I have been reading this book for twenty years.
Quite unbelievable really. Often I will revisit previous chapters, but I am still yet to actually finish the book. It’s one I have set aside in between other books and projects and picked it up again when it felt relevant. And I suppose with each revisit I have understood aspects of this book that I didn’t previously, or understood them on a deeper level.
The last few days I have been thinking about one particular chapter that was sort of a life changer for me several years ago. It might not resonate with everyone, and when I first read it I pondered it for quite a while.
What the author talks about is the concept that you cannot give love to another person, nor receive love from another person. To read that in itself did throw me at first, as I immediately thought, “But, I love my dog/child etc and I show/give them that love all the time”, or “I can feel that my partner/cat etc loves me”.
What she explains, is that when we feel we are loved, or when we feel we love someone or something, we are merely giving ourselves permission to feel our own love, and we conclude that another person is “giving” us that love, or that we are “loving them” when what we are really doing, is allowing ourselves to experience and be in the state of our own love.
She uses this example… when a lover or partner tells you they love you or puts their arms around you and kisses you, you decide, based on their actions/words, that you are lovable, and consequently allow yourself to feel the love you have inside of you.
They aren’t “giving” you love. You are allowing yourself to experience and feel love. And you decide when you’re allowed to feel it.
Like the author, to me the concept of “You cannot receive love from anyone else until you love yourself” was always an inspiring and believable quote. I thought I understood what it meant, and it was really only after reading this chapter that I realised I hadn’t truly understood it, not to it’s full capacity anyway.
Of course on the other hand, there are energy exchanges between people and animals, so by being in a loving state and energetically sending this to others is possible, however what they choose to feel and receive is up to them, which again makes the above concept valid even in energetic forms such as healing.
If you have ever been in a relationship with someone who perhaps didn’t love themselves or had forgotten their own love, you will know the frustration of trying to make them believe that you love them. Your love cannot do anything but be a reason for someone else to feel the love he/she already is/has in themselves. If they are disconnected from their own limitless supply of love, your love cannot do anything but call out to someone else’s love to try to wake it from a deep sleep.
These types of relationships usually fail because your love will appear to make the other person angry. This is because your love reminds them of their failure to love themselves. So essentially, your love is confronting and annoying to them. Sound familiar?
Other people, places, things, experiences, pets, etc are opportunities on Earth to experience and be in the state of love. There is an infinite supply in all of us, and we are all connected to each other.
Someone once told me to imagine life and the afterlife as an ice cube tray. If our collective souls are the water put into the tray, our lives are like the individual ice blocks. It’s only on Earth that we are separate. When we rejoin Spirit, the ice blocks essentially unfreeze and we once again become a collective body of water. When I thought about this, the phrase “You can’t truly love another unless you love yourself” also took on a whole new meaning to me. Because essentially when you love another, you’re loving an aspect of yourself - that same water before it became an ice cube.
Thank you to Barbara De Angelis for the wisdom in this book which has helped me in countless ways and to Rumi for this beautiful quote:
The minute I heard my first love story
I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that really was
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere
They’re in each other all along
In Joy & Love