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Tiny Wisdom: Do You Recognize and Receive Love?

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi

After I wrote yesterday’s post about giving and receiving love, I started to think about the many times in the past when I felt love-deprived.

It’s easy to feel that way when we’ve been hurt or we think we’re alone—as if there aren’t any people who are really looking out for us.

In retrospect, I realize that when I felt this way, it wasn’t that no one loved me. It was that I was too busy looking for love to open my eyes and see it.

I was too busy craving romantic love to recognize and appreciate the other forms of love coming at me; as a result, I came to every potential partner with a deep sense of neediness and lack.

Love was the one thing I didn’t have. And yet it was all around me.

What I’ve learned is that receiving love doesn’t necessarily mean opening up to a long-term relationship, though of course it can mean that. It also means consciously looking for acts of love and them choosing to appreciate and accept them.

When someone looks out for you, empathizes with you, stands up for you, listens to you, relates to you, appreciates you, respects you, accepts you, or acknowledges you, they are giving you love.

When someone thanks you, encourages you, believes in you, supports you, forgives you, soothes you, uplifts you, or trusts you, they are giving you love.

When someone opens up to you, tries to know you, stays strong for you, assumes the best in you, compliments you, mentors you, makes time for you, or makes an effort for you, they are giving you love.

Love is always coming at us, in one form or another—sometimes from friends, sometimes from family, sometimes from strangers we may only know in passing.

It might be a thoughtful call at just the right time, a warm hug for no good reason, or even a supportive blog comment on a day when you felt weak and afraid.

We all have so much love to give, and we’re giving it every day. The only question is whether or not we’re also able to recognize and really receive it.

Thank you to all of you for the love you sent me this last week. It makes a big difference for me, and I appreciate it!

Photo here

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About Lori Deschene

Tiny Buddha Founder Lori Deschene is the author of the Tiny Wisdom eBook seriesTiny Buddha's Guide to Loving Yourself, and Tiny Buddha: Simple Wisdom for Life's Hard Questions. She's also co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an eCourse that helps you change your life. For inspiring posts and wisdom quotes, follow on Twitter & Facebook.

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  • http://www.lifeaftertampons.com/ Jennifer Boykin

    Perfect!!  And you are so right — we basically “see” what we set out to find in life. 

  • Linnaeab

    Lori,

    Each day I witness your sinking deeper and deeper into your heart, observing life through your heart, understanding love from inside. Thank you for sharing this with the Tiny Buddha community.

    May everyone take the opportunity to allow their energy to drop from the brain (with it’s ego supporting ruminations) to the heart, May everyone inspire each other to do so more and more in all sorts of situations, in every moment. Then we may see a tremendous change in our world. It may be a gradual change as each person learns this from each other, but the change will be tremendous.

    linnaea

  • Thislittlelark

    Love this! I’m going to share with my community at facebook.

    Blessings!

  • Capricorndelia

    Thank you for reminding us that love is all around us if we choose to recognize it.

  • http://www.justdailyliving.com/ Kathryn Trombly

    Hi Lori,

    I love that quote by Rumi – it’s one of my favorites!  Thank you for opening up your heart to
    share this post and its wisdom.  
    Thank you for writing about the other side of love.  For love is about giving &
    receiving.   I’ve struggled
    with this balance most of my life, always more comfortable as the giver.  I wasn’t even aware of it, until
    recently, that I’d actually never allowed love into my life or my being.

    For so long I believed once I was a certain weight– then I’d
    find love, or once I found that perfect job, then I could love my life.  My barrier was unworthiness.  I never felt I actually deserved to be
    or feel love, and it wasn’t until just recently, when I came to discover that I
    had it so wrong. 

    Love isn’t a quid-pro-quo.  It doesn’t demand or require anything of you, in order to
    feel its presence.  Even when you
    think you are making mistake after mistake, screwing up your life, and making
    poor decisions, love is still there. 
    It never leaves you.  All it
    asks is that you open your hearts, and allow it in, because it exists
    everywhere.

    Because in this life and experience, from start to end, you
    always have been, you are today, and you always will be…loved.
    Thanks again for your such a lovely post.

    ~Kathryn

  • Ed7

    Yes, we need to be present and aware.

  • Sarah

    Love to you ALWAYS, dear Lori! ♥

  • Sarah

    So it is written, so it shall be … thank you! ♥

  • nectar

    Really loved this post Lori as i often feel lonely. This article has been great for making me realise how much love i do have from friends and family so thank you :) One thing i did wonder though was how does one deal with the want for intimate love? I am single and really do miss cuddles and kisses…something u cant get from friends/family in the same way. Is there a way to not feel so sad about not having romantic love?x

  • http://creativelifeinwords.wordpress.com/ Andy Bowker

    This is a really good post. I don’t find it easy to give or receive love, I guess .. and more recently my social life has been limited which has made me quite lonely in some ways (although that issue will hopefully be eased as I’m getting a car soon), and I can easily at times feel unloved. I think it’s all about taking small steps .. 

  • http://creativelifeinwords.wordpress.com/ Andy Bowker

    I think you’ve gotta start from where you are .. acknowledge that you feel sad and do your best to feel whatever pain there is. Be aware of how you feel and try to become aware of the things that are blocking you from love. 

  • Sandy

    Thank you, this article made me realize that I receive love from so many sources, but I was too busy expecting it to come from somewhere else.  I am so humbled;-) 

  • CT

    God is LOVE….YOU ARE NEVER WITHOUT IT!!!!

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  • Ike Angelia Lee

    Great Post, Lori ! Sending lots of love your way :)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Blessings to you as well. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I had a feeling you’d enjoy this post linnaea! I know it’s a topic that’s dear to your heart. Thank you again for inspiring conversations of this nature!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks so much Ike. Sending lots of love back to you! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome Sandy. I’m glad this post was helpful to you! =)

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I know what you mean Andy. I’ve gone through times when I’ve felt isolated and lonely, and simply taking tiny steps to get out and engage with people has made a big difference.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    I understand that instinct. I think we all crave that type of intimacy, even if we know we’re well-loved. My advice is to focus on everything else that makes your life feel full, and remember that you will be in a romantic relationship at some point down the line. It will likely be sooner if you get out there, enjoy your life, and focus on everything that’s going right, instead of what you lack. That’s generally when we find–when we’re not looking. At least that’s how it was for me.

  • Ike

    Great post, Lori! Sending lots of love your way :)

  • Mick Wright

    Great post.  Really.  Amazing how often we see that what we think is lacking in our lives is actually all around us; we just never noticed it before.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thanks Mick. It always lifts me up to remember there are so many people who care!

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  • http://caroldekkers.wordpress.com/ Carol

    Great post Lori!

    I think that a lot of us were taught to take notice of the negative things in our life (toxic people, bad karma, people who are critical and just plain mean, rejection, etc.) and how we have to “fix” ourselves for others, that we lose sight of the many wonderful small acts of kindness all around us.  And that is a shame!

    Our press and our politicians know that negative press garners more attention (and sells more papers!) than positive until we believe that everything is so bad that we need them to fix it for us.

    When we stop to smell the flowers and truly begin to see the good around us, life gets better.  Thanks for doing what you do.

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    Thank you Carol, and you’re most welcome! Great point. Between the media playing to our fears, and our evolutionary “negativity bias” it’s all too easy to get caught up putting out fires instead of appreciating the good things around us. I know I need to remind myself to do this sometimes, especially when life gets complicated.

  • Bkerin

    thank you

  • http://twitter.com/lori_deschene Lori Deschene

    You’re most welcome. =)

  • love24

    but how do you not giving the wrong idea if you receive their ‘love & attention’? and you end up being in a sticky situation where you have to ‘break someone’s hope’ cause it seems like you’re giving them hopes & all.. I tend to avoid these things, i ended up cutting people off.. and made up so many barriers .. and now I’m deprived…