In relationship, we tend to seek out the experience of being loved. We think if someone loves us, then we are lovable. When we believe we are lovable, we are invincible. We are powerful. We are standing in our full glory. And we are so, so vulnerable. Perhaps this is why we rely on others to confirm that we are lovable—because really, to know that we are loved would be too much. After all, humans are extremely shitty at loving each other.If you spend your life relying on other humans to make you feel like you are lovable, there is a good chance you’ll be disappointed again and again, until eventually you give up on that idea entirely. I know this has crossed my mind before. I’ll think to myself, “Well Kezia, you tried your best. You did everything you could to get this person to love you, and they didn’t. This must mean that you are basically, unlovable, and you just have accept this truth.” I will think to myself, I really tried—and look, other people screwed me over again.

Of course the truth is, I didn’t try at all. To rely on others to make you feel lovable is the easy way out. We KNOW that humans aren’t good at loving other people. Look how much we struggle to do it ourselves! Sure, we love people—but do we consistently do everything we can day in and day out to make them feel loved, seen, heard, and supported for who they truly are? If you are succeeding at this with even one person in your life I truly bow to you. It’s hard work!

I start with the bar pretty low. Can I stop having negative thoughts about people that I claim to be my friends? I mean this should be achievable. And I do think I’ve made great strides. But it wasn’t easy. I have negative thoughts about people I call friends all the time. I don’t want to have these thoughts! But they just come up into my mind. They feel true. Sometimes, they feel important. I just have to tell this person about some judgment I have about their lifestyle. They need to know the truth. Ugh it is an ugly place inside of myself. It is the place where I am unloved, unlovable, unacceptable—and thus so is everyone else.

Isn’t that the way that it works, after all? If we don’t believe ourselves to be lovable, how can we believe that anyone is? I guess I should more clearly state, I am talking about unconditional love. Love that transcends space or time, love that disregards reason or misdeed, love that envelops, permeates, and has the power to change our minds in an instant, move mountains in a day. If we don’t believe ourselves worthy of this love—then how can we feel it towards anyone at all? We have to feel it inside of ourselves first. We have to believe that we are lovable—better yet, that we are already loved. We have to bathe ourselves in it. We have to let it wash through the channels of our veins over and over until we are drowning in it, drunk on a dream of a different world.

How do you cultivate this belief? It starts with a dream. Was there ever a time when held some place in your heart, a little corner of your heart where you decided to believe, just for a moment, that you were going to find your one true love? That there would be this person out there that was just going to love you, and love you so much and so fully and so completely that you would never doubt for a second how amazingly lovable you are? It seems like we are all born with this hint, and perhaps it’s no surprise that we get confused, believing we have to find this love out in the world somewhere, so that we can know it is real.

To me this is the central lie—that this hint, that this feeling, that this dream is not real. That our feelings aren’t real. If you held that love inside of a corner of your heart I say embrace it! It’s there for you to feel right now. Why do our feelings need some external validation? What is love if it isn’t something you feel inside? Why are you waiting for some outside source to affirm you are correct in having this feeling? The love that you feel is real! If you have the blessing of a glimpse of feeling it by all means go ahead.

Because waiting for that love to be proven to you by another human is a fool’s errand. It can also become a quite controlling kind of relationship, based on a specific expectation on another. In a way we have relationships completely backwards. It is not our partner’s job to make us feel loved. It is our job to love ourselves, and hold space for our partners to do the same. Relationships are an opportunity to believe, nurture, and cultivate the belief that you are lovable, loved, and thus capable of sharing love with others. When we know that we are loved and lovable no matter what, we can then deepen our experience of that love by holding the same to be true for those around us, letting the warmth and power of that love massage our bones, move the mountains of our minds, and open the floodgates of our hearts.

If you’re looking for inspiration, look to your dreams. Mine have given me enormous gifts, brief images, moments, experiences of love that still floor me today. They have shown me pain and grief that felt insurmountable. They have taken me down the streams of experience into a river of love and beauty and awe that truly has no parallel in the waking world. This love exists within every single one of us, it is the seed of our consciousness. It is up to us to believe in it, even when there are so many voices in our minds that want to deny it. It is up to us to nurture it. It is up to us to watch it grow. The love you dream about is real, simply because it exists inside of your experience. Will you let yourself have it? Will you let yourselves feel it? Will you live your life as if it is undeniably true? It’s up to you.

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