Our capacity for love knows no bounds. It is a limitless depth that springs from our love for ourselves. It’s true that we must know and love ourselves first before we can truly love another. If we don’t love ourselves, we cannot trust and believe that anyone else would love us. We cannot recognize and meet the needs of another because our own needs are not being met. We feel unworthy of love and are thus incapable of giving it. Once we start to love though, we are never at risk of running out. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
On the topic of love, Anne Wilson Schaef writes:
“We have an infinite capacity for loving. Sometimes we get confused about loving, and we start thinking that we only have so much to go around. We start thinking in zero-sum terms. We believe that we only have so much love and if we give some away, we have that much less. We start parceling out our love like we pay the bills at the end of the month. We meet all of our ‘love obligations,’ and we try to keep a little bit in savings, just in case of an emergency. Controlled love is not loving. Obligatory love is not loving. Love is something that flows out of our deep sense of loving ourselves. It is not possible to love another if we don’t know and love ourselves.
When we love ourselves, there is no limit to the amount of love we can share. But loving can never be manufactured because we should, need to, or want to get something in return. Love is an energy that is shared because we have it.”
How aptly put. Love is a shared energy. The more freely we love and feel love in return, the more we have to offer. When we hold back from expressing our feelings fully, we supress the love in our hearts. By acting miserly, we actually end up with less love to give. We cannot treat love as a means to an end, or it ceases to be. When we love out of control or obligation, we are not loving the person as they truly are, free of all expectation and wanting nothing in return. We are using our love as a weapon, a tool to get what we want, to achieve some end. Love must have no exceptions, no reservations, and certainly no ultimatums. Like energy, it must flow freely. It contains the ability to heal and restore, to empower and revitalize. Love renews us. It acts as a balm, soothing our hearts and bringing peace to our souls. It is amazingly powerful and beautiful in its infiniteness.