“Love should be as natural as living and breathing.”
Mother Teresa

Everybody wants to be loved. We can try to fix ourselves up to be more beautiful. We can make a lot of money. We can become big achievers. We can try to fix everybody else’s problems and take care of them, and maybe then we will get some love. Unfortunately, what we do to appear loveable may not really help. If we are loved for our beauty, beauty fades. If we are loved for our money, it is the money that gets the love, not us. If we try to earn love through our deeds, we will likely be taken for granted and probably unappreciated and resented for the unspoken price for our services.

It turns out that the way to have more love is to give more away. When we move love through us, it reflects back to us. We wind up having more love coming our way when we are freer with our love, when it is given without expectation of return.

There is a bit of a paradox here. If we give “love” with the expectation of payback, the love turns out to be counterfeit and we won’t get back what we are looking for. If we can love without strings attached, the love comes back to us. If ego is involved, the process goes sour. If we can love without concern for self, the love is sweet.

Here is a meditation to help you give more love:

Sit quietly. Breathe calmly. Relax.

Put your awareness in the area of your heart. Breathe into your heart. Visualize light coming into the area of your heart with the air you breathe.

Look for the love in your heart. See if you can identify an image or a feeling that signifies love for you. If you can get this, just spend some time in the awareness of it.

When you seek the knowledge of love in your heart, do you sense a lack there? Do you sense craving for love?

Consciously release that craving.

Say to yourself, “I am love. I give and receive love naturally and freely.”

Be aware of your feeling state as you say these words to yourself. If you feel a collection of sensations that you associate with loving, pay special attention and fix those sensations in your memory. Notice that you can generate those loving feelings with your calm thoughts.

Think of someone with whom you have had conflict or for whom you have had other than loving thoughts. Get a clear image of them in your mind. Again visualize the light of love in your heart. Now, if you are willing to make a change in how you perceive and relate to this other person, imagine the loving light in your heart streaming out to this other person. You might see this as a current or flow of loving energy that is strong enough that no negativity can reach you from the other person. Negativity is just washed away. At this moment, you are safe and secure. Imagine your love light reaching this person with whom you have had difficulty and filling them up. See the light reach their heart. Imagine it glowing there.

Notice if you have any change of perception about this person. Notice if you feel any differently.

Now take your love light to the next step. Imagine that the light of love streams out of you in all directions. Love shines from you like light from a flame. Wherever there is hatred or resentment, anger or envy, your love dissolves it.

Send love with your breath. As you breathe in, draw love from the infinite source of love, however you conceive it, and as you breathe out, let love wash through you out into the world wherever it is most needed. Allow yourself to be a channel or focal point for love. It is not something you must hoard or that you can give all away. It is always around. It is always flowing in the world. It is yours to draw in and yours to pass on. Let the love of the universe breathe you.

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© 2001 Tom Barrett