When you have a loving heart and you offer it to someone special, it hurts to have it handed back to you. Whether it's wholeheartedly expressing your feelings to your longtime crush or cooking a surprise dinner for your husband before he gets home from work — people don't always accept or acknowledge these gifts of love and that leave you feeling misunderstood and unappreciated. At that point, it's easy to think that there's something wrong with you. Old feelings of shame, anger and hurt bubble up to the surface. We pull back or lash out or try harder to have them accept our love.
I've been in that painful place. I've exhausted myself trying to offer a gift worthy of being accepted. I've tried to reclaim my sense of worth by having someone finally accept my gifts of love. I tried all kinds of ways to find the "right way" to express my love, but it never worked. I kept struggling and I was stuck in a vicious cycle of rejection.
I simply didn't understand. I was offering gifts that I personally, would have been moved to tears to receive. And yet, the people I offered these gifts to seemed uncomfortable, unaware or indifferent. I thought it was me. Then I learned that not everyone "sees" acts of love in the same way. (If you'd like to learn from me and other relationship experts, join the Love On Purpose Revolution Summit today!)
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What do I mean by that? We all see things from our internal perspective; it's just human nature. That also means that our loving intentions aren't always received as loving.
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For example, imagine that a boy named Johnny has a crush on his classmate, Sally. He really wants to impress her (and he feels a bit guilty, because he's teased her in the past). So, he gets his mom's permission to bring her a gift. He very carefully collects the ripest, most beautiful strawberries from his mother's garden and brings them in a basket to school. He has the very best of intentions and places them on her desk with a shy grin. There's just one problem. Keep reading ...
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