What feelings come to mind when you think about love?
Is it the overwhelming tenderness you feel for the child nestled in your arms? Or the passion and desire you feel for a lover? Maybe its the quiet comfort of a shared smile or the intimacy and attachment you feel with a lifelong friend.
When we think about love, we focus on the pleasant sensations, the feelings of seen, being understood, being accepted. Love is the warm hug, the kind words, the desiring glance.
And yes, love is all of those things. It is perhaps our most powerful motivator, our greatest need. All that we do ultimately comes down to being done for love or out of a desire for love.
So if a need for love is universal, why do we struggle so much with finding it, feeling it and expressing it?
Because love is not only about the good feelings.
It’s about learning to sit with the uncomfortable ones.
Because that overwhelming affection is paired with the fear of losing the person that brings you such joy. Love lives alongside of loss. Of rejection. Of abandonment.
Just as love says, “I’m with you,” fear whispers, “But you could end up alone.”
When we focus too much on the fears, by pretending that they are not there, playing mind games to mitigate them or allowing their words to limit us, we inadvertently close the door to love.
Because in order to have love, you have to accept its potential loss. In order to have attachment, you have to risk rejection.
We struggle with love, not because we have difficulty with the positive emotions, but because we try to avoid the uncomfortable ones.
But that’s where love is found.
Sitting right next to fear.
And for you to find it, you have to be willing to find your place between them.