and vulnerable. People who share their fears, worries and shame. It is easier for me to love people who are real and open.

Part of honesty is sharing what we want and don’t want. As one of the community members points out ”loving is easier when we say what we want and what we don’t want”.

❤️ Expressing anger and being willing to get over it
When we get more skillful at noticing, expressing and getting over our anger we spend less time angry and bitter. We will create more time for loving.

We do ourselves a great favor when we learn to separate facts and fiction – helps tremendously in the process of expressing and getting over anger. When we focus on what actually heard or saw the other person to do there is most times less drama and steam. We tend to get more angry at our interpretations of reality than the actual reality.

After writing all this I confess that I find writing about love somewhat challenging even I think I am loving and receiving love in my life and I have written about love before (you can read here what I said about love two years ago)

And: One more thing: self-love is for me a very important aspect of love.

When we love ourselves it is easier to love others.

I don’t believe that we can’t love others if we don’t love ourselves (enough).

Loving starts someone and at times we find it easier to love others first.

We can heal by loving others and receiving love and that can lead to more ability to see us in a different light as lovable beings.

Here is what I have written about self-love earlier.

In this video Pete and I talk about practicing Radical Honesty in relationships:
Also in ours.

You might find it interesting!

Who do you love?

When did you last express your love?

How do you feel receiving love?

Love,
Tuulia & Pete

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