Sanskrit has different words to describe love for a brother or sister, love for a teacher, love for a partner, love for one’s friends, love of nature, and so on. English has only one word, which leads to never-ending confusion.
You don't have to love yourself unconditionally before you can give or receive real love.
Although love is often depicted as starry-eyed and sweet, love for the self is made of tougher stuff.
With mindfulness, loving kindness, and self-compassion, we can begin to let go of our expectations about how life and those we love should be.
We are born ready to love and be loved. It is our birthright.
As we explore new ways of loving and being loved by others, we need to equip ourselves with open, pliant minds; we need to be willing to investigate, experiment, and evaluate as we approach a topic we thought we knew so much about.
Just as a prism refracts light differently when you change its angle, each experience of love illuminates love in new ways, drawing from an infinite palette of patterns and hues.
Wholehearted acceptance is a basic element of love, starting with love for ourselves, and a gateway to joy. Through the practices of loving kindness and self-compassion, we can learn to love our flawed and imperfect selves. And in those moments of vulnerability, we open our hearts to connect with each other, as well. We are not perfect, but we are enough.
Trying to impose our personal agenda on someone else’s experience is the shadow side of love, while real love recognizes that life unfolds at its own pace.
From our first breath to our last, we’re presented again and again with the opportunity to experience deep, lasting, and trans-formative connection with other beings: to love them and be loved by them; to show them our true natures and to recognize theirs.