As a break from all the Valentine’s Day commercials, did you ever stop to think that how you love yourself is determining the quality of the love you have with other people?
The relationship you make with yourself is the longest relationship you’ll have in your whole life.
It’s the relationship that will carry you through the ups and the downs, the easy and the hard times.
Where does that self love relationship come from?
Even though as a child you are a pure spirit, You come to know yourself through the eyes of important people in your life – you come to see yourself how your parents, siblings, early teachers see you. You are motivated to please and perform for them – when they attend to you, love you, and praise you, its your way of getting needed “Emotional Oxygen” from them.
You are also hardwired to not disappoint or defy them, unless you want the fear of being rejected, ‘cast out from the tribe’, or harmed.
In this way, as children we develop adaptive strategies to Get Love or Prevent Loss of Love.
You will keep doing these strategies until you are able to (mostly) replace them with a foundation of self love.
For many of us, we are still using the strategies we learned to Get Love or Prevent the Loss of Love – sometimes these are the only ways we know to feel loved.
What are examples of how you might try to Get Love?
- Be angry and accuse other people of not giving you what you need (as if they are doing it on purpose) instead of recognizing that they are truly limited
- Not speak up with your Truth in the relationship in order to prevent the person from rejecting or abandoning you
- Turn yourself into a pretzel to try to get people to like you (say yes when you want to say no and then resent them for it)
- ‘Micro -track’ your partner’s (or boss’s) every behavior in order to monitor whether they are valuing your or not (and resent them if they are not meeting your demands)
- Put way too much effort in order to not disappoint other’s expectations (that they may not even have of you in the first place)
You can see that these strategies try to control other people to get their love, or prevent the loss of their love. When two people in a relationship are each trying to ‘get love’ from each other, it’s a relationship based on mutual need and not true love. It only leads to misery.
But you are more in control of having the quality of love you want. Here’s the shift you can make today:
Instead of trying to Get Love… Be Love.
Light up each room you walk into. Catch them doing right and tell them. Linger on what you are grateful for.
Instead of trying to Get Love… Allow Love.
Receive the love that people in your life may be trying to give you, even if its not yet the specific way you hoped for. Stop trying to control them and allow in the way they can love you now.
Instead of trying to Get Love… Feel Loveable.
Because that you CAN control. You can feel loveable 24/7. Start with something simple: What’s your favorite part of your personality? or your favorite body part? Focus on it, why do you love it so much (share this with your best friend). Find joy in it.
Instead of trying to Get Love… Sense love. Hold your loved one’s hand and feel it with every tentacle in your fingers. Savor that Valentine chocolate and let it melt in your mouth.
Instead of trying to Get Love…Give love
Don’t give to get. Just give. Just be a person who gives your best, and trust you will get.
But be discerning, and see the situation for what it IS. Give to people who are capable of giving love back to you.
(Most of the time you drain your energy into a never ending pit when you HOPE that the person you are trying to ‘get love’ from will quickly become more evolved than they actually are so they can give you the love you want instead of frustrating you.)
Give to someone less fortunate than you. (it’s an anti-dote to depression)
And Give to yourself.
Want an example of how you can Love Yourself in all the above ways?
I want to inspire you with this example of self love from my dear friend and Goddess, Tara Sullivan. See her share below, I dare you to incorporate her example into your day!! 😉
Here’s to you loving yourself,