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How to Perfect Love Over a Lifetime

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How to Perfect Love Over a LifetimeSpecial Note: Today I have a very LOVE full guest on my blog, whose writings will definitely touch your heart. Enjoy Vishnu’s Virtues!!

Do you feel like you don’t love yourself enough?

Are you finding it challenging to love others?

Do you feel like not loving yourself is spilling over to your relationships?

If you are shaking your head in agreement to any of these questions, you might even wonder if you know what love is.

My journey

I began the journey to discovering love when my ten-year marriage broke up. Although my voyage through love had its ups and downs in the relationship, I only truly started examining love when it had left my life. I wondered if it had never been there.
Maybe I didn’t know what love was?

Growing up, my parents showed love in the cruelest of ways – criticism, put-downs and regular tongue lashings. Instead of increasing my worth, they would try to suppress it. They always thought I would get a big head if they were encouraging and affectionate to me.
In addition to the tongue lashings, my Dad fell back to unhealthy child-rearing techniques his father had used: lashings with a belt, locking me up in my room for days at a time and even putting me on a food and water diet on occasion.

And what crimes would garner these types of extreme punishment? Challenging their authority. Resisting mandates. Poor marks.
My parents weren’t taught how to raise children and didn’t have all the answers. With the many qualities they gave me in life, they failed to show me what love truly was.

They helped me equate love with pain and suffering.

My ex-wife similarly was born to parents with a similar parenting style.

As you can imagine, two individuals who didn’t fully grasp love would have had a challenging relationship trying to love each other.
We did.

As we divorced and continued on our separate lives, I’ve started reflecting and cultivating more love in my life.

How do we love ourselves more when we never knew love?

And how can we love others better?

5 ways to improve self-love.

1) Treat yourself with kindness. “Be gentle with yourself first if you wish to be gentle with others.” Lama Yeshe

If you didn’t know love and weren’t treated lovingly growing up, you will have troubles loving yourself. If you don’t know what love is, start by treating yourself with kindness.
Don’t berate yourself or hold yourself up to unreasonably high standards.
Reflect upon your inner-critic and negative self-talk. Learn to stop the attacks on yourself and wash yourself with compassion for you.
You’re not a perfect person and that’s ok. You certainly are not a useless, broken or unworthy person.
When you feel compassion for you and accept your shortcomings and shortfalls, be more kind to yourself.
Don’t continue to harp on negative thoughts. Don’t punish yourself. Don’t yell at yourself. Don’t be angry and frustrated at yourself or anything you’ve done.
Instead, mentally note why you’re worthy, loving, and generous spirit.

2) Connect with your spirit. If love doesn’t resonate at your physical being, you will have to do deeper work by connecting with your spiritual being.

If you don’t know love, become love.
As Marianne Williamson has said, “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here”
How do you become love? You have to access that spiritual and soulful nature of yours in order to feel love, compassion and kindness.
You must begin to remove all of the physical and superficial layers around you and go deep within.
Start on a path to a spiritual practice: prayer, meditation, mindfulness practices, yoga and other acts of self-reflection.
You must take down the walls keeping you from your spiritual nature. Once the emotional and psychological walls you’ve created for yourself crumble, you will feel the reservoir of love within you.

3) Embrace what brings you joy. Continue to enjoy, embrace and participate in activities you love.

Be with people you enjoy being around.
Get out of a job that doesn’t suit you and move towards one that energizes you. If you’re too invested in your current job, gravitate towards duties which makes your heart zing.
The path to more love is to do what makes you more happy and joyful. Actively seek those things which bring genuine happiness into your life.
At the same time, remove the people and experiences which bring you gloom and sink your vibrations in life.
The road to greater love runs through the stream of joy and happiness.

4) Acknowledge love around you. You may not quite know or feel what love feels like.

But have you seen a child flying a kite for the first time?
Have you seen the eyes of parents who have seen their new-born baby for the first time?
Observe and look for instances of love around you. There is so much love around the world.
Yes, the teenage couple in puppy love, the first-time parents, the passionate and inspiring teacher who fills her lessons with love, your 80-year old grandmother who cooks dotingly for you.
The random act of kindness, the sacrifice to send a child to University, people serving the homeless at a local food back.
If you can acknowledge and observe the love around you, you can become more aware of what real love is. You’ll become more familiar with how people express love and what healthy love looks like.

5) Do not be hostage to your past. “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” C.S. Lewis

If you’ve gone through some difficulties or heart-break in your life, you may have become disillusioned about love.
If the love you’ve experienced has been painful, scarring or damaging, you have every right to want to hold onto those experiences.
But to have more love in your life, you have to break away from fear. There are fearful experiences in all of our lives which scar us and show us the worst of love.
Don’t permit your past to hold you hostage. Learn to forgive those who have broken your heart.
Forgive those who have hurt you.
Let go of ill-will and wrongs.
Do not be a hostage or prisoner to past inequities and injustices.
If you allow your bad experiences with love to define love, you can never get to a healthy place with love.
Make amends with your past so you can learn to embrace love again.
The past lessons of love will be the water and the soil for love to bloom in your future.

5 ways to love others more.

1) Be conscious in showing love. You may think you love someone and may occasionally even tell them that but what does love really mean?
To express your love, act on your love. No, not just buying roses and diamond necklaces for your sweetie but showing them love.
Love means spending time with the people who matter to you.
Love means spending energy on the people you care about.
Love means helping those in need, serving them in some way or being there for them during a life-crunch.
Love means dedication, communication, help and assistance.
Love means sacrifice and loyalty.

2) Be empathetic. In order to show more love, you can learn to put yourself in another person’s shoes.
If you don’t have struggles and challenges in your own life, see how those who are suffering are making it day to day.
What are their life problems? How did they get where they are? What’s preventing them from taking care of themselves and their families?
All too often we are preoccupied with our own life and getting ahead.
If you start viewing the world through empathy, you will build your ability to extend more compassion and love to others.

3) You are one with others. Although the ego tells us otherwise, continue to remind yourself that you are one with those around you.
If you believe in the power of a divine being or a wise universe, you know that we are all connected. We are all one people. We are all one higher consciousness.
When someone cuts you off in traffic, they are you.
When someone steals from you, they are you.
When someone offends you or short-changes you, they are you.
If you saw your life as sharing one consciousness with all those around you, you’ll less likely be offended and more likely to treat others as you would treat yourself.
You will be more like to practice the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

4) Find ways to serve. One active way to love more is to serve more.
Look for opportunities to give back to your family, neighborhood or community.
Share your technical skills or professional abilities with a local charity.
Help a family in need. Initiate a food-drive. Organize your community to help someone grieving or suffering a major loss.
Volunteer.
Extend a helping hand.
Lend a shoulder for someone to be supported.
Allow your ears to soften someone’s heartache or life-ache.
Actively look for service opportunities where you’re giving for the sake of giving.
Avoid giving for the sake of social standing, appearances, fame or good-will.

5) Let go of grudges. “The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.” Marianne Williamson
The greatest way you can love someone else is by letting go of grudges or wrong-doings they’ve committed against you.
It is often our pesky egos which stands in the way of forgiveness and continues a lifetime of resentment. The only way that I was able to move on from being angry with my parents was to forgive them.
Your ego will be continuously challenged. The only way to continue to express love is to continually forgive.
The most important task and duty you have to love others more is to forgive them even more – for small and big trespasses.
If you don’t have love in your life now or feel like your love is broken, do not fear. Your love isn’t broken. Self-love and love of others is a continuum achieved over a lifetime.
Each relationship with close family and your loved ones isn’t the final destination. Instead each encounter and relationship will help you become an even more loving person.
If you simply acknowledge and become aware of where you are today, you can continue to become a more loving person and love others better.

Do you love yourself and others enough? Please help inspire others and share your thoughts on how to be more loving in the comments below.

About the Author of this post:

vishnuVishnu writes a self-help blog for spiritual people at www.vishnusvirtues.com.

He writes to inspire you to seek wisdom and happiness within yourself, and to be a better person for yourself and for others. Join him on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/vishnus.virtues

Thank you Vishnu for writing such a LOVE full article. I love it! 

With Immense Love & Gratitude,
~Zeenat~

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Author: Zeenat {PositiveProvocations.com}

Counseling Psychologist/ Spiritual Counselor/Motivational Speaker/Naturopath/Holistic Healer/Writer

15 thoughts on “How to Perfect Love Over a Lifetime

  1. This is a wonderful “loving” post. Thank you, I have been there and see and show love much more since my breakup. Life is more beautiful this way. The very first step though is loving yourself which is hard for some.
    I am glad to say that I am there and send you my love !

    • Hi there, yes, life is more beautiful with love in it. Even when we were dealt with pain and hurt, we can still foster love in our lives. At least, that’s what I’m finding :) and seems like you have as well. Loving ourselves is a journey, right? I’m glad you’ve traveled down that path. I can feel the love and positivity from your comment:)

  2. Such sage advice, Vishnu! For someone who has been hurt by love, you have given the perfect life map to follow in order to get back on the love track. Especially in the loving of self – if you don’t love yourself, it is impossible to love others, isn’t it? And, in the forgiving/forgetting of grudges, we find such freedom, don’t we?
    Wonderful post, my friend!
    Blessings!

    • Thank you for your feedback, Martha. Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, loving myself and others has been the road to healing, transformation and freedom:) Trying to learn from the pain, but embrace and live more love:)

  3. Beautiful, Vishnu! My heartbreaks when I hear these stories of your childhood. At the same time, I feel so encouraged that despite these difficulties you’ve been able to learn what love truly is and allow it be a naturally part of your being. This is such an insightful primer on true love. Thank you.

  4. Vishnu it’s sad that so many parents lack the love within to be able to share it, even with their child. And I’m filled with admiration for your ability to raise your consciousness to greater love in your own life. Thank you for sharing so honestly.

    • Thank you Elle for your kind words. It is sad but at some point, we have to decide how to handle the pain and the past, like I did:) As Balroop points out there are essentially a couple ways to cope – I’ve come to the point of choosing love:) I hope this will encourage others to live with more love in their lives as well.

  5. Hi Vishnu….I could immediately connect myself to your childhood story…it requires a lot of strength and will power to come out of the darker corners you are pushed by bad parenting and share! There are two possibilities after you grow out of parental control, either you love yourself and give it with greater care or just detest everyone. I promised myself, I would never let the lack of love affect me and my relationships and so I did. I never carried any grudges and forgave all. But one corner of my heart has always lacerated…tears well up in my eyes whenever I hear the lyrics of that song….’give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance, I want to grow up again!’
    Thanks for organizing all the thoughts so well for us!

    • Thank you Balroop for adding your perspective and glad to hear about our similar backgrounds. Yes, sounds like those are the two choices – despise everyone or love everyone:) Forgiving all and letting go of grudges sounds like a very free and loving way to live. Why continue the pain that was caused to us, right? SOmetimes, it takes a little bit of a journey and shift in perspective to get there. Thank you for your inspiration and adding the lyrics to the song – timely and definitely resonates with me:)

  6. I’ve been trying hard to perfect love ~ but the more I did ~ the more stressed I became. Isn’t love perfect in itself already? God IS love!

    I have always admired you for your practicality in seeing and doing things and all that you have listed are very helpful. I have always found my source in God. Like you, I do not see my family and childhood as perfect ~ my parents have their own shortcomings and yet, in some way, the Lord sees to it that we realize and recognize love inside of us. We can’t give love unless we have it…

    I might look for it in the wrong places and project my need of love to others but then at one point ~ in my self searching and God seeking ~ my love is purified.

    Love gives us new eyes :) I could feel that very much in you. Continue with your journey towards loving yourself and others more.

    I have tweeted the lines that inspired me most in your post. Love it ~ thank you for allowing me to share in your journey.

    Zeenat, thank you for hosting Vishnu’s post :) I hope it reaches out to more people ~ the voice of love is strong :)

    • Thank you so much for adding your thoughts, Melissa and for sharing your story. I”m with you as far as God being love so we just need to focus a little more on that too. Maybe we are often far away and forget about God all together? I would say to focus on love is to focus on God. And if that’s the case, let’s spend a little more time in worship and in prayer :) And you’re right, if we are purified with God’s love, we can share that love with everyone else.

      Thank you for your divine words of wisdom :) and encouragement on the journey towards love.

  7. Thank you everyone for your precious comments here. I love how simply yet poignantly Vishnu shares his love FULL thoughts! He will be over shortly to respond to your comments.

    Love and Gratitude always~

    • Thanks again Zeenat – appreciate the opportunity to guest post (again) over here:) Appreciate your blog and the light you’re being for all of us:)

  8. Pingback: Are You Ready for Death to Arrive? | Always Well Within

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