“Love is a state of Being. Your love is not outside; it is deep within you. You can never lose it, and it cannot leave you.”   ~Eckhart Tolle

Love 101

Years ago I thought I knew what love was. I loved my children. I loved their mother. I loved God. 

Then I went to therapy. 

And then I started coach training. And leadership training. 

And I read some books on love, and God, and other stuff.

I was wrong. I didn't know the first thing about loving. So I've decided to give it a try. Again. And again. 

So this is what I think I know now. 

Love just is. We are all capable of loving at all times. It is doing or being what is best for the object of your love.

I'll say that again, it is doing or being what is best for the object of your love. This includes yourself.

It has no conditions. It is not a feeling, although it often is accompanied by feelings. If it did have an opposite, it would be control. 

You can't control love. It's always a surprise. There was a time in my life when I was obsessed with everyone who loved me doing exactly what I thought they should always be doing for me. That meant that the people closest to me lived under a constant judgement cycle of whether they were doing a good enough job at loving me. It got to the point where some of them just gave up. I don't blame them. 

The real heartbreak was my kids, especially my oldest because she got the brunt of my controlling nature. It was actually in a therapy session when my oldest was around 7 years old that I realized that I was not the amazing "best dad" that I had always thought of myself as. Truth was, I was using my children to feed my ego--to feed my love need.

I was absolutely disgusted with myself. 

So I committed myself to real love. No bullshit authentic love. And I didn't get it right. I don't get it right. Just better. Sometimes.

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Love Story

Ask me to tell you a story of love and I will tell you a story of affliction. Pain beyond description as I realize my own role in blocking my deepest wishes. I will tell you a story of addiction, control and manipulation. Addicted to all the things that gave me a sense of transcendence but always left me wanting in the end. Control of situation and people—especially people. And I will tell you story after story of manipulation to get my own way, to have you respond how I wanted you to, to show my best face to the world. I will tell you a story of letting go, faith, authenticity, and courage. Letting go of outcomes, faith in the mystery of something better, being real no matter what, and the desperate courage to choose it all—again and again. I will tell you a story of failed courage and continued control and manipulation. I will tell you a story of mustering the will to try it again because I know in my heart of hearts that it isn't real love if I'm not really me. I will tell you a story of companions and belief in other and belief in goodness. Men and women who come alongside me every step of the way. Who believe in me and I choose to believe in them. Nothing makes sense if there isn't a core goodness in the world—if God or the Universe isn't seeking me much more than I am seeking Him, Her, or It. Ask me to tell you a story of love and I will tell you about me. I will also tell you that I want this story for you. I will tell you a story that will change the world. One HEART at a time.

by Ken Carlson

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