By Debbie A. Johnson

Many people, including me, know what it’s like to feel a lack of love, compassion, and caring. I was abandoned by my mother at just three months old, and adopted at the tender, vulnerable age of seven, after several foster homes. I never felt loved by my adoptive mother, and my father was working or sleeping. I never really had a conversation with him.

Can you relate? I do not feel sorry for myself by any means, as this propelled my spiritual side into surfacing. It helped me learn that the only love that is forever, that is true, is the kind that never dies. No matter what you believe, you can always tap into that love. You can decide where it comes from, even from within yourself, because truly, that is where it is, in your heart.

I found the secret for me to getting more love in my life and infusing every relationship with that love to the point of watching people change miraculously before my eyes. Yes, it took time, but it was worth every single minute and discipline of love. Here are a few of my discoveries:

1. People respond to love. In order to give love to others, I had to first learn to give love to myself. Simply put, you can not pour tea from an empty teapot, no matter how much you want to serve your guest. What fills you with love? What recharges your love battery? Maybe it’s just reading a good book, gardening, or a hobby. If you do not have time, imagine you have time and then begin to make the time, starting small.

2. When you do not need as much from others, they give you more love because you are relaxed and fulfilled. Do you want to love a needy person? Probably not if you’re like most people. So take time to take care of your own needs in the best way you can. If you do not have time for yourself, that’s an indication that something has to change. You’ll find a way if you really want to.

3. Practice accepting love from others and you’ll feel more loved . I had to learn how to receive even hugs! I was so busy giving so I could get, that I completely bypassed acceptance and receiving love in the small ways people offered it. Even accepting compliments was something I had to learn. Just say “Thank you” and if you must say something else, “I’m so glad you like it” with absolutely no denigration of yourself !!

Gratitude is powerful. Being grateful for the love you already have in your life, no matter how small, even from pets, is a simple first step. Enjoy the journey of filling your life with more love!


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