Love, love and love!
It seems everyone is into love.
Wants to be loved.
Is in love.
Is complete and fulfilled by love.
Is broken by love.
Is confused by love.
And wants to be loved again.
Me too! I’m all about love!
Ok, well it’s not 14th February (Valentino’s Day – as I like to call it) and maybe I should save this post for then (I’ll repost it then!) but I really want to get into this topic today as it’s not just a Valentino’s day thing but an everyday thing.
And in fact love is not actually or just about Valentino’s day – that’s just some crazy commercialised holiday – as are so many other holidays.
Today I’m not here to talk about love as in spoucy type or when you get married etc, but I’m going to talk about everyday love, eternal love, internal love and that love that is simmering within us 24/7.
This love is beyond marriage or children.
It is much, much more. It’s basic stuff really.
And in fact, it is practiced by each of us daily – albeit unconsciously at times.
And you know what – this love is pure.
It’s like the baby love – you know when a baby just wants to be loved by its parent and isn’t aware of anything other than pure mummy/daddy love.
I want to talk to you about this love today – which is deep within us – because this love can actually make us or break us.
And it does daily – depending on how we use it.
And, no, it’s got nothing to do with the opposite gender at all!
This post is about love in the context of personal and spiritual development of the individual.
According to Maslow love and belonging are third on the level of human needs (after physiological and safety needs are fulfilled).
Humans need to love and be loved and this need is particularly strong in childhood and any deficiency in it can affect us in our adult life.
And any deficiency in adult life can lead to loneliness, anxiety and depression.
God created us social being and to be part of a social network.
The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) teaches us many different aspects of our social life – how to interact and deal in different social settings and to create successful social spheres.
Here’s the thing.
This is all awesome and brilliant – and I totally agree with it.
However, our childhood conditioning can lead us to seek love and focus on it more than doing anything else in life.
What I mean by this is – and I speak from personal experience and in fact it is something I have to also work on a lot in my life – we always want to seek approval from those who we love when we want to take a step into whatever it is we want to do.
This form of approval can be from anyone really.
Mostly it is family.
However if we have had childhood family issues then we seek it elsewhere.
Some reading this may disagree – but in my personal coaching and mentoring capacity and getting to know many people from across the globe I have noticed that we tend to seek approval even if it is from our boss and even if we act all ‘nothing hurts me – business is business!’.
Deep down inside we have a craving – we need to fulfill it – we need to belong! We are seeking love and trying to fill the ‘void’ within us.
Now when we seek constant approval from those we love and we don’t get it we start to self-sabotage our own dreams and life.
We don’t even realize that we do it – it seems so normal.
I want you to focus back on you today.
I want you to start loving yourself today.
I always say love and respect yourself if you want to be loved!
Love doesn’t cost a thing!
You don’t have to go out there and purchase a magic pill to love yourself.
And think about it for a moment – the love that you’re craving – whoever you’re craving it from – they are also craving it too!
Did you even know that?
So, I mean, here we are being selfish and wanting to be loved yet how much do we love the one we want to be loved by? Unconditionally?
This is no manipulation game!
This is no; ‘If you love me and I will love you’ or ‘If you’re there for me I will be there for you’.
This is the pure love that comes from within.
You just love – because you do.
Read that again.
The reason we are stuck where we are is because we are yearning to be loved and accepted and we want to hear it in words or feel it with love or tangible objects.
But that is not necessary at all.
Yes, it’s part of it.
But not the main part.
You know I have a very close relationship with my parents and siblings since childhood.
Whenever anyone asked me; ‘Do you love Abu more or Ami more’ I used to get confused and say both. ‘No, you have to choose one’, they used to say. And me? I used to start crying!
As I got older things changed.
Its’ supposed to – it’s natural!
And all I ever wanted was to ‘feel’ that love as I felt it as a child.
Every time I asked my parents; ‘What shall I study/work/do?’ they always replied with; ‘Do what you want and feel happy with!’.
Ok, which kid does not want to hear this and do what they feel, right?
But me? I thought they didn’t love me anymore.
I thought they were too busy for me.
But they weren’t.
They were always there for me – but had a different way of expressing it.
You know if my parents never said; ‘Do what you want and feel happy with’ then today I wouldn’t be who I am – at all!
But the crazy part is – I stopped loving myself!
I hated ME!
My own soul!
Yes, I hated me – because I thought the ones I loved didn’t love me!
You feel me on this?
How wrong was I?!
And because of this, I didn’t take the steps I needed to in life.
I was never confident.
Actually, everyone thought I was confident.
But I wasn’t!
I faked it.
There – I confessed!
(But, it worked!).
It’s like I had to start from square one and love myself again.
Love myself enough to believe in me.
Love myself enough to love others without attachment.
They pure type – for the sake of Allah type.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “None of you truly believes (in Allah and in His religion) until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” [Bukhari and Muslim]
It doesn’t cost anything to love your sister and brother in Islam or humanity.
How could we want bad things to happen to them? We don’t wish bad on ourselves.
If we follow this Hadith correctly then there would be no hatred in the world and we wouldn’t need to search for love here and there and we wouldn’t have attachment issues.
And in fact the only one we need to be attached to and ask of is our creator – our Allah.
“And yet there are some people, who replace Allah with rivals, loving them as Allah is loved. But the believers love Allah more intensely” (Surah Al-Baqarah 2:165)
When you develop deep love for Allah then you will love everyone unconditionally and you will be good to them and wish good for them without attachments.
You won’t need to worry about attachments or fall into them.
You will see that your family mean well and your siblings mean well.
You will see that those around you mean well.
Obviously I’m not talking about someone who has taken your rights off you and has deliberately hurt you physically or emotionally or those oppressive tyrants across the globe.
I’m praying that my tribe of followers have more knowledge and wisdom to think I’m condoning all that!
But what I am trying to say is that we need to move away from; ‘Oh I was attached again and he/she hurt me again’.
That is victim mentality – and no one wants to be there.
The only one allowing yourself to fall into that trap is you.
You’re scared of being alone, rejected, not wanted.
I know! I’ve been exactly there!
Understand who YOU are!
Understand why YOU feel the need to be loved and then fall into this scenario.
Mine was straight up – I was looking for that ‘support’ from my parents and when I didn’t get it (or understand their way of giving it) I looked elsewhere!
Now – it’s all good.
Now I understand.
Now I know that everyone who comes into my life is for a reason.
Allah has sent them for a reason.
And if they have to go – Allah said so!
You don’t become bitter.
You don’t hate.
Love doesn’t cost a thing!
You don’t have to be selfish with it.
You don’t have to ‘astagferullah’ about it.
It is who we are and there’s plenty to go around the world.
Allah is the one we need to turn to at each point.
He (swt) is the one who helps us, guides us and heals us.
Don’t hate any one.
Everyone is on their journey.
You’re not the only one in this world and the world doesn’t owe you anything.
When you realise this you can actually start to heal your wounds. You can close previous chapters. You can forgive and leave them to God and move on. You are much stronger than you’re giving yourself credit. And this is not the time and place to be getting all humble and modest.
Think about it – others have moved on and getting on in life – so what about you?
Get to know yourself again.
Get to know God again.
This is deep stuff – I know – it doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a start right?
Once you become aware of this and focus on the purpose why Allah created you and how limited your life truly is then you won’t waste it.
Attachments are all about a need which was not fulfilled and most likely from childhood.
Think about it and dig deep.
Where in your life does this issue come up and with whom?
I’m not talking about today – trust me – I’ve given you a direct example of my own life.
Once you realise this – work on it and understand the context then you’ll be able to move forward.
When it happened with me I went through this process also - with Allah.
I talked to Him (swt) and asked Him to show me the way.
You need to do this for yourself and do it now.
If not you’ll always be stuck.
You’ll misunderstand love.
Love is an emotion deep within.
Allah put it there.
Don’t fight it!
Don’t be bitter against love.
Will you hate everyone and everthing?
That’s what we end up doing really!
And if it does go down the haraam road then trust me it’s something you need to look into your life.
Wait till Allah makes it halaal for you!
Why is it that we become so attached to s/he and our parents become our enemies?
Where is this coming up in your life?
Work on it and heal it.
Maybe you’ve never seen it this way before.
I hope it truly helps.
As even when you’re married your love for Allah will be more – as you know that He is the one who gives and takes and He is our Creator.
He (swt) is not here to hurt us.
We hurt ourselves.
Love yourself again if you want others to love you.
Love Allah even more and watch the doors of goodness He (swt) opens up for you.
There are numerous verses in the Qur’an about love – and I could just quote them.
All things start with us – even going to brush our teeth!
If you want to make the most of this one life Allah has given you then now is the time.
I invite you to a world of love and happiness – which is already awaiting you now.
1. Reflect on your life and your relationships – where can you improve and what needs to be resolved. Get on to it.
2. Learn about Allah and our purpose. Learn about RasoolAllah and his mission.
3. What do you want from your life now and whose approval are you waiting for? Be real – to yourself – and now you know what steps to take insha’Allah.
Leave me a comment and let me know what you thought about this article.
Nadia Leona Yunis