“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Love never decreases by being shared. ~Chinese Proverb
There is by all accounts a myth that love is rare – that there is just such a great amount to go around. However love is a unique little something that the more we open to it and offer it, the more we have. How could we have been able to we ever come to trust that love is limited?
We live in a universe that IS love.
1 John 4:8
“He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.”
1 John 4:16
“God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.”
God is love, and is the infinite source of love, but in order to tap into the infinite source of love, embodying it – abiding in love and sharing it – we need to be open to it. Here is where the problem lies.
As very small children, we closed our hearts because life was too painful for us to manage. The only way we could manage it was to close down and stay in our head – shutting out the deeply painful feelings in our body from rejection, abandonment, shaming, humiliation, smothering, engulfment, invasiveness, physical and sexual abuse. I have never known anyone who got through their home life, or their school life, or their religious life, or their peer life without wounding.
Since most of our parents had no idea how to manage their own painful feelings, they too were shut down. With closed hearts, they could not bring through the love to us that we needed. This is how we came to believe that love is scarce, and to confuse approval with love.
Now, as adults, many people still believe that love is limited. Jealousy, possessiveness, and attachment anxiety all indicate the belief that not only is love limited, but it has to be earned or controlled.
When your heart is closed to protect yourself from pain, then the love that is God cannot enter your heart and fill you with what you are seeking. When you can’t experience the infinite love that is always available to you, then you believe that others need to be your source of love. This is when you make others or another your higher power, and this is when you try to earn or control getting love. And, of course, this is why it feels like it is scarce.
In order to know that love is infinitely abundant, you need to open your heart. But in order to open your heart, you need to learn how to manage the painful feelings of life – the loneliness, heartbreak, grief and helplessness over others and outcomes that are part of life. Love and pain reside in the same place in the heart, so when we close down to pain, we also close down to love.
The conundrum is that we cannot manage these feelings without opening to the love and compassion of Spirit, but we will not open as long as we are too afraid to feel our pain. So the key is to be willing to feel your pain, which is Step One of Inner Bonding. However, often the pain of the past is way too big to manage alone. This is when we need to reach out for help – to be held in love by another who is not afraid to stay with us through our pain.
You will discover that once you go through deep pain while being held in love by another, and are able to open and bring love and compassion to your own pain, the fear of the pain gradually goes away. And as it does, your heart opens more and more to the infinite love that is always here for all of us.