The reason that so many miss out on finding love is because of a fundamental misunderstanding of what love is. You don’t “find” love, you don’t “get” love and you don’t “have” love. You give and receive love. Or to put it another way, you love and you are loved. Your life will be much more full of love when you think of love as a verb, as an action. Let me explain.
There are many examples of love all around us, yet many of us are blinded to them because we have been taught (mostly by the media) a very inaccurate and misunderstood version of love. The love that you often see in movies and TV shows has been adapted to sell and often is created by people who show that they do not understand what love is.
The Law of Love
Love is one of the greatest forces in the universe and if you carefully observe the world around you it becomes clear that there is a Law of Giving and Re-Giving. This is how love is created. The incredibly simple truth is if you want love, then give love. The more love you give, the more you will receive. As the actress, Sarah Bernhardt said:
“Life engenders life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich”
Telling yourself that you deserve love or are entitled to love isn’t going to help you get it. It is by giving love that you will receive it. Now, of course not everyone will return your love and in the same proportion as you gave. However, there is no way around this law; if you wish to be loved, you must first love. This goes for all kinds of love: romantic, friendship, parent-child, etc. And when I say give, I mean much more than giving gifts. I mean giving of yourself, giving your kindness, your compassion, your understanding, your time, your energy, your smile.
If you tenderly care for a pet and give them your love, kindness, understanding and forgiveness, the pet will return your love to you. If you neglect and abuse the pet, it will not give you love in return. It may give you fear, obedience or respect, but not love. If you lovingly tend to your garden by carefully watering it, keeping it clean and protecting the plants, they will grow healthy and strong for you to enjoy. You reap what you sow. You will not get a raise at work if you don’t first earn it. You must exercise and stay active to have good health. This is an unbreakable law that guides everything in life. Why do we think we can get around it?
The More Love You Spend, The More You Make
People frequently ask my wife and I if we are newlyweds because we are very sweet with each other. When we tell them that we’ve been together for almost a decade they remark how lucky we are. But they do not see the giving of love, from both sides, that has nurtured the love in our relationship. It is not luck, but by the continuous giving and receiving and re-giving of love and kindness that makes our relationship better as time goes on. For a simple example of this, read Why I Ask My Wife to Marry Me Everyday.
You will never receive love if you expect someone else to first give it to you. You will never maintain or grow love if you expect others to do all the work. The amount of love you will have in your life is proportionate to how much you give. When you give love, it multiplies and spreads and returns to you in a way that touches your soul, moving you to want to give ever more.
Think about people who were loved by so many, such as Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, The Dalai Lama. These people receive so much love because of how much they give. It is clear as day that the only way to “find” love is to give and give and give. Love creates more love, just as hate creates more hate. A smile leads to another smile. If you want to receive a smile, don’t sit around and wait for it, give one and you’re chances of receiving one go up dramatically. It is the same with love.
Think about the quote above by Sarah Bernhardt: “It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich.” It is when we give our all, that we feel accomplished. It is by working hard and being persistent that we achieve success. Margaret Thatcher so eloquently said:
“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”
Now, I don’t mean that you should go out and just exhaust yourself by giving love to everyone you meet and constantly use all of your time, energy and resources to give. You must be intelligent with your love as well. Give to all fairly, but recognize when your love will not be returned. In some cases, such as our young children, we should continue to give our love, despite it not being returned.
However, if you are in a relationship and you truly give all your love, continuously and fully (over a sustained period of time and you fill them up with your love) and you realize that the person you are giving to does not understand the nature of love and does not give it in return, then take your love elsewhere and give it to those who can appreciate it, return it and help to spread it. Avoid giving your love to people who kill it rather than pass it on.
How to Increase the Love in Your Life
The Law of Giving and Re-Giving is blind and favors no one. It is up to you how much love you will receive in life. It is determined precisely by how much you choose to give.
If you wish for more love in your life, don’t sit and hope, don’t expect, don’t decide how you want love to come to you and don’t try to manipulate others into loving you or acting a certain way. Rather, go out and attract love. The only way to attract love is to give it first. You can sit around and describe your perfect mate all you want, you can complain and whine about someone not treating you the way you want, you can try to force someone to work to win you or to sweep you off your feet, but it won’t last and won’t create love, because that is not how love works.
The laws of the universe cannot be broken, so you can either continue to struggle against the current and wonder why it’s not working or you can recognize the nature of love and go in accordance with it. To be loved, all you need to do is give love. It’s so simple, there’s no reason you can’t start right now. Give of yourself and watch in amazement as love returns to you in avalanches of abundance.