Which Works - Getting Love Or Being Loving?

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Which Works - Getting Love Or Being Loving?
Do you believe that getting love is what will fill you and make you feel worthy?

Take a moment right now to think about your real intention when it comes to love:

  • Is it most important to you to get someone to love you - to get love?
     
  • Is it more important to you to be a loving person - to give love to yourself and others?

At any moment, you can have only one of these two intentions; the one you choose determines your experience of love.

 

Getting Love

Most people move into relationships to be loved, rather than to be loving. Since most people did not feel loved in the way they wanted to be as children, and their parents did not role model loving themselves, they believe that getting love will make them feel the best feelings - the best about themselves.

They go about looking for someone who they think sees and values them, rather than learning how to see and value themselves. Not valuing themselves, they believe that the only way they will feel worthy and lovable is when someone they value loves them.

The problem is that, since we come together at our common level of woundedness - which is our common level of self-abandonment - the partner you pick is also looking to get love. At the beginning, you each give the other what you believe the other wants in order to get the love you are seeking. Since both of you are in the relationship to get love, you both want control over getting that love. Eventually, you both might feel very disappointed that your control tactics - giving gifts, giving yourself up, giving compliments, acting superior, getting judgmental, being demanding or angry, and so on - aren't working. You might decide that you chose the wrong partner and move on, or you try harder to control - convincing, explaining, debating, arguing, talking things out and so on.

But as long as you each are not first giving love to yourselves, you will continue to be disappointed and feel unloved.

Being Loving

When you learn how to take responsibility for loving yourself - for defining your own worth, taking loving care of yourself, taking responsibility for your own feelings and filling yourself with love - then you seek a relationship in order to share your love with another. You see relationships as learning opportunities to further develop your ability to love yourself and others. Relationships become opportunities to grow, play, share and love, rather than to get love, security and validation.

When your intent is to be loving, you don't see relationships as having to meet your needs. Love, real love, doesn't need anything from the other person. Real love is giving care, compassion and understanding for the joy of loving, rather than with an agenda to get love or approval back.

This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission.
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Dr. Margaret Paul

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Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
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