Without much inquiry it's easy to take love to consist entirely of a feeling: elation, excitement, heat. It is out there to get or find it ... or lose. Someone we like the look of arrives and gives us attention or someone approves of us - and it's here! We feel great. We feel 'love'. And so we keep an eye open, looking for it to pop up like a happy accident in our lives. When we get fed up waiting, we try to induce it. A lot of celebrity behavior screams "please love me!" Much of self-improvement is an attempt ot love ourselves without ever asking the question "what does that mean?"
As I've opened up more questions like those above, I have come to recognize love as an experience of good will and connectedness with myself and others. It has a lot of flavors, ranging from deep gratitude, to acceptance and compassion for someone's pain, to the warmest feeling of wanting the best for someone.
I may not experience all of the flavors all the time, there is one thing about love that is a new experience, totally unlike romantic gushy love, and that is that love is instantly available to me all the time.
It may well seem like love is something that comes and goes based on what someone is doing (being nice or mean, for example), but when I've been open to challenging this and tried to love others on a deeper level, no matter what is happening, I find that love is there. It's available if I chose it.
If that is really true, it means it is possible to love everyone and myself all the time, if I want to. It makes love a choice, not a reaction.
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