How many times have you heard someone say they didn’t know true love until they met their partner, or that you can’t know real love until you become a parent? How many times has that made you feel a little bit sad — as if you aren’t really living if you don’t have those things?
For most of us, it feels like market in “True Love” has more or less been cornered by partners and parents. If you are not one of those two things, you may ‘love’ your dog, or perhaps surfing, but you are not actually in the club of those who really understand love. Right?
Wrong. I am over feeling like my life experience is somehow less because I am neither a partner nor a parent.
A few years ago, I was sitting in a café in Nepal, feeling a bit lonely after 10 years of mostly being single. I had been doing all the ‘right’ things — working on myself, meditating, getting ‘out there’ but had just not found a partner. But I remember the feeling of having all this love inside of me — I think of myself as a loving person — and that made me wonder why I was still single after so long.
So I asked the Universe why it was wasting my love by not bringing me a partner. The Universe actually replied- from nowhere, came the thought:
There are already so many people living love that way. Your contribution is to walk the road less travelled — to live love, to be love without the usual anchors and mirrors.
I guess I always said I liked a challenge.
I believe love is the ultimate expression of our lives. True love (though I am not sure there is any other kind) is generated from within — perhaps inspired and fueled by those around us, but it come from us, not to us.
In theory, I can live a life full of love on my own. In practice, I will tell you it is not easy.
I am not just talking about being happy on my own, or finding contentment in life. I am talking about feeling love- real, deep, true love — in an everyday way, without a partner or family to trigger and reflect it.
To actually feel love, not just remember it, on my own is often a challenge. Of course I love my friends and family — though that is a small circle — fiercely. But outside of that, where does a single person feel love?
Well, here’s the thing. I have decided to find it everywhere.
I have made a commitment to find love in the small (and big) things of everyday life. At any moment, there is sun shining on the tree outside my window, or a sweet playful dog I am looking after (I house sit) or a lovely post from a friend on Facebook. Small joys are everywhere and, if we pay attention, can fill us with love.
A perfect flower in the park shows how incredible nature is- I feel love. The little sparrows chattering in the hole above my kitchen make me giggle — that is love. I remember meditating at a temple on a volcano in Bali and actually crying at how beautiful the world is- that was huge love.
Love is a feeling. And our feelings come from our beliefs and thoughts, from what we focus on. So I choose — not just the yearning for love, not just seeing it in others, not just the amount that I have. I choose to generate love. As much as possible.
Some days I succeed, some days I have to remind my self to try harder, some days I just want to tell the Universe to shove this less-travelled road! But I keep trying. Because I believe in love. I believe it is the ultimate expression of why we are here. And I believe there are many versions. All true love. I also believe my higher purpose was never going to be the common road. So, someone has to trek the road where love is explored through other ways. Not with a partner or children, but through beauty, adventure, moments, self.
Of course, love with a partner or children is amazing. And huge. And life-changing. When I do find a partner (I don’t think my ovaries are up for the kids any more), I will add that version of love to what I already generate. I hope I will not forget to still find the love in other places though. And I truly hope I will not ever tell anyone they haven’t known real love without (insert cliché here)…
At the end of the day, we all get to choose our inner world. So, I choose love. Over and over again. In small moments that most people probably don’t need to see as being lovable. The love less seen, the love less noticed, the love less travelled…
Originally published at medium.com