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Ask anyone to list what they most want in life. Many will tell you success, money, happiness and, of course, love.
As Sarah Dressen says, “There is never a time or a place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single, flashing, throbbing moment.”
We’ve all watched the movies and listened to the songs professing the unique and heady joy that comes from finding true love.
In its absence, one can feel like they’re missing one of the essential elements that makes life wonderful.
As Plato wrote, “Every heart sings a song incomplete, until another heart whispers back.”
Some of the greatest works of literature are testaments to romantic love.
Emily Bronte wrote in Wuthering Heights, “He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”
And some of the best song lyrics describe the almost transcendental delight that accompanies being in love, “I can hear her heartbeat for a thousand miles and the heavens open every time she smiles” (Van Morrison, Crazy Love).
But, if falling in love is something that just “happens”, what are we supposed to do in the meantime?
If getting set up on blind dates by friends isn’t your cup of tea and being matched with strangers on dating sites only makes you feel even further away from finding your soulmate, love affirmations can offer a way for you to feel like you’re in charge of the love you attract and radiate.
Different types of Love
While in today’s world we tend to associate the word love with the romantic love described above, there are many types of love.
Different cultures have defined categories of love, but perhaps the most well-known are the ancient Greeks, who identified seven types of love:
- Eros– physical attraction and passion such as that shared between lovers.
- Philia– affection such as that shared between family members and close friends.
- Storge– love that parents have for their children.
- Agape– selfless or universal love for mankind experienced in moments such as connection with nature, charity work or spirituality.
- Ludus- playful love such as that exchanged in flirtation.
- Pragma– long-lasting love such as that experienced in couples who have been together for a long time.
- Philautia– self-love, love that we cultivate for ourselves by accepting and nurturing our whole selves.
Of these seven categories, I will delve more deeply into four of them.
The first kind of love we experience in life is familial love.
The bond we form with parents and siblings are important experiences that create a lasting impact on our understanding and expression of love later in life.
Even in situations where the familial relationship is negative or absent, the lack of that bond is felt as painful, as though something important and in fact crucial to our well-being as infants and children, is missing.
This bond is so essential to human existence that children will often still love parents and family members who have abused, abandoned or mistreated them.
For those fortunate enough to have positive and supportive relationships with family members, the continual cultivation of that bond over a lifetime can provide feelings of stability, identity and support in the face of challenges.
As Baz Luhrman wrote in his iconic song Everybody’s Free, “Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good/ Be nice to your siblings, they’re your best link to your past/ And the people most likely to stick with you in the future.”
As Elbert Hubbard once said, “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”
Close friends are often people who know the secrets you keep from other people and who love and accept you for your flaws.
They share their ideas, thoughts and experiences with you and your life is richer because of them.
Anais Nin wrote, “Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.”
Friends don’t have the onus of being romantic partners upon whom we often heap a sizable amount of expectations and then turn against when those expectations are unmet.
Even for those who initially had hopes of exploring a romantic relationship with someone, Alain de Botton explains how wonderfully freeing it can be to explore platonic friendship in his clip titled The Advantages of Being ‘Just Good Friends’.
Likewise, friends aren’t part of your family life but rather the family you choose as you set out to carve an identity and a life of your own outside of the nest.
A friend’s ability to love and accept you as independent from your family can provide vital support and reassurance as you make your way in the world.
Universal love is the kind of love that drives us to offer our time in charity work, or to help a stranger.
It can also be felt when we admire a beautiful view from the top of a mountain or sense of deep inner fulfillment while having a religious or spiritual experience.
It’s a sense of love for the brotherhood of the human race and the entire universe, including all beings and all matter.
Though all humans are capable of feeling and cultivating this type of love in their lives, some feel a calling to dedicate their lives to it.
Mother Teresa, for example, spent her life doing charity work and advocating for the world’s poor.
She never sought credit for her actions, instead saying “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”
And Princess Diana who devoted much time to charity work, when asked if she would like to be Queen someday replied, “I’d like to be a queen in people’s hearts.”
And the Dalai Lama said, “When we feel love and kindness toward others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for, but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.”
As Shakespeare famously wrote, “This above all: to thine own self be true.”
The term “self-love” has become a sort of catchphrase of our times as more and more people put less emphasis on the importance of finding fulfillment through a life partner and building a family and more emphasis on finding fulfillment within themselves.
Self-love is about honoring yourself and your unique talents and embracing your flaws completely.
It’s about loving your whole self and continually advocating for your own well-being as you navigate school, work, friendships, relationships and life.
Popular psychology has it that you can’t truly love someone else unless you love yourself first.
In fact, all forms of love overlap and though they can be categorized in theory, in practice we can love the same person in many ways and, equally, the quality of the love we offer and receive in one category will have an impact on our ability to express and experience love in other categories as well.
This type of love can encompass at least three of the major Greek categories: eros (passion), ludus (flirtation) and pragma (long-lasting love).
Romantic love is that thunderbolt type of love discussed in the beginning.
It’s what most people define as a life goal: to meet their soulmate, partner, spouse or lifelong partner.
Though the strong emotions of an intense romantic connection often make it fertile ground for conflict as insecurities arise and the fear of losing that love grow, romantic love is also one of the most character-building experiences we can have, precisely because the stakes are so high.
Navigating this sea of heady feelings and finding calm, steady waters is a skill we often learn by first drowning in the storms of a few ill-destined relationships.
And yet, the rewards of love and of loving are so great that most of us do, even after a terrible breakup or divorce, eventually get back out there and open our hearts again.
That’s because romantic love, and the vulnerability and intimacy it comes with, is indeed, a truly wonderful part of the human experience.
To invite more love into your life, whisper, say, chant, sing or shout the following love affirmations:
- I am open and ready to give and receive love.
- I deserve deeply nurturing and fulfilling love.
- I am worthy of love.
- I love myself.
- I accept myself how I am and cultivate self-love.
- I trust that love will find me.
- True love starts within.
- My heart offers love to all beings everywhere.
- I am attracting real connection.
- I am loved and cherished by friends, family and loved ones.
- I am manifesting a healthy, loving relationship.
- I have an infinite supply of love to give and receive.
- I am radiating love.
- I am inviting abundant love into my life.
- Wherever I go, I find love.
- I am the essence of Divine Love.
- Connected to Universal Energy, love comes through me and is spread to the world.
- The love I am seeking is seeking me.
- I am attracting deep, earth-shattering, soul-shaking love.
- I trust my heart to guide me to true love.
- I release all past hurt and am ready to be vulnerable in love again.
- I choose love over fear.
- Love is a white light that fills me with its healing powers.
- I am attracting a kind, gentle, loving partner.
- I offer acceptance, support and love to my friends and family.
- I forgive any wrongs done to me by my family members and offer love and healing to my entire lineage.
- My inner self is strong, my heart is faithful, and my love is unconditional.
- I feel loved fully for who I am.
- I have much love inside of me to share with others.
- Other people treasure my love.
- I am ready to meet my soulmate.
- Each day is an opportunity for love to grow.
- The door to lasting love is open to me.
- The Universe is love.
- The love I seek from others needs to be cultivated within me first.
- My love is beautiful, intense and passionate.
- Even if I am hurt, offering love and compassion is always the right thing to do.
- My relationships are positive and offer the highest good to all of those affected by them.
- I don’t need to do anything to deserve love.
- My soul is nurtured by the abundance of love in my life.
- I believe in love.
- I am ready for love to change my life.
- I am truly open, vulnerable and trusting with my loved ones.
- My love is a precious gift that I have the power to choose when, how and to whom to give.
Enjoy these affirmations for love and share them with others who need more love in their lives.
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