How did you learn to love? Were you taught that to be loved is to be accepted and approved of by others? In other words, love is transactional and condition-based.
When you believe that you need to perform to receive love, this sets up a controlling pattern within you. As a result, you try to puppeteer outcomes so that you appear favorable, attractive, smart, alluring, charming, etc
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It’s an exhausting practice to prove we are lovable, isn’t it? It causes us to wear all sorts of masks to masquerade our true identity, which we believe certainly can’t be good enough for public consumption.
In this blog, I offer 5 ways to show your love that won’t leave you feeling emotionally bankrupt and resentful. Rather these ways will empower you to live fully in love and truth from moment to moment.
This blog describes the eighth of nine attributes of a Loving Self-Advocate (LSA), this one being in the mental/spiritual realm. A LSA is a woman who is holistically balanced, physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. She knows her worth and how to get her needs met in a healthy way.
Need a Recap of the First 7 Attributes?
To read more about the other attributes, see below. Learn how to move away from the extremes and move towards a holistic, balanced path.
First attribute, Balanced Self-Discipline
Second attribute, Prosperity Mindset
Third attribute, Balanced & Organized
Fourth attribute, Humble & Kind
Fifth attribute, Taking Responsibility in a Healthy Way
Sixth attribute, Honoring Your Truth
Seventh Attribute, Honoring Your Worth
Attribute #8 of a Loving Self Advocate – Showing Your Love
Showing your love takes a lot of energy, intention and courage. Love means selflessly putting yourself out there, again and again, even after people have harmed you, disappointed you, abandoned you.
Most of us, myself included, over the course of our lives confuse loving others with controlling them. As long as we remain in our protected bubble of control… controlling what we do to appear lovable, controlling our plans and careers, trying to control what others do, controlling our money and our weight, and on and on, in other words, playing God, we feel somewhat safe.
When all of the conditions are just right that we feel a semblance of control, THEN we relax and allow some love and light in. We call this love. But it’s a pseudo-love, dependent on SO many outside, uncontrollable circumstances. We’ve been kidding ourselves. This is NOT love.
True, unconditional love of ourselves, others and Life, is about losing control, not gaining it. It is about surrender.
“All you need is love,” as the Beatles song goes. True, unconditional love means going beyond my own needs and desires and doing what is best for YOU. In other words, to love means choosing pain.
Why Is It So Important to Show Your LOVE?
Per Alex Loyd, author of The Healing Code, lack of love is at the root of virtually every problem you have.
How is this so? It’s the same reason we say that love is what makes the world go round. When you love, you feel invincible. Do you remember the first time you fell in love?
It was intoxicating, wasn’t it? It literally feels like you’re drunk on endorphins, and you sort of are. So many hormonal reactions are going on within you.
Even more, your energy is off the charts with hope, anticipation, the feeling of being adored by another. Giving your love feels amazing too–to someone who gets you and is for you, or so you believe at the beginning.
You feel connected, intimate, close to another soul… at least for a time. However, this isn’t the Love I’m talking about
The TRUE Love that makes the world go round goes beyond all this “love-at-first-sight-puppy-dog-love” that often fizzles out in a few months. The Real Deal Love is Painful.
Why would you want that? Because this Love, though painful, is lasting. This Love goes beyond the grave. It sustains you until you die.
Controlling Love Quiz
Take the following quiz to see if you love conditionally/transactionally. Check each box that resonates with you.
- I need others to love, approve and validate me to feel okay, and I resent them for having that much power over me
- I try to control others by withholding my love if they disappoint me, don’t do as I expect, or have different beliefs. This may be overt or covert.
- I judge and label others when they disagree with me, and I close my heart off to them (if even just a bit) as a form of self-protection.
- When others blame me for their results in life, I defend myself rather than stay open, curious and invite questions for deeper understanding and connection.
- Loving others is a lost cause because they’ll surely let me down; I reject them before they have a chance to hurt me.
- I am aloof, cold, and distant and make little effort to connect with others.
- I have a difficult time building relationships with others because I don’t trust either of us to stay committed to the relationship.
Do you relate to any of these?
If you’ve been in a relationship, you know that loving is difficult. It doesn’t make you a bad person because you have the need to self-protect and control yourself, others and life.
Why IS Loving Others So Hard?
You need only look in the mirror to answer this question. It is hard because it is difficult to love the person staring back at you.
What don’t you accept about yourself–your aging face, your body’s imperfections, your mental sharpness and intelligence, your inability to be kind to others, your inability to follow through on your word, etc.?
I don’t mean to be a downer here. We readily find much to be unhappy about with ourselves. Is it any wonder we don’t easily show our love to others?
Showing Your Love to Others
If you don’t love and respect yourself, you aren’t practiced in doing this for others.
Further, because other people are just like you, they are doing the same thing. They don’t keep their word to you. They talk behind your back. They selfishly choose to get their needs met regardless of the consequences for you. They betray you.
So yes…showing your love is hard work. Loving is painful. But loving doesn’t mean sacrificing your needs.
The best way to truly love is to love yourself first and get your needs met. Identify what you feel is missing in your life and ask yourself, “How can I get this need met in a healthy way?”
It’s so easy to fall back on love substitutes. According to Alex Loyd: “Addictions to television, the Internet, sports, or even good books can become love substitutes that obsess us and take us away from the intimate, loving relationships that we are built to enjoy.”
5 Ways to Show Your Love
I Take Care of Me First
Instead of being distracted by other people’s stuff, I take ½ hour every day to slow down and listen to my own heart and what I need. I intentionally create a sacred safe space within myself. I am here for myself and listen to what I really need at the moment (a nap, a good cry, some nutritious food, good water, a friend, a walk, etc.)
I make a decision to commit to myself no matter what others say or do. Self-Loyalty is number one. Taking care of you isn’t selfish either. It sets you up to be strong and able to care MORE for others.
I Have A Solid Support Person
I have someone who I am willing to extend my trust to and open up my heart to, if even a little bit. This person gets me and is FOR me. They are a safe space for me to be myself without the mask or pretending. This allows my inner child to feel safe, held, heard and understood so I can begin the process of healing, loving and accepting myself.
I Allow My Nervous System to Relax
I give myself permission to take breaks. I set up my calendar to have true time off and not push myself so hard. I reward my efforts with vacations, weekends off, or at least chunks of time off, to get out in nature, etc.
I Let Certain Others Know the Real Me
Once I feel stabilized with my ONE SAFE person, I begin to extend this trust to a small inner circle of trusted confidantes. I set an intention to find 3-5 more people to let into my heart so that I can love and be loved.
I am committed to building long-term relationships based on trust.Therefore, I let others know the true me, even if it feels scary, thus creating intimate connection.
By being courageous, vulnerable and real, I create authentic relationships that are the basis of my new happy life and fulfilling business
I Give Up the Need to Control
By taking quality ME time and feeling more and more safe with my inner circle of trusted people, I am feeling safe and supported in the world. This calms my nervous system and allows me to show my love, rather than to control others.
Because I feel more comfortable in my own skin, I am able to have tough, mature conversations like I was never able to before. In business and in my personal life, I no longer feel rejected by NO’s. I respect others where they’re at. I no longer take responsibility for their results.
I now love others with a mature, patient love, without putting conditions on them to change. I don’t need to control what they believe about me or life because their views are NOT a personal attack against me. Ironically, by letting go of control, I feel so much more in control.
Don’t buy into the EGO which will tell you this minor change is not enough. It’s just not true.