Love is Always Loving You
– Tara Brach

The deepest feelings of human suffering are those of being unlovable—shame, fear, hopelessness, and isolation. When you become lost in suffering, a key question to ask yourself is, Can I let in love?

Let me explain. I began the practice of letting in love from a greater source years ago when I was at a meditation retreat. It was just after the holidays, and I was drowning in feelings of shame and self-recrimination because I hadn’t been very present with my family. I tried arousing mindfulness and self-compassion, but an angry, shameful voice dug in its heels: I’m not OK. I’m selfish and unloving, and I don’t want to be this way!

Once the anger turned to helplessness, I began to cry. A deep part of me felt unlovable. I asked myself what this sad, vulnerable part of me needed most. Suddenly, I whispered out loud, “Please love me.” Over and over, a heartbroken plea: “Please love me.”

In this moment, I became aware of an intimate presence—a field of sentience and light surrounding me—that was entirely tender and compassionate. I bowed my head slightly and sensed a kiss on my brow, a blessing of pure acceptance and care. Something in me opened. I felt bathed in loving light.

The more light I let in, the more any sense of separation fell away. Whatever arose—outside sounds, a memory of a friend who’d died, a wave of sorrow—was held in this luminous, open heart space. I remembered the words of one of my teachers: “Love is always loving you.” I rested in that truth.

Ever since, at times of difficulty, I’ve often called on this intimate presence and asked for love. I sense the blessing at my brow, and I feel myself soften and open up. But I’ve also learned not to wait for tough moments to reconnect with this ever-present compassionate awareness. Today—between emails, in the shower— I often pause, turn toward this presence, and let love in.

Love is always loving you. To realize this, allow yourself to long for love, ask for it, and let it surround you from the inside out. For me, the more I practice this, the more accessible the feelings of love and being loved by others becomes. Yes, old patterns (selfishness, self-judgments, and fears) arise, but increasingly they’re held in a heart space that is forgiving and tender.

Photo by Wendell

Ventura Center for Spiritual Living

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