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July 2017

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We want it badly, but rarely do we admit our secret, ravenous hunger. You can see this thirsting for the real thing in the eyes of colleagues, a neighbor, the mailman and maybe in your own. You know the ache for unconditional love? Most folks try hard to find it somewhere, no one knows where. A lot of fingers point to the moon.

Maybe we get it with the perfect partner, through fame, sex, fortune or by improving ourselves? One eye is secretly on the look out for this love we are supposed to have, but which seems to be lacking in spades around the world. People talk about it, dream and watch Hollywood movies- at least they have happy endings. And the song “All you need is love” keeps chasing you on the merry go round.

Ok, let’s admit it- you, I and everyone else wants to be truly seen, heard, met and accepted as we are. It feels so satisfying, sane and good. When you hold hands with a beloved, feeling connected and accepted, you are filled with delicious warmth. Or, what you share is received by a friend, who just understands and doesn’t try to fix you. Do you remember, when you woke with exuberant joy, ready to discover what wonders the day may hold?

Of course you want more of this love, much more.

Yet, life also dishes out a different experience. Your boss just dismissed your input; your partner doesn’t listen after a long day of work… You get mad, silently or out loud, when your words aren’t heard. It bugs you, when you feel disrespected. You know this sad moment, when you aren’t seen and the world doesn’t recognize your gifts. When another gives a crumb about you and betrays you ruthlessly too. And you yourself might feel afraid to carry your heart on the sleeve in a world such as this, and therefore don’t speak what makes you feel vulnerable and so alive. Out of fear to be rejected you don’t risk to love beyond your comfort zone and keep yourself seemingly safe.

Maybe you have thrown in the towel, as the hunt for love has turned out too disappointing and who has time for this soft stuff anyway? You may have gotten hurt many a time and shut the door to your heart, which once knew love- for good. The cost? You live in isolation, numbness and quiet despair. No relationship can flourish here, but the ache inside just won’t leave you alone at night. It is calling you home.

And this flicker of hope keeps perking up.

If only you would be prettier, smarter, and righter, in short- more and better than you are -love might just show up and camp out in your house forever. So, you keep working on yourself to be worthy and good enough. Maybe a diet or more money will do? In the attempt to be loved, you may revert to pleasing others, and then you resent them for not returning the favor. You may do your best in loving your child, but fall short by loosing your temper, when you have to clean up the mess on the floor for the fifth time in one day. You struggle to give and receive a little of life’s elixir. Exhausting, really.

You are not the only one; most people experience this in one way or another. The good news is: You got this love already. It lives within your heart, hidden beneath the layers of conditioning and protection armor. Remember how you felt, when you held your new born baby in your arms, when you tasted your first loving kiss, or helped out someone? There are many moments you have touched and been touched by love.

How then do we discover more of this sought after treasure among the maze of delusions and cultivate the soil for unconditional love to grow in our lives and relationships?

These 5 Magic Keys open the Door to experience real love and be able to connect from authenticity, presence and wholeheartedness with your mate, a friend, your child, yourself and people you meet in life.

Presence:

We have heard it: the present is the gift. Without being present, no love is possible, as no one is home. Practice awareness, notice what you feel, observe your thoughts, and sense your body in this moment. Let yourself focus on the now, what you are experiencing and what is happening with another exactly in this moment. You may just notice a bigger space in which you are held, supported and can relax into simply being here. A daily mindfulness and meditation practice really helps to show up with our gift.

Curiosity:

Have you noticed how struggling against the stream gets you nowhere? How judging, analyzing, trying to figuring it all out just tangles you into a tight knot and leaves you anxious? Apply curiosity, it cuts through fear quite nicely and opens the heart and mind. Inquiry questions can free you: “I wonder how this situation will unfold? I am curious to discover the world of my partner. What am I feeling? How might we resolve this issue together?” A child experiences natural wonder and love, because they are innocently curious to discover life.

 Acknowledgment:

We can only start where we are. When you feel stressed, disconnected, guarded and don’t feel loving at all, then admit that honestly to yourself without judgment. Accept what is here, even if you do not like it and let yourself soften. Notice what happens when you welcome the feelings (yes, even the pain or anger) without rejecting, resisting and clinging. Don’t act out your crabbiness, nor suppress your feelings. Give it all room and breath to be here. First then can you shift and move toward more openness.

 Heart fullness:

Place your hand on your heart and breathe several times deeply into this area. Then bring your attention toward appreciating something, like the food you eat, the flowers in your garden, the smile from your child…let it be simple. Connect with what is good in the other and in yourself. Allow and feel the sense of warmth emerging. Revel in this one taste and let it fill you. Then pass it forward by sharing an appreciation with someone. Watch what happens.

Words of love:

These are simple, yet powerful words you can apply to yourself and others. Make sure you mean and feel it, when you express them:

“I am here with you. I hear you. I see you. I care about you. I appreciate you. “ Dare to offer what most people are longing for; believe me, very drop matters in desert land.

Yes, it takes a whole lot of courage to shed the armor and show up for real, but it is fulfilling to choose to live with more love. A whole world opens up, when we step in that direction and you may discover love in the places least expected: with a stranger on the street, when you relish warm sunlight touching your face; in the moment when you are present with a hurting friend; or when you untether from the fears and should not’s and let love move you, as if it is your last day on earth.

Live it, for the world, you and everyone is aching for this. Lo and behold, soon enough, more and more, you find that you are the one who really sees, hears, accepts and can meet anything that life brings. For you stand in love- together with many of us. Welcome home!

Nicola Amadora PhD. supports people to live, lead and relate with presence, connection and wholeheartedness to make a difference in the world. She is a psychologist, mindfulness teacher, relationship & leadership educator, speaker and writer. You can connect with her at: www.nicolaamadora.com

copyright N.Amadora