The age old question still remains for many. What is love? How do we know when what we feel or receive is really love? Yesterday, a young woman came to me for a treatment for her broken relationship. Her session brought to light that many relationships are based on the absence of love or codependence, which causes confusion and relationships to be very messy.
What Is Love?
Love is a feeling, beyond words, a connection of one soul to another of fullness that we experience through our senses. Our heart is able to perceive a feeling of love coming to us. When someone is kind, generous, tender, smiling at us with a crinkling in their eyes our sensory organs and heart communicate with our brains telling us, “They love us!”
When we begin to fall in love with someone we feel elated, butterflies make our stomach flip-flop every time we see that person. We feel better when we are with them. Our hearts feel full, we have boundless energy. We feel inspired. We feel like we could jump over the moon.
When another is loving us, we sense it, even if we don’t feel the same way in return, we can feel the love coming to us. When we look at another with eyes of love, they feel that we love them. When you love another you give without expecting anything in return.
Babies look at their parents with pure love. There is admiration, acceptance, and affection. Love shines from their eyes.
What Love Is:
We are humans and most often we come to a relationship feeling incomplete. Relationships are one of the fastest ways to recognize what our personal issues are so that we can heal. Looking for someone to be your perfect partner or perfect relationship without any conflict or issues will keep you looking for a very long time. Sometimes we get angry with our partners. Sometimes we doubt our lover. Sometimes we don’t trust them, not necessarily that they will cheat, but that they will let us down in some way. There will be times in the closest of relationships where conflict arises. We can’t
possibly agree on everything all the time. We are two different people coming with our personal set of luggage. Some of our luggage is really old! Some of us have a complete set from the valet case to a steamer trunk because we are human!
Each of us is working on de-creating the patterns, programs, beliefs that don’t serve us and cause us to be crippled, stuck, depressed, feel damaged, lost, empty or broken in some way. The work that I do with couples and single alleviates these issues making communication and love so much easier.
We look to another to fill us up, because we didn’t receive enough love in the past, perhaps our parents didn’t give us what we needed to feel complete. Whatever issues we come to a relationship with, also come with us. These issues are called baggage. Everyone has baggage.
When we feel unworthy, lost, broken, have low self-esteem our love tank is empty. When our love tank is empty we look for someone else to fill us up. An empty love tank leaves us codependent. The more healthy and balanced we are the more love we are able to give to ourselves.
During my darkest days, I was clingy, needy, jealous, envious and insecure. I needed constant validation and praise to feel good about myself. I looked for love outside of me, rather than filling myself up first. I didn’t receive what I needed from my parents. My mother expected me to be perfect, quiet and well-behaved when I wasn’t she withheld love. Many of us have received this type of love from others, this is what conditional love is. Make Yourself More Attractive!
We depend on another for our happiness, confidence, and validation. Expecting someone else to make us feel complete puts a strain on our relationships. We expect way too much and put the importance of our relationship ahead of our personal needs. We may be needy, demanding and clingy because we need the other person to let us know how much we are loved and worthy. The following is a list of codependent characteristics, not all apply to everyone:
Relationships are messy. Since we are all works in progress our internal issues that haven’t been healed come up when we are in relationships with others. We are meant to heal these issues. As situations are triggered we tend to blame our partners, when we are the ones with the issue. If we are the ones upset, it is our issue. Are You An Addict Or An Enabler?
We Attract Our Perfect Mirror
We spend our lives looking for a perfect partner. However, our partner will be the mirror for our soul. Everything that we blame our partner for usually has its roots within us. If our mother was critical, we will attract someone who will criticize us. If our father died early, we attract men who will abandon us either emotionally or physically. If you are a man and had a mother who was an alcoholic, you may struggle to find a woman who doesn’t have addictions until that part of yourself is healed.
For example, when I felt like a victim I attracted men who would further victimize me. Now that I have healed that part of me, I no longer attract men who are abusive, cruel, cheaters or liars. I don’t lie to myself anymore. I am no longer in denial of what my issues are. I know myself very well. I am aware of my flaws and faults and lovingly accept them.
Love is an action. When we love someone, we do loving things for
them. This week I received gifts in the mail from someone showing me love. Gifts are one way to show love.Each time I opened a box from Amazon, I felt loved by this person. I experienced a deep connection with another who was far away through her gift-giving. Acts of kindness, affirming words and gentle loving touch are also ways to show love to another.
I have stopped making excuses or creating stories of why I didn’t do something. I take responsibility for myself, my happiness, and my life. When I do something that has created an issue, as soon as I recognize it, I will take responsibility for what I have done. I apologize and course-correct as soon as possible. I recognize that I am not perfect, but strive to be the best I can be every day.
Ways To Show Love
There are many ways to show love. Here are some examples to help you show love in many different ways. Each person feels loved in different ways. Some people need loving words, while others feel loved when you give gifts. If you give only in one way, you might not reach the person the way you might expect. If you give gifts to someone who needs validation and words of affirmation, they may not feel loved.
Take out the trash. (Loving action)
Clean the bathroom. (Loving action)
Wash their car. (Loving action)
Send a card. (Gifts)
Give flowers. (Gifts)
Buy jewelry or clothing. (Gifts)
Tell them you love them. (Affirming words)
Tell them how beautiful they are. (Affirming words)
Tell them how attracted you are to them. (Affirming words)
Tell them how great the dinner was. (Affirming words)
There are many ways to give and receive love. The first person you have to give love to is you. Giving love to you and filling yourself up with affirming words, gifts and loving, nurturing actions will assist you to have more to give others.
I love you!
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For those of you diehard Saturday Night Live watchers, here is a clip from Night At The Roxbury set to the Hadaway tune, What is Love? Just for a little 80’s levity. Enjoy!