Lovability is a state, not an attribute. If we find ourselves trying to effect our lovability, we have lost contact with this state. A return to lovability is possible, but not with trying to change ourselves. The return involves certain principles of love.

Cease any pulling for love.  When we pull to be seen and valued, we are merely pulling to shore up a self image of a person who is loved. There is no sensory depth to this image -  no possibility of experiencing the sweet taste of love when we identify with it. We may get some sense of passing gratification, but we will be empty of love.

Embody compassion . When we stop trying for lovability we usually find ourselves in emotional pain. It's the pain of having betrayed ourself. It hurts to absent from our natural state of lovability. We don't chose this betrayal. It's an habitual reflex with it's roots in childhood development, where we accommodated our caretakers. But all we need to deal with this pain is to let compassion meet it. Compassion is balm to our hearts, releasing the pain and relocating us to our natural state.

Be as malleable as water. When we meet the pain of self betrayal,  tears are likely to run.  Let the tears flow. They are merely vehicles to the fluid nature of our heart. Herein lies the deepest of vulnerabilities. We become as malleable as water - supremely permeable to love.

Don't believe any thought. Any thought about your lovability is not worth following. Follow a thought and it will leave you evaluating yourself. Good evaluation or bad evaluation, all evaluations are  a movement away from the state of lovability. Take in appreciations, enjoy them, but never let them be an evaluation of your lovability.

Face shame.  Feeling shame is an indication we just checked out of our inherent lovability. This most painful of affects  feels as if something about us makes us unworthy of love. We must tenderly hold our own shame -  love it to death. By embracing it so, it will  evaporate and reveal what aspect of our lovability needs welcoming.

Calm your nervous system.  No agitated nervous system allows for love. When we are agitated we don't feel safe and we close the door to our lovability.  Find mindful activities that soothe the nerves and bring safety back. Dance, walk, run, swim, wriggle, bend, stretch - do whatever it takes to return to the primordial state of lovability.

Make a quest for love, but not for being lovable. The quest to be lovable will serve only to distract you from your loveliness.

Returning to our state of lovability is an act of courage. With the supreme vulnerability of this state we risk impingement and hurt. Yet with this return we gain the freedom from the pain of self betrayal and more importantly gain the freedom to love and be loved.

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Dr. Geoff Warburton is a specialist in love and movement meditation. He enjoys baking bread and dancing whenever possible, often at the same time.

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