If there are seasons to fall in love, for me it is Spring and Summer.  It’s all about hot beach holidays and watermelon; social celebrations and champagne; music and mangoes. It is the season of sensual pleasures. It is easy to feel the love in summer – the days are longer and warmer and people are much more social. It is also a time of dreaming as the year draws to a close and we begin to think expansively about the future unfolding, about what we want for work, study, play ….and love…for the next year ahead. And it is no surprise this is the wedding season too!

I fell in love with my husband over one magic summer. We still refer to it as our summer of love. Falling in love is the most amazing thing, isn’t it? That rush of infatuation and giddy pleasure. It is a magic bubble but one that inevitably has to pop. Just as Summer makes way for Autumn, so too the ‘falling in love’ phase is replaced by the growing and deepening of the ‘real love’.

Or, there is that other familiar scenario, waking up from the dream, disillusioned, unable to progress to what is required for ‘real loving’ and we ‘fall out of love’, only to repeat the cycle again. There is nothing wrong with that, albeit painful at the time. I do recognise the wisdom in kissing a few frogs before you find your prince. However, without a realistic understanding of the nature of love in relationships, people can find themselves in a chronic cycle of falling in and out of love.

Our lives and our loves follow the seasons and experience cycles of creation and growth, birth and blossom, death and rebirth. These are natural rhythms and the ebb and flow of energy and focus.  We need to know how to nourish and nurture love; how to allow the space for love to grow; and how to transition through the changes – for example, to ‘tough out a winter’ – and re-emerge, renewed, stronger and more in love.

Our deepest longing in life is to be loved. However, the art of loving and relationships is not something we are consciously taught and, in fact, it is something many people are confused about. We largely behave and act unconsciously in love and relationships. We acquire our understanding of it through modelling our parents and families and through our social and cultural influences and experience. But what if what you learnt wasn’t healthy or safe?

Without a doubt the number one cause of most love and relationship pains and dysfunctions is a lack of self-love and self-worth. Our capacity to give and receive love starts with loving ourselves. You can’t give what you don’t have. If you are not feeling loved or lovable, it is hard to love others. This requires self –knowledge and a desire to consciously choose and create what you want. Sometimes love is all around but for lack of being aware, so many people fail to notice its existence. Love is not a thing you acquire, it is not even an emotion; it is a way of being in the world. It is always available to you.

Make this your summer of love. Open your heart, mind and senses to love. Love is experienced through words, touch, sights and sounds, tastes and smells, actions and thoughts. Be love, do love, see love, think love and say love. Enjoy the summer warmth; feel the salt and sand on your body; eat summer fruits; dance to the summer sounds; smell the flowers, tell yourself and others what you love. Lay the foundation of love this summer to last you through all the seasons. Much love, Sarah

Sarah Tolmie is a life & love coach, therapist, consultant and holistic celebrant assisting individuals, couples and families to celebrate, navigate, heal and grow through all their life & love events, changes, challenges and losses. Her practice focuses on love, marriage & family relationships; success, health & wellness; grief and loss, including illness, dying, end-of-life and after death care.  You can receive her Daily Love updates on her Facebook page at Sarah Tolmie – Life & Love.