Love is a potent blend of openness and warmth, which allows us to make real contact, to take delight in and appreciate, and to be at one with - ourselves, others, and life itself. Openness - the heart's pure, unconditional yes - is Love's essence. And warmth is love's basic expression, arising as a natural extension of this yes - the desire to reach out and touch, connect with, and nourish what we love.
Most religions try to remedy the problem of human love-lessness by admonishing us to love more generously. This core principle of spiritual life certainly contains profound truth. Yet there is another truth that stands alongside it: We cannot give what we cannot receive. Just as the earth is abundant because of its ability to receive and absorb (light from the sun and rain from the sky), so we can only give forth love abundantly if we are able to receive it, soak it up, be nourished by it. If we don't feel loved within ourselves, then how can we truly love? "To love is to cast light," Rilke writes, while "to be loved means to be ablaze".
Perfect Love, Imperfect Relationship by John Welwood