It's often confusing.
Defining love is like defining a particular color to a person who has never been able to see color: you have to feel it to know what it is. The reason it is hard to define real love is because you cannot experience it with your mind, and definitions are of the mind. Real love is of the heart, and is a feeling that is the result of your intention to be loving.
This very different than the intention to be loved. The desire to be loved comes from the ego wounded part of ourselves, the part that believes we need to get love from others in order to feel filled and worthy — that real love is something we get rather than something we are and something we share.
This is what creates the confusion regarding love.
Real love is what you are, what your soul is, a spark of the Divine within. Love is what God/Spirit is. When your deepest desire is to be loving to yourself and others, this desire opens your heart and you become filled with the love that is as ubiquitous as the air you breathe.
This is real love — the experience of Spirit that fills the emptiness within and lets you know that you are never alone.
What about real love with another person? How do you know when you are experiencing real love?
Real love is what we experience when two or more people come together with open hearts already filled with love, and the love from their hearts overflows as it is openly and joyously shared.
If you come to a relationship with a feeling of emptiness and unworthiness, you cannot experience real love. Real love is not the cake — it is the icing on the cake. The cake needs to be the love that comes through you from Spirit, and the icing is the love you share with another or others.
If you expect another's love to be the cake, then you will not experience real love, because you are coming from a closed heart and inner emptiness. Real love does not need anything from another person.
It is like a waterfall flowing down inside from Spirit, filling the lake within and then flowing out in rivers and streams as it is shared with others. However, when the heart is closed, then the lake is empty and becomes like a bottomless sinkhole, desperately attempting to suck love, attention and approval from others.
If you want to experience real love within a relationship, then you need to open through your desire to be loving to unconditional love coming through you. You need to invite God-which-is-Love into your heart and become filled with it.
The challenge here is that you cannot desire to get love and be loving at the same time. The intent to get love will always lead to a closed heart and controlling behavior, which shuts out love.
The intent to be loving, and to learn what is loving to yourself and others in any given moment, is what opens the heart. When you choose the intent to be loving with yourself and others, you will experience real love.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, “The Intimate Relationship Toolbox”. Connect with Margaret on Facebook.
This article was originally published at Innerbonding. Reprinted with permission from the author.