One of the more frustrating, and at times heart-wrenching, dilemmas in our relationships, whether with a partner, family member, or friend, is the difficulty we have understanding or interpreting one another’s way of showing love. While each of us loves in our own way, the expectation that those in our lives, especially our intimate partners, will return it in like fashion, is often left wanting. Rather than crying “Unless you love me this way (fill in the blank) I don’t feel loved.”, we could take a much more powerful position simply by making the effort to observe the people in our lives and see the way/s in which they already do demonstrate their love for us.
In doing this we choose to be response-able for knowing that we are loved and lovable, and to give up our well-worn stories to the contrary. We stop withholding love from ourselves and we give our beloved the acknowledgement that they are, indeed, loving us in the best way they know how … not a bad place to start! By recognising their loving actions for what they are and expressing genuine, heart-felt appreciation for it, two things happen simultaneously. First, you give the gift of acceptance to your loved one for that which they have offered. Generally, this makes way for a greater outpouring of love. Appreciation always increases the value of that to which it is given. And second, because you have accepted it, you are free to let it in; to receive the love you have desired, even if its form is somewhat ‘disguised’.
Having accepted another’s love also means you can give up being demanding or needy (just in case you were) because you have allowed it to nurture you. This too is an act of self-love. From here you are better placed to share with those in your life the other ways in which they, and you, could express love. Everyone gets to learn and to win!
As you choose to see, hear and feel the love that has always been there for you, any hurt or pain that comes from not having connected with it or from having blocked your love for another, begins to dissolve. Ultimately, this is an opportunity to increase your repertoire of loving behaviour, makes you more attractive to and more loving toward, yourself and others and opens the channels through which love can flow.
Inner Sense No. 10 | June 2008
Do not seek perfection in a changing world. Instead, perfect your love.