Getting Love, Being LovingBy Dr. Margaret Paul
May 04, 2009
Are you a person who tries to get love or a person who want to be loving? Your choice determines whether or not you will have a loving relationship.
Take a moment right now to think about your real intention when it comes to love:
- Is it most important to you to get someone to love you - to get love?
- Is it more important to you to be a loving person - to give love to yourself and others?
At any moment, you can have only one of these two intentions; the one you choose determines your experience of love.
Most people move into relationships to be loved, rather than to be loving. Since most people did not feel loved in the way they wanted to be as children, and their parents did not role model loving themselves, they believe that getting love will make them feel the best feelings - the best about themselves.
They go about looking for someone who they think sees and values them, rather than learning how to see and value themselves. Not valuing themselves, they believe that the only way they will feel worthy and lovable is when someone they value loves them.
The problem is that, since we come together at our common level of woundedness - which is our common level of self-abandonment - the partner you pick is also looking to get love. At the beginning, you each give the other what you believe the other wants in order to get the love you are seeking. Since both of you are in the relationship to get love, you both want control over getting that love. Eventually, you both might feel very disappointed that your control tactics - giving gifts, giving yourself up, giving compliments, acting superior, getting judgmental, being demanding or angry, and so on - aren't working. You might decide that you chose the wrong partner and move on, or you try harder to control - convincing, explaining, debating, arguing, talking things out and so on.
But as long as you each are not first giving love to yourselves, you will continue to be disappointed and feel unloved.
When you learn how to take responsibility for loving yourself - for defining your own worth, taking loving care of yourself, and filling yourself with love - then you seek a relationship in order to share your love with another. You see relationships as learning opportunities to further develop your ability to love yourself and others. Relationships become opportunities to grow, play, share and love, rather than to get love, security and validation.
When your intent is to be loving, you don't see relationships as having to meet your needs. Love, real love, doesn't need anything from the other person. Real love is giving care, compassion, and understanding for the joy of loving, rather than with an agenda to get love or approval back.
Until you choose to learn how to take full, responsibility for your own feelings of pain, joy, worth and security, you will likely look for someone to take away your pain and make you feel safe, worthy and secure. The belief that someone other than yourself can do this for you, and that if they "love" you they will do this for you, is a major false belief that causes many relationship problems.
As long as you are making another person responsible for your feelings, you are abandoning yourself, and it is the self-abandonment that is the cause of your pain and lack of self worth.
Everything changes when you decide that your primary intention is to be loving rather than to get love.
Once you make this decision, then you will naturally go about learning how to be loving to yourself and share your love with others. Until then, you will be trapped in trying to get someone else to give you the love you need, and this will never happen, because it can only come from you. Their love is wonderful when they offer it, but you are the only one with yourself 24/7, so you are the only one who can consistently bring yourself the love you need.
Why not begin today learning how to do this?
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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Who are you giving yourself up to in order to avoid rejection? With whom are you not fully yourself to not face a lack of caring and support if you are all you can be? Are you keeping yourself small to avoid knowing the truth of who really cares about your highest good and who will not support you in being all you can be?
By Dr. Margaret Paul