Recently I can’t help but notice that in times of darkness or turmoil or loss, love really is the answer. I keep having the dialogue of realisations, going a little something like this: “love really is all you need”. These cheesy little realisations come after moments of sorrow or desperation that have immediately been eased by contact or reminders of love someone has shown recently. Sure it doesn’t take your problems away but it sure as hell makes you feel supported in your time of pain, leading to you being able to actually feel the feelings and be with the pain, rather than be frightened of it.
I just have been watching myself in times of intense sorrow and pain the last few weeks, as I have begun really opening my heart up to those I trust in my life when I have been so deep in these moments – by reading an old message of love from a friend; or reaching out and asking for some new words of reassurance through a text or an email; flick through the book of love friends made for me, or the one I keep for myself; or sometimes picking up the phone and giving a call; or, if I happen to be with someone I trust, having a sob and a hug (this one is more rare), I have noticed the momentous soothing this action brings. And the key to this all, is the initial opening of your heart before or during these acts of reaching out. Even if you don’t believe you deserve the love you are so desperately longing for, and then asking for, by simply imagining your heart opening up to receive it, I believe it begins to plant that seed of deservability, which with time and practise, of asking for this support, is watered by your continuation of these actions and then begins to blossom into a fully grown belief: that you deserve the love you are being given. And you are lovable.
Love is health. Mostly just the gesture of words, old or new, from a friend is all I need. It opens up the heart and your soul feels supported in a time you need it the most. Any moment in time we need love – there is never any shortage in the need for it, it is just that some stages or moments in love, this love takes on a greater meaning and greater need. It can often feel like survival – the love becomes a way of survival in the darkest moments. It brings you to yourself, even if you are swimming in the darkest shadows, love is the only thing that can sneak its way in. Even if every edge of your being is trying to block it out, or you cannot see it, or believe it, or see how you are in any way loveable, love has a power to riggle in and nest itself in your soul. Trust this. Trust that even if you cannot believe how you can be loved, or cannot believe how something as simple as love can make any difference to the pain you are experiencing right now, that does not mean you should not ask for reminders of someone’s love for you or spontaneously receive it.
In this scenario of receiving love and asking for reassurance, self doubt can so often kick in. In fact, it generally kicks you hard in the stomach. This just makes the whole saga run deeper and result in more pain and more desperation, at a time when you are needing quite the opposite, but that is just so often the way it works – I know this scenario well. And it sucks. But I really do believe that with practise and commitment and determination, you can override this reaction or at least not let the self-doubt kick quite as hard. And I have noticed it in me – something has shifted. Something is now making my heart open at these times, rather than close up in survival and isolation. I rarely am with someone when I am feeling this way, as my life seems to be in a phase of time-on-my-own, yet that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the support. In some ways the support can run deeper and more directly because you don’t have to be anything when you are on your own. You can just be you. In all your glory and all your pain. It is really important to have people in your life that you can be like that with too, obviously, but sometimes things feel too tender to be able to share in all their rawness. I am finding I need to be comfortable with a certain pain, or a certain subject, before I bring it out into the world and share it with those I trust. But the love that has been nestling itself in your soul, will be aiding this ability to trust that a certain pain is okay to share.
So, reach out. Ask for support. Let someone know you’re hurting, and ask for some words to be sent. Just the display of love back to you can shift a mountain of grief for the feeling of isolation that this emotional pain can leave you in. In its place, comes relief and a clarity within the pain rather than a haze of chaos. And equally, if someone reaches out to you, simply show them love. Let self-judgement that you’re not saying the right thing, or not doing enough, fall away. Because the act of love means the world and is the best gift you can give. As I read recently:
“You only give when you love.”
This time of year, this quote feels even more apt too. Gifts are wonderful and I love love love giving them, but just know deep in your heart that your love and affection is the most important gift of all. In this time, and any other.
One of my missions in life is for people to tell people how much their love and support means to them. It’s a bit like complimenting – another thing of mine that I really believe we should all do more of. I often wonder whether friends know quite how much their support means, or how the love they show really nests its place in my heart and comes back to remind me in times of struggle. I do tell them continuously but I always think it is impossible to really know. Any loving or nice things a friend says, stays there in my mind, waiting for the right time to come out again and remind me of their love and support. Keeping a book full of these words helps too. I recommend this big time – go buy yourself a beautiful little book and fill it with words from the now, or words from the past, that touch your heart and remind you how special you are. Or that just make you laugh. They can be silly, they can be beautiful, they can be short and sweet, or they can be long and meaningful, but whatever they are, just make sure they are written down and when looking at them, they open up that heart and in times of pain become a resource. Because that is what love is: a resource in this journey of life. And it is the most easily accessible resource of all, it is just a case of tapping into it.
In times of growth and transition, and at any point in your life, feeling the feelings you are experiencing is the key to moving through the pain and learning all that this time is showing you, and love helps you do that. Love from yourself and love from others. So go soak it up. Whether we believe it or not, we are all SO loveable.
And lastly, here is some good old classic music to remind you what it’s all about: