I love you. How do those three simple words sit with you? What sensation is felt in your body when you hear those words? Does it fill you with happiness or make you want to run for the hills? Does it make your heart beat faster or do you start thinking, what does this person want from me? Or does it remind you of all of the times when you’ve heard those words and believed them, only to feel disappointed by their words or actions in the next breath? Maybe it just makes you feel giddy? They might be three very simple words to say but LOVE is the most powerful word of all.
Some have an abundance of love within themselves, they see who they are, they sense other’s feelings, they are also able to share that love with others. Those people are like a beacon of light. They glow, they uplift, they shine. They shine because they see the pain that other people are in. They shine because they have invested, nurtured and loved themselves relentlessly. They know pain, they have survived hardships and they have grown. They know that their greatest desire and beliefs lie in spreading love to inspire a better World for everyone. Some may say they are dreamers. They know that love doesn’t come from outside of themselves, rather it starts on the inside. Love is an inside job which radiates outwards, uplifting, inspiring and motivating whoever they cross paths with, whether it be a stranger, a lover, a family member, friend or colleague. It doesn’t matter who, the love is the same for everyone. It’s free and it costs nothing unless your Love Bank is ‘in the red’.
What does it feel like when your Love Bank is overdrawn? You may feel resentful or jealous of other people? Perhaps comparing yourself to others and seeing yourself as ‘less than’ or ‘undeserving’ or even ‘unloveable’? When people have told you that they loved you in the past, you have formed an attachment to ‘needing’ that reassurance. You’ve formed a reliance on others giving you what you need. This creates a great deal of pressure on the other person because nobody can fully ‘know’ exactly what you need, except for you. This can create feelings of disempowerment, victimhood, and drama. I don’t know if you are familiar with these, perhaps in the domain of relationships, you might have come across these feelings?
Yes, your needs can be expressed. You can also communicate what you expect. There is no requirement for anybody to give you what you need because everything that is for your highest good, you can give to yourself. The subconscious mind sees no difference between someone else giving you a compliment and you giving yourself a compliment. It is all relative and you can give yourself exactly what you need. And I, for one, know that relying on others to give you what you need always brings disappointment. And it gives your power over to someone else. It renders you powerless.
Think about it. Let’s imagine a time when you felt unloveable, you felt lonely, alone and helpless and felt these feelings whizzing around in your body. Perhaps the first thing that you wanted to do was to distract yourself from feeling these feelings, so you ate sugary foods or you went shopping or you phoned a friend or your lover or flogged your time away to Social Media or the Internet. But each of these is an outside source. And when you rely on outside sources for comfort, nobody can fully measure up 100% of the time.
What you are truly feeling is a sensation that moves through your body, like energy. Like water would move through water pipes, it flows through. However, if there is a blockage in one of the pipes, it becomes stagnant, the water begins to smell and it remains there because it has nowhere else to go. This is what happens when we block our feelings from flowing naturally through our bodies, they become stagnated. The feelings keep recycling in the energy field, which is our bodies until they are released. How will you know that this is happening?
If you find that you keep coming back to the same feelings, they get stronger each time and it is happening on a consistent basis. Only when those feelings are able to flow, the judgments that you have about those feelings are accepted and they have healed. Only then will they become less intense and painful. Matt Kahn quotes, “What you invite has somewhere else to be. And what you deny finds its home inside of you.”
Let me ask you a question? Did any of these stop you from feeling unloveable permanently or were they a side step from meeting yourself and your feelings? What if the moment that those feelings manifested you didn’t distract yourself? All of this can be done without involving anyone else, it’s an inside job and nobody else can hear or see what you are doing from the outside.
- You sat with what you felt.
- You breathed more deeply, you noticed how shallow your breath is.
- You relaxed your body.
- You responded and allowed anger or tears to be felt.
- You nurtured yourself.
- You gave yourself the words that you needed to hear.
The last statement Matt Kahn describes as creating your own personal love statement. It doesn’t’ have to be ‘I love you’, it can be ‘you matter’, ‘I hear you’, ‘I am proud of what you survived’, ‘you are important’ or whatever you feel resonates with you. Think about the words that you’ve always wanted someone to tell you and use those words as the starting blocks to treating yourself with kindness. And your love statement can change to whatever you need it to be, it is not static. Follow what you need to hear and you can’t go wrong.
Sometimes we also neglect ourselves by putting our needs last. You give so much of yourself to other people, maybe for fear of being ‘unlikeable’ or of ‘upsetting the apple cart’. Your Love Bank is empty, you have nothing to give because you have nothing for yourself, be it time, love or compliments. Again you can begin by noticing that you are important. It reminds me of going on an aeroplane when the flight attendants go through the safety procedures. It practically trips off the tongue, "in the unlikely event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down from the panel above your head… Secure your own mask before helping others." And it’s because we can’t look after others if we don’t first look after ourselves.
A friend once gave me the most brilliant piece of advice, he suggested doing everything that I enjoyed for a whole week. It was brilliant, I was buzzing by the end of the week as I had filled up my Love Bank with doing things that I loved. One of which had me stepping out of my comfort zone! I went to an outdoor concert on my own. I never had so much fun as that evening.
And doing things on your own isn’t selfish. I believed that putting my needs first was selfish for years. Sometimes it felt uncomfortable to say yes to something and I still did it, to please the other person. It took time and practice but I now feel that I honour my needs and love myself for doing it. I am not saying that relationships aren’t about working together and compromising but it is so important to express what feels right for you. That comes from the inside.
But how will you know what feels right for you? By how your body feels, like a heavy, contracted sensation perhaps in your gut, stomach or head or it might feel light, expansive or like butterflies in your stomach, an excitement. It is like a knowing. An intuition. A push in that direction. An inspiration. No doubt. And each one of us will have a different barometer as to what sensation feels right. It is individual. We are all unique. The trick is to act upon those inspirations, using the knowledge as a guide on how to go forward. A guide that is leading you on to your best possible route. And to have faith, trust and know that you have survived everything that life has thrown at you so far. You are safe to feel.
Love is not something that you feel, it is the natural state that we all live in if we allow ourselves to notice who we are. And to know how to receive love from ourselves and others. We are all perfect, every single one of us has skills and strengths that make us unique in our own way. We don’t consciously choose to harm anyone else, I believe that everyone is just doing the best that they can with what they have. Everyone needs a reminder of the truly radiant light that they are, not just on a day like today, Valentine’s Day. Because, to me, every day is a day to spread and share the love. Every day is Valentine’s Day, a gift to give and to receive for yourself and others. My gift to you are my words, “I am so thankful and grateful to you and on this day I’d like to tell you that, you are loved”. And if you haven’t the strength to begin to love yourself today, feel welcome to use my gift as a starting point to loving yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day to you.