Many of us are longing to have more love in our lives, whether we have a partner or other loved ones who are close to us, or not.
Sometimes we can have people close to us, but still not feel that Love is flowing between us.
And, sometimes we can have a belief in a Higher Power of some sort and therefore know that we are inherently worthy of love, but still have trouble really feeling connected and deeply loved in such a way that is nurturing for us.
Whether we are aware of it, or not, much of our suffering and feeling that something is not right with our lives has to do with love – with how much we love and accept ourselves and how much we feel connected, loved by and loving towards other people.
If we are lacking in love we can feel “off”, as if we don’t belong, or, we can suffer from even more serious mental, emotional and physical problems such as depression, anxiety, addictions and other illnesses. So, what can the solution be?
Love is an inside job
We tend to think that love is something that comes from outside of us, because when we were tiny babies, we picked up on all kinds of subtle energies, especially the energy of love – or, we picked up on its absence.
When we were still very small and quite helpless, whether or not love was being beamed to us from the adults around us made a huge difference in how we felt about ourselves, and about being in Life in general.
We didn’t have much control over it then, and so we tend to still believe we have no control over how much love we have in our lives, even as adults. We tend to think that the amount of love we have in our lives depends on whether or not we are lucky enough to “find” it, like in the romantic movies, or on what other people do or do not do.
But this is not the case. We can learn to love and to increase the energy of love in our lives, starting even in this very moment. Rather than being something we passively “receive” from other people, we actually do have the power to create love ourselves, and therefore increase its presence in our lives.
And – the amount of love we can receive from other people depends a lot on how much love we can feel and create for ourselves; that is why we must practice both types of love – for others and for the situations in our lives, but also, most importantly, for ourselves.
The art and magic of creating love
Think of yourself as an Artist and a Magician, who is learning a new Art and a new Magic – the Art and Magic of Creating Love!
It does take a bit of practice, but I am sure that if you dedicate even just a few minutes of your time and focus to it every day, you will see some results very quickly.
It is true that we often need a many tiered approach to help us heal when we are suffering from deep problems regarding a lack of love, and it is important to learn to reach out and ask for help, when we are in a lot of pain.
We can heal through a combination of changing how we feel inside, and taking action “outside”, for example by getting professional help and talking with others who can help us get clear about what is going on, by learning new ways of taking care of ourselves through exercise and diet, etc..
And we can also do some very simple things on our own that can help us begin to feel better and more empowered in search for a happier, more fulfilling, more love-filled life.
I call these little “games” and exercises “Love Magic”, and I am excited to have the opportunity to share them with you here at marriage.com!
The first one I will show you may seem very simple, and you may wonder how it could possibly help, but I insist you to try it out, and just see what happens!
It does require a bit of “work”, and if you are in a lot of pain I also encourage you to get all the professional help you may need to assist your desire to heal and feel better.
But the simple “games” I will be sharing here can really help too, and, since they require nothing but a little bit of your time and concentration, you can do them anywhere, at any time, and they are completely free!
So – let’s get going on this first one, that I know you will love!
“The Make-Love-Grow Game”
Get a pen and a piece of paper (or better yet, find a special little notebook that you can dedicate to your “Love Magic” exercises).
Make a list of the relationships or situations that are causing you the most pain and frustration, where you feel there is a lack of love, and where you would wish there could be more.
After you have your list, decide who or what you want to focus on first.
Choose at most one or two people or situations for each time you sit down to “play” this game.
When you are ready and have chosen the person or situation you would like to bring more Love into.
Make a list of 10 things that you appreciate about this person or situation
They do not have to be “big” things.
If you are thinking of a person, you can even think of little things like:
I like how Joe smiles when he is happy.
I like the color of Louise’s hair.
If you are writing about a situation like where you live, or your stressful job, you can write:
I like the way the sun streams in the window.
I appreciate that my current job allows me to support myself.
The important thing is that you write down things that you TRULY like or appreciate about the person or situation you have chosen to focus on.
You can’t fake this “game” …. and, part of the value in doing it is that it will help you get clear about what you really like, and what you don’t like!
So many of us don’t even really know what we enjoy in our lives, what our values are, what we are aiming for ….
This little game is a powerful way to begin to get clear with ourselves about what we really feel is important to us, which is a fundamental first step.
As you write the things you appreciate down, picture in your mind’s eye the person or situation and what it is you are appreciating.
Try to feel the sensations in your body when you focus on this aspect that you like and appreciate.
Can you feel the sensation of “appreciation” or perhaps love?
Where do you feel it in your body? Does it feel cold, or warm? Does it make you feel empty, or full? Perhaps you don’t feel anything at all, but you are having certain thoughts or pictures running through your mind?
Try not to judge what you are feeling or “seeing”, just take note of them. I suggest that you write down what kinds of sensations you are having, or at least take a mental note so you can begin to experiment with “creating” these sensations throughout your day.
As you feel those nice sensations, see if you can even amplify them a bit. Put a bit more energy into them, and see if they expand. Take note of how that feels, too!
It might feel a bit strange at first to do this, and you might find yourself wondering “what difference is THIS going to make?!?!” but I want you to take my word on this, and just try doing it.
When you are done doing it for another person or a situation, I want you to do the same thing regarding 10 aspects of yourself.
Make a list of at least 10 things that you like about yourself
And “feel” your way into them and amplify them.
You may discover that it is even more difficult to find things about yourself that you like and appreciate, and that’s ok. Just take note of this, and do what you can.
After you are done, put your notebook aside, and go about your day.
Come back to it the next day, and do it every day for the next two to four weeks. If you skip a day or even two or three, don’t worry about it. Just pick it up and do it again.
Ideally, this will become a habit that you begin to apply to all kinds of aspects in your life, especially when you are feeling disturbed about something, including yourself.
During your day, when you find yourself dwelling on the negative aspects of yourself, someone else, or some situation, try remembering the things you appreciate, and bring back that sensation of love into your body and expand it.
As you practice “playing” this simple game, take note of what happens both within you and around you.
You may begin to see some very subtle shifts, in how you feel about yourself, about Life in general, and about the people around you! You will begin to see that you do have the power to change how you think and feel, and therefore experience your life on a day to day level.
Write down the little/big things that might show up for you – because as you grow in your ability to feel love and appreciation for yourself and others, you will see that you attract more and more situations that bring you more of this good feeling!
What we focus on expands
I look forward to hearing back from you about your experiences, and check in here again soon for some next steps in creating Love Magic for yourself and others!
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.