Love is not an object that you can hold. It’s not cloth that you can pull close, taking in its scent. Even better, love is not something that you can see.
What you can do is feel love. There are times when you may feel power emitting from love, a rarely felt power. Should this occur, you might feel boundless and as if the universe has opened up for you.
Those are blessed experiences. And, although those experiences can occur countless times, they don’t. Hopefully, you will allow more of those amazing experiences into your life.
If the world truly does need more love, it must enter the world through each of us. How else is it to get in?
Here are a few actions that you could take to open up to love. Consider incorporating actions that yield good results for you into your daily routine.
Raise your arms when you get out of bed. Simply raise your arms and smile. This simple exercise may yield surprisingly good results, especially if you start each morning this way despite how you feel, what you’re thinking or what’s recently happened in your
Sit still and express appreciation to each food item before you eat it. Imagine the people who tilled the earth and nurtured the soil and the seeds that grew into the food that you’re about to eat. Be thankful to the earth and each worker who helped bring the food to you, whether you know any of those people or
See if you can hear a nearby creek gurgling. Listen and see if you can pick up the sound of the water moving over rocks
Care for a pet. This pet could be a turtle, a dog, cat, parrot, fish, etc. Go beyond feeding and bathing your pet. Spend time playing with your pet. Enjoy simply being with your pet, even if you’re just sitting on the porch watching clouds float
Journal about your daily experiences. Focus on surprising or expected experiences that you had that brought a smile to your face. Write in your journal about experiences that confirmed to you that you are
Send a handwritten “thank you” note or card to friends. Thank these friends for a specific love-based act that they shared with you or gave to you. For example, you could thank a friend for sitting with you three times a week the first two months after your mother or father
Accept love acts when they come to you. Instead of shunning sincere love acts, welcome them. Let these experiences
These are just a few simple acts that you could take to stay open to love. Your aim and commitment may be the most powerful tools that you have as you embark on this journey. You’ll likely be tested as your journey continues. There may be instances when someone repeatedly interrupts you.
Other times people might cut you off while you’re driving, bump you hard and not look back or bother to apologize. You could encounter times when you smile at someone only to have her roll her eyes at you or someone might accuse you of meaning them harm should you extend your hand to help them up an incline, etc.
Therefore, find actions that you respond to with love and incorporate these actions into your mornings. Simple actions can empower and inspire you to stay on the path even when you face temptation to get off the path. Depending on your current situation, you might benefit from adding these actions to your afternoons and evenings too.
Also, use the next several pages to respond to a writing prompt. There’s enough room on these pages for you to combine Love As A Way Of Life into a working journal should you choose to do so.
Examine What’s Stopping You
“Fear is an illusion that you can live beyond.”
A question that I asked my dad as a kid was what his parenting method was. He told me that, as a parent, his aim was to allow my siblings and me a wealth of freedom and room to make our own decisions.
Rather than to tell us what to do with our lives, he wanted to let us see which choices worked best. Another outcome that he wanted was to build healthy boundaries for us, the types of boundaries that would potentially shield us from making poor choices.
Trying harmful drugs, engaging in violent behavior, running with people who are ruled by fear and taking ignorant risks were types of situations the boundaries were made to protect my siblings and me from. Although I wanted to do my own thing, I appreciated hearing that my dad cared enough (and knew enough) to build those healthy boundaries. They held up over the years. They worked.
How were those healthy boundaries built? They were built with intelligent discussions, trust building, smart questions and sharing. Instead of telling us what “not” to do, our dad told us about mistakes that he’d made and regretted, including how those regrets had played out in his life.
Not once did he tell us “what” to do. What he did do was tell us how he would respond to certain choices that we might make.
As it regards boundaries, there are instances when they offer a wealth of benefit. However, boundaries don’t always yield the best result. Similar to how my dad used conversation, questions, sharing and potential outcomes to build healthy boundaries in my siblings and me, these and other tactics can be used to build unhealthy boundaries.
Furthermore, akin to healthy boundaries, unhealthy boundaries work beneath the surface of your conscious thoughts. This is why you might not know about these unhealthy boundaries.
The good news is that you can become aware of these unhealthy boundaries. A powerful tool to become aware of hidden thoughts is honesty. Admit that a thought has entered your mind. Asking the thought what it wants could surface what the thought is connected to.
For instance, an intrusive thought like “you’re lazy” could be connected to recently visiting a relative who’d teased you as a kid, saying that you were lazy, then going home after the visit and deciding not to vacuum. It could take several attempts to get to the root of what’s causing the unconscious thought to surface. Good news is that the thought did surface, instead of remaining hidden while it had unloving impact on you.
To begin, you might need to stop fearing your thoughts. Taking the power out of your thoughts could be as easy as sitting down and looking at your thoughts as if they are merely clouds floating across the sky.
The first time that you do this, try to sit and watch your thoughts pass for two minutes. Despite how troubling or upsetting the thoughts are, observe them. As the thoughts surface or “pass through your mind”, sit and say, “I seem to be thinking that I’m lazy. I seem to be thinking that I’ll never finish the project on time. I seem to be thinking about paying a major bill” and so on.
Keep at it. Sit down once a day for two minutes and simply watch your thoughts pass. In a matter of days, the fear that you have toward your own thoughts may be reduced significantly, if not completely.
Another benefit gained from observing your thoughts is that more of your subconscious thoughts might surface. As this happens, you may gain access to energy to do more love-based actions.
Here are more ways to surface thoughts rooted in fear that are hiding in your subconscious:
Twice a day, breathe in deeply. Your abdomen should protrude as you take in the deep breath. Then, slowly release the breath. Do this, listening to the sound of your breath, for five minutes. Work your way up to 10
Repeat love-based affirmations. Use a journal to write down emotions and thoughts that pop up as you speak the
Use a guided meditation to relax and allow subconscious thoughts to
Ask “what is stopping me from doing what I truly want to do?” Write down the thoughts that arise. Stay free of judging the thoughts. The goal is to get hidden thoughts to become unhidden, so that you can better work with those thoughts or let them go.
Get an acupuncture treatment from a reputable, licensed acupuncturist. Drink plenty of water
Receive a deep body massage from a reputable massage therapist. Drink plenty of fresh water prior to the
Open your journal or a spreadsheet and ask if any part of you is hesitant about taking smart action that opens you up to more love. Type the feedback that comes from within you down. Again, don’t judge. You might be surprised at what surfaces as you continue this practice for a month or
These practices can help you to identify unhealthy boundaries, also known as thoughts and beliefs that may be holding you back. If you’ve lived only six months feeling like your best efforts haven’t yielded any good, you may be familiar with the effects of unhealthy boundaries.
Unhealthy boundaries can do more than cause you to feel frustrated. They can cause you to feel powerless. Should this become ingrained in your thinking, you could begin to feel as if you’re not responsible for your life, as if your life is out of your control, as if things are just happening to you
Hence, the importance of becoming aware of unhealthy boundaries.