- Lyn Suggs, LCSW
All You Need is Love
John Lennon and Paul McCartney knew what they were writing about, and so did Chet Powers of the Youngbloods when he wrote the lyrics to Get Together. I’d been thinking about writing about love and saw this sign on my walk with my pup yesterday and took that as further inspiration. Thanks to whomever put the poster up on the Greenbelt.
We always need love in our world, but especially now, during these challenging times. And that love must start with us, with love for ourselves. It is much harder to consistently hold love for others, especially those who can be more triggering, when we don’t hold it for ourselves. There are so many things that can get in the way, shame, self-loathing, depression, low self-esteem, life challenges, regrets, guilt, and anxiety, just to name a few. Some of the challenges of being human. But when we do our work of self-exploration and dare to look at these challenging and painful aspects of ourselves, we can begin to transform. Of course I think that a good therapist can go a long way with that, but it’s not the only way. No matter how we get there, it is a journey of self-discovery that is well worth our time. When we hold strong self-love, it is much easier to spread and hold love for others.
A great way to be in heart centered love is to think of our children, maybe when they were born, or a beloved pet or family member. Sink into your heart center and hold the vision of your loved one. Once you have that, expand that love to yourself, through your body. If anything negative comes up, ask that to “step back.” Do that as much as needed, but keep holding the love, feel how good that feels. If this exercise is too challenging, it is just an indicator of work to do. If you do your self work, this exercise becomes easy. Make a note of what comes up for you. Where does it stem from? What is it about for you? What is challenging about it?
We often think of unconditional love reserved for a select few, our children, our spouse or partner, maybe our closest friends. But even in these close relationships it can be challenging to hold that level of love. But when we hold it for ourselves, it becomes much easier. When we can do that, it expands our capacity for love even further. It brings us to our heart center and makes it much easier to reside there, even through challenging times. I’ve experienced my own journey of growing self-love and holding unconditional love for others. It has been a long journey, but always goes faster when I’m willing to dig deep and look at the most painful aspects of myself. And when I find it more challenging to hold love for someone, I look inside, because that’s where the challenge lies.
Imagine holding EVERYONE in unconditional love. This may seem way too monumental a task, but think about it. Imagine the world if we were all able to do this. I believe this is the world we are moving towards; we just have a few kinks to work out. If we hold this as our goal, to hold ourselves, our loved ones, strangers, and those we currently don’t like, in unconditional love, that is a beautiful thing. And oh how much better would our lives and our world be?
We are all pure love at our core, no matter what things look like on the outside or how we feel about ourselves. When we dare to go on the journey that taps into that love, we can find a deep well of love that knows no bounds. This, is when we can experience bliss, heaven on earth, our own inner nirvana. Embrace the journey and yourself.
Love to you all.