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TeenConnect: Q&A

How can I feel loved?

From the Christian Science Sentinel - January 3, 2019

From the teen series: Q&A - January 3, 2019


TeenConnect: Q&A

Q: How can I feel loved?

A: Love was something I spent a lot of my younger years, especially my teens, searching for. My parents divorced when I was five, and I was raised in an abusive home. I never felt loved. But I sure felt that yearning. I searched for love in relationships, but as hard as I tried, I was never able to find it there. 

In college, when a friend who was a Christian Scientist gave me a copy of Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, I read the most amazing sentence: “Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and bestowals” (p. 13). Neon lights started flashing in my head, and I thought, If only this were true, I might finally experience love.

Since that moment, I’ve found that it is true. Love is universal because God is Love itself, and divine Love embraces everyone, universally. So while love can be expressed by the people in our lives, I’ve learned that it’s not dependent on them.

While love can be expressed by the people in our lives, I’ve learned that it’s not dependent on them.

Where can we find this love? We sure hear a lot about love in day-to-day conversation, like a “love you” or a heart emoji in a text. Nice—but these symbols of love are so frequently used that they’re rarely more than a casual acknowledgment of friendship. Love-yous are good, but somewhat short-lived and hollow. What we’re really yearning for is a deep, consistent, and dependable love—the real thing!

I was so relieved to discover that we aren’t separate from the love we crave—and that really, that’s God’s love. God’s love is always present, no matter what’s going on in our lives, because Love is omnipresent—everywhere, always. You could say we are in Love! That’s a very cool thing. In fact, God’s love is infinite, which means it’s all there is. We can’t get out of it. 

I got this intellectually and could even believe it for other people. But to really feel convinced of this love for myself, I had to discover that there was more to love than feeling loved by others or even by God. One day when I was praying, I was jolted when I recognized that not only can we experience love, but there is also a whole other dimension.

Here’s what hit me. I knew from reading the Bible and Science and Health that we are each created spiritually in God’s image. So being like God, who is Love, means that we have to be like Love. In fact, our true spiritual nature is Love’s expression. Love is actually our substance. Because Love constitutes our very being, we can’t be separate from it. 

Think about it. We are not only loved by our Father-Mother God, our divine Parent, but we are Love’s loving. Because this is the very fabric of our being, it’s present and active all the time. 

But what about feeling loved? When we think of experiencing love, we might think of warmth—like the sun on our back. Or like the coziness of a down comforter on a cold night. But thinking of love in these terms doesn’t include all there is to it.

Because Love constitutes our very being, we can’t be separate from it.

So maybe we need to reframe the question. What if we opened our hearts and minds to consciously living and moving and having our being (see Acts 17:28) in Love? Since we are in Love, we are always both loving and experiencing love, just as the sun is always shining. As we acknowledge this, we’ll find ourselves naturally in sync with Love. Our thoughts and lives will radiate with the understanding of this glorious fact. 

As mine did. The gaping hole that was present for so many years has completely disappeared. No traces of that desperate yearning remain. And something really interesting has happened. Instead of worrying about feeling or getting love, I no longer even think about it. To know that I’m in Love and always have been is just totally satisfying.

So when we reframe the question, the answer is obvious. How can we feel loved? We don’t need to, because love isn’t something outside us that we need to get, but is actually what we are—Love’s expression. 

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