As Valentine’s Day approaches, many people’s thoughts turn to an eternal question: How to find love? This might have qualifiers, like how to find love after 30, 40 or 50, or after a breakup, or even a divorce, but it all comes down to the same thing. People social creatures and as such are always looking to for not only romantic love, but also love from our friends, family and others around us. We all have questions about how to find love around us.
But all of our questions come from the common place of not wanting to feel lonely. Looking for answers and desperately wanting to know that we’re not alone, we go over and over the story of why we think we don’t have love in our lives with our friends, co-workers and sometimes, anyone else who will listen.
What most of us don’t realise, probably because no one has taught us, is that every answer we need lies inside of us. And any time we look outside of ourselves for the answers we seek about love, we’re looking in the wrong place.
Here are four ways to access your own answers:
1. Give yourself permission.
Give yourself permission to want what you want. When you give yourself this freedom, you’ll no longer be in the place where you need to justify chasing after the wrong sorts of people. Instead, you will know what you want, and therefore be better prepared to find it.
Allow yourself to spend some time dreaming about what you’ve always wanted but maybe never gave life to previously for fear of being disappointed. Go deep and get specific about how you want to feel when you have the love you’ve always desired by your side. Get a vision for the type of person you want in your life, the type of relationship you’ll have together and what is truly important to you.
And don’t play small. There are no limits to what you can dream about, so absolutely don’t make any apologies for wanting what you want.
Once you know all this — not just in your head, but in your soul — also know the only reason to deviate from your vision is if you don’t believe you can have it. Odds are, you can.
2. Learn from the past, and heal from it.
When things are painful, we tend to want to push them away. But thinking about your past relationships can provide a wealth of information about what you’ve attracted into your life and what you’ve allowed into your heart. And of course, thinking about past relationships can also help you reflect on what you no longer wish to attract into your life.
If you can cultivate the bravery to become curious — and compassionate — about your role in your past relationships, then you have the opportunity to learn the lesson those teachers were there to provide so that you don’t continue with the same patterns in love.
Although it’s incredibly tempting to skip this step, because it can feel a little prickly to have to own so much of our experience, this is where you are finally able to heal the past and not carry unlearned lessons and baggage into the next relationship. This is where you can create a future that looks dramatically different than your past.
3. Shed those limiting beliefs.
A belief is just a thought that we have listened to in our minds over and over again. It’s been there in our minds for so long that we actually think it’s true.
The way to find those sneaky, and often unconscious, beliefs is to explore the broad brushstrokes that we use to describe the experiences we’ve had with people previously. For instance, “Men are intimidated by strong women,” or “Nice guys always finish last,” or “I’m always the one that gets abandoned.” These may be thoughts, but they can surely limit our experience.
For you to attract, receive and sustain the love you desire for yourself, you have to be willing to identify and shed those limiting beliefs. You have to stop giving those thoughts energy and mindshare. If you want to create a new love experience for yourself, one that is unlike the love you’ve had previously, you will need to embrace a new way of thinking about love, and find out the things you need to think are true in order to realize them.
4. Realize that everything you’re looking for comes through you.
When it comes to love, most people look to another person to be all the things they desire. But attracting the love you want has to come through you, rather than to you. Everything it is that you want to attract into your life through a loving partner is what you have to become yourself.
- If you want love that is passionate and spontaneous, then you have to actually become a passionate and spontaneous person.
When all the above is considered, the wise words of Henry David Thoreau make all the sense in the world: “there is no remedy for love but to love more.” Love itself then is the cure for those seeking love and the answer to the question we started with of ‘how to find love?’