What does love mean to you? - Dale Darley
What does love mean to you_

What does love mean to you?

I can’t remember the moment that I thought I knew what love meant or even what it was. It was a word. I think I confused it with sex and boys wanting something that they had equally mixed up with love.

Who teaches us this love thing? Naturally, we witness our families ways of loving but no one says to you this is how you do it, you just see modes of behaviour, that you encode to be that way that it is.

Loving and being loved are not givens, and all of our experiences will be different and so I dare not presume that you had or have all of the love that you desire and deserve. And you do deserve it.

I am in the school that says love yourself first and I know this to be true for me, because that is my experience. Having always given so much of me, I often found myself feeling used, abused and worthless.

Love was not equal. I think I used it to try and make me feel lovable, loved and worth something. But I only felt worthy when I set up life in the hills on my own with the dogs and took the time to get to know me. Underneath all of the baggage and masks was a person I loved and someone who came to know that she was worthy.

It is because of my experiences that I love this question because I now know that it is a feeling that is unique to each of us. Love is the greatest human power anyone can possess. With this as a power source and gateway to the divine (ours and Universal), we can become our best selves.

It is a powerful energy which resides within us. Misplaced it can destroy anything, just as pure love can provide the fuel to help us to overcome anything. So many things are done in the name of love aren’t they?

As an emotion it can drive us or drive us bonkers. We want it, we crave it, when we have it we feel incredible, when we don’t, we yearn it. It can make us do some crazy things. It’s what makes humanity and it’s absence is what can destroy humanity.

It will always remain one of those things that is hard to describe, but you know when you feel it. Rather than me putting a label on it, all I ask is that you take yourself back to times when you have felt love and ease yourself back into those experiences. What did you feel? What did you do or say in the name of love?

What are it’s qualities?

Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu

Does your love have qualities? Think words like kindness, loving-kindness, honour, respect, compassion, trust, healing, nurturing, joy, non attachment, non judgement, patient, humble, selfless, calm, honest, lets go, non blaming, no fear, no jealousy and equality.

What would add to your list and why?

No one is expecting you to be a paragon of virtue and possess all of these or even ‘be’ them all the time. We all judge, or get angry or are at times selfish and that is perfectly normal. It’s more what are the qualities I possess or that I aspire to.

What about the different kinds of love that you feel?

I’m assuming that you would think about possessions differently to your cat or dog, or your parents or your lover? When it was attached to a person, a thing or say a pet, how was it? Are there different qualities depending upon the circumstances or the experience?

The thing is everyone will have an opinion and my invitation is for you to explore what it means to you and for you.

Love and fear

It has been said that there is only love and fear. Everything else fits between these two things and what we are striving for is to live in the light of love.

Even science knows that love and fear hold different vibrations, so it makes sense that when you are manifesting what you want you send out the right vibrational energy. Remember the Universe is always listening and will send you back what you emit. Stay with the good vibes and feelings when you can.

To know love is to also know fear. And while it may seem a contradiction, fear is not to be feared. It is a sign that we need to take some action. It is showing us that there is something we need and might want to do something about. Bizarrely there is great value in fear. Think about this, our bodies use fear to get us out of danger fast. That has to be great, but you wouldn’t want to be on high alert all of the time, would you?

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

When you stand on any part of the love-fear spectrum, it is a call for you to take a step closer to the heart. Imagine if at one end is a dark tunnel or circle and at the other is a heart. The call is to move closer to the heart. This is your home. At your heart, you make a connection with you, make a connection to other’s hearts and to the heart of Mother Earth.

On a practical level, the heart and the brain are entwined like immortal lovers. Each working unconsciously with the other and showing you how to become better connected with your heart, to break down barriers, tear away the cages that create barriers around it, letting the beauty of your love and feel good emotions flow to the brain so that it can release the feel-good neurotransmitters which we all need.

Meet the the big four neurotransmitters

There is a lot written about these and the science behind each is fascinating, what I like to think is that if I am the kind of person that I aspire to be, I’ll be keeping my neurotransmitters working and balanced.

Dopamine called the motivation and reward molecule. This is according to research critical for love to thrive and survive between couples. It signals the brain to say hey wake up you are about to feel good. We all like to feel rewarded so that we stay motivated to continue doing whatever it is that makes us feel alive. Dopamine helps you to remember this feel-good factor so that you want to do it again. That’s why it plays such a big role in love and the exhilaration of falling in love.

Oxytocin is known as the bonding molecule. This is what bonds babies to mothers and lovers to each other. Oxytocin has been shown to have two sides to it. The positive everything in the world is rosy and the side that is exhibited when things go wrong in love which leads to jealousy, envy and suspicion, i.e. lack of trust.

Serotonin is the molecule of happiness. Serotonin is responsible for helping us to feel confident and enabling a stable mood.

Endorphins are molecules of security and peace. These are known as natures pain killers. When you do not love yourself, you often will engage in activities (suppressing emotions) which create dis-ease in the body and could trigger a pain response. By undertaking more loving activities, eating better, exercising, meditation and introducing other self-care opportunities, you will reduce the dis-ease and the related pain.

Being in love

The subject of being in love is such a massive subject which is also a very personal and intense feeling. What about that falling in love feeling?

Being in love can be confusing and fun. It can sneak up on you quite unexpectedly, and it can also disappear in what can seem like a moment. Take a moment to reflect on how you are when you are in love or falling in love. You can learn a lot about you when you fall in love with someone else.

Why is it important to manifesting magic?

When people put love and manifesting together it’s usually to manifest a lover. This is not where I am going. Though of course you can add it to your bucket list and call in the one that is for your highest good.

Love is energy and if you have shut yourself down how will the Universe ever know that you are open to receiving all of the abundance that it has to offer you?

What about if you are living in the past and haven’t accepted that what is done is done and you are still tearing your hands on the shards of a broken heart?

What about your faith? Have you lost faith in the power of love? Without faith, there is no belief in magic.

The importance of love is that you are creating a vibration that lets the Universe know that your heart is open and that you are ready to get what you want and need.

Love is an action, not just a feeling

Who doesn’t adore the feelings of love? But like all things in life too much of a good thing is unbalancing. As well as feeling all of the feelings what is essential is acting from the heart with kindness and compassion.

I love what I call The Kindness Project where you undertake acts of kindness for yourself and others.

What act of kindness could you offer someone or yourself today? Go and have fun.

Questions for your journal

  • What does love mean to you?
  • What are the different kinds of love that you feel?
  • Describe the different love that you have for your possessions, pets, parents, siblings and your lover?
  • Describe the qualities that have meaning for you?
  • How you are when you are in love or falling in love?
  • How you are when you are falling out of love?
  • In what way have you shut down your ability to feel love?
  • How can you rekindle your faith in love?
  • How can you move out of fear and the past and into the energy of what love means to you?
  • What are you going to do today for your kindness project?

When you have done all of that, put your hands on your heart and feel the love. Take a few moments to believe that you can create whatever you want. Know that with the vibration and energy of love you can manifest the life and the love you really want.

Next you have to take steps to examine the vulnerability of your heart and unlocking it. Big stuff which we will look at another day.

Join me for 8 weeks of Manifesting Magic – it’s a course, a program, a circle and most of all it’s a safe space to explore who you want to become on the way to getting what you want. And you will be inspired to be your best self.

Dale Darley

Personal Brand Strategist and Author. I want to inspire people to get connected to their hearts, know and do what they love. For those people to become an inspiration and show others what is possible in the world. Mum to three dogs and a family of swallows. Life without cake is a life unlived.

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