Love is at the root of what we are. When children are born, they are soaked in love. This is why we adore babies. Love radiates from their every glance, every movement. They remind us of what lies within.
As children grow up, they begin to accumulate beliefs from others, often from those who no longer feel the love radiating within. The beliefs pile up. And they seem to snuff out the love. The children begin to feel lonely, disconnected, separate.
And they wonder, where is the love?
And so they search. They search in friends and family. They search in spirituality and science. They search in books and poems. They search in drugs and alcohol. They search in food and sex. And for a while some of these seem to work.
And now the children have grown into adults. But they haven’t dis-covered love. It’s still covered up by those beliefs.
One day the beliefs become too much to bear. It becomes obvious that the lessons aren’t working. Through frustration, insight, and perhaps a sprinkle of good fortune, the weary adults begin to shed their beliefs, one by one. They dare to stand naked again. And the love that was always there floods them once more.
There is only one love, and that is the love that radiates within. It is at the root of every human being. When you feel that you are receiving love from someone or something, look closely, and you will recognize that it is your own love that has been unleashed, gushing forth from within and enveloping you.
There is no pre-requisite for love. Nobody has to give you love. Nobody has to validate you. Love is within you in infinite supply right now. If you do not feel this, check the mind for any accumulated beliefs that are dimming its expression – beliefs about who you are, who you should be, and how you should act. One by one, strike them out and weed them out of your life. One way to help make this exercise concrete is by writing all those beliefs down, reviewing them one by one, recognizing what role each is playing in your life, and and drawing a line through the ones that don't serve you anymore.
The more the beliefs are weeded out, the more the love that is already within you shines.
(Note: My loving son chose the title for this post.)
Anoop Kumar, MD, MM is board certified in Emergency Medicine and holds a Master’s degree in Management with a focus in Health Leadership. He practices in the Washington, DC metro area, where he also leads meditation gatherings for clinicians. He is the author of the book Michelangelo’s Medicine: How redefining the human body will transform health and healthcare. Follow him @DrAnoopKumar.