Two nights ago, as I walked out of Whole Foods and across the parking lot, I glanced down to see LOVE right next to my car… and right under my nose. I stopped in my tracks. How had I not see it on my way in to the store? Was the word even written on the pavement an hour earlier?!
Naturally, I wondered if this was a sign. I mean…I’ve been thinking a LOT about love lately, not just as a result of my recent break-up but also because I’ve been working on resuscitating my own self-love.
I wondered if perhaps the word “LOVE” (written boldly in big block white-chalk letters) was the universe’s extremely literal “girl-let-me-slap-some-sense-into-you” way of telling me to knock it off. In other words, if the pavement could have spoken, it would have said, “Love isn’t out there, it’s right here.”
When Life Coach Annie Quagliaroli recently asked me, “What does it feel like to be truly loved?” I couldn’t answer her. I wasn’t sure I knew the answer. So I tossed out, “Knowing that the person is there for you no matter what?”
“No,” Annie corrected me. “What does it feel like?” God, was I experiencing a temporary brain freeze or did I really not know?
Sure, I’ve been in loving relationships before. Over the past 20 years, I’ve said “I love you” to at least a half dozen boyfriends. And I grew up in what you could call a “loving” (i.e., stereotypical Irish Catholic) family in which we traded in hugs for knowing that mom would always make us dinner and take us to dance class.
So why was it so hard to describe what it felt like to be truly loved? Could it be because I was trying to think about how it felt to have other people love me and not about how it felt to love myself?
As Miguel Ruiz explains:
“How much you love yourself and how you feel about yourself are directly proportionate to the quality and integrity of your word. When you are impeccable with your word, you feel good; you feel happy and at peace.”
Suddenly it dawned on me. I realized that, for most of my life, the people I’ve loved and who have loved me have always maintained an inconsistency between their words and actions. And by allowing their inconsistency, I’m guilty of letting love feel…well, numb. I’m starting to get the sense that true love might actually feel like peace. It might feel like the truth.