What is love?
We all have an idea of what love is. Often it is, all is good while that person loves me and does nice things for me and I do nice things for them. Until we have a fight and then its love and war.
I am reading a book called the Mastery of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz and in it he explains that to truly feel love, it has to come from us. It is an inside job. We know this mostly yet we still project our stuff out there hoping someone will save us.
And just because you may be in a marriage or long relationship does not mean you know how to love yourself. Plenty of people I counsel have no idea about self love and are very unhappy.
A really simple way to ensure you are coming from a place of love is to love yourself first, then you are not expecting your partner to make you happy. Don Miguel explains that if you do not think you are beautiful and you meet someone who tells you that you are, you start to think you love that person. Because they fill a need you have, to be told that you are beautiful.
But what if you already thought of yourself as beautiful. You would be able to see that person who thinks you are beautiful as just another person. Would you still enter into a relationship with them? Would you be able to love them just as they are with all their faults even if they had nothing that could fill your needs?
More often than not we are attracted to people who feed our ego. Because it is usually not until a later age that most people discover they like who they are and do not need anyone else to fill their needs.
The book Master of Love by Don Miguel Ruiz explains that whenever you go into a relationship with a need you are at the mercy of the other person and that person can control you. If you need money and that person provides it, you are always in fear of them leaving. If your partner makes you feel happy then you are always in fear of them leaving in case they take your happiness away. if your partner makes you feel sexy what if he leaves, does that mean you will never feel sexy again?
When you cannot fill your own needs and be aware of your needs then you will always be at the mercy of your partner, kids or whoever you have given your power away to.
Sometimes I ask my clients why they love their partner or why they fear their kids leaving etc, and the answers are along the lines of i wont be happy anymore, I wont laugh as much anymore, I wont feel sexy or romantic anymore.
When you feel fulfilled in life, you have hobbies, you have exercise, you have have friends, you have a good job or financially stable, you have little need for someone else to fill you up, to rescue you or save you or make you laugh or make you feel good...because you already feel good. You already believe in yourself. When you already believe in yourself, you look forward to your partner or kids coming home so you can enjoy their company. Because you do not need anything from them but the joy of being with them.
Quite often, we blame each other. It is your fault this happened, it is your fault I feel sad. When you are happy in your own self, you can love your partner or kids or friends an accept them with all their faults or you can choose not to spend time with them.
If you are having a hard time loving someone who is close to you instead of blaming them for what is going on, look to what you can do to improve your own outlook on life. The ego is a tricky thing and it will try to tell you that it's not you it's them. Try to look inside and see why you are not happy. Often it's a fear that leads you to want to control an outcome. Sometimes it is because you have expectations of someone else doing for you what you really need to do for yourself.
Recently I read an article from a divorce lawyer who said most people in her office were there blaming the other one and not really sure what they wanted in life, but they were sure it was the other persons fault. How sad. If we don't know what makes us happy how can we ever expect anyone else to know.
So what is love. Love is feeling comfortable in your own skin, feeling ok to make mistakes. Feeling ok to be in a place that you may not like right now but being ok with that. Love is being able to accept your partner may not be slim and fit, or that your kids may not be the perfect polite little poppets you had hoped for. Love is acceptance. Love is seeing with your heart and not your head. Love is seeing yourself as you are and being ok with that.