Bigger than us: Love

Take a first look at Fearne’s new book and change the way you look at your life. Here, she focuses on the big picture of love.

Is there anything bigger than love? It’s all-encompassing and the catalyst to life itself but when we can’t see it, life can feel barren, brittle and unforgiving. Love is safety, comfort, reassurance, motivation, community-building, miracle-making. It is omnipresent and everywhere, so why at times does it seem to vanish completely?

When we are lonely, depressed or full of rage, we are blind to love’s power and mass. It seemingly dissipates before our very eyes at the mere whiff of negative distraction. Life’s distractions can be so big that we forget it is our lifeboat whenever we need it – we just have to remember that it’s not always exclusively an exterior source of love that can carry us through life, it is also always within.

“I believe love is where it’s at when it comes to living a spiritual life of connection and meaning” — Fearne Cotton

We often think of love as a rather one-dimensional proposal. It’s all red roses and romantic dinners backed by a sunset. We forget that love is the driving force behind each unfurling flower and pulsing through every jolt of hysterical laughter. We usually only recognise the romantic or family aspect of love but it has so many other sides.

It’s so powerful that when we refuse to see it, we create a vicious friction that separates, causes suffering and sparks war. In those moments where we are blind to the love that is around us and within us, we lose our connection. Self-loathing or judgement upon others blocks us from the abundance of life.
Self-love is a term that’s been thrown around a lot in the last couple of decades but have we really noted the powerful nature of simply loving oneself? I think not, as we’re living in one of the most divisive eras – a time in which we use social media to compare ourselves to others and use labels to exclude and discriminate against others. We’ve lost sight of the love we need for ourselves and others.

My relationship with love has changed over the years. At times I merely viewed it as something to get drunk on. I would crave kisses and human touch and the thrill of feeling my heart flip upside down with lust. An intoxicating, heart-thumping love was all I desired and the only kind of love I recognised outside of the grounded, long-lasting love for my family. Self-love was not in my orbit for a long time. I assumed I would like myself more if I was loved by another, maybe even lots of others. As my TV audience increased, I expected to find more acceptance of the bits of me I didn’t like. Maybe if others loved my insatiable enthusiasm that I felt out of control of, I would like it more too? Maybe if my characterful nose and bulbous eyes were applauded, I would find it easier to look in the mirror without judgement? I learned that lesson the hard way and have only really started to understand the power of self-love and acceptance recently.

How we get to that place is another story. My own rollercoaster of self-examination has been one of severe self-loathing at times and I’m so desperate to settle into a calmer plateau of self-acceptance. I assume that once I get there my relationships will be better, my love for the planet will be more respectful and my understanding of love in all its many guises will be cemented. I believe love is where it’s at when it comes to living a spiritual life of connection and meaning. It’s often the answer to so many of our problems but so often we forget it’s for us, due to feelings of unworthiness, and can’t perceive it in others as we only see our differences.

To help us peel back the red shiny wrapper of love so we can feel it more, see it more clearly and understand its potency I am going to explore several different subjects with some incredible people I’ve met over the years, to help us on our merry way. Here’s to love and a deeper, more meaningful, life.

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