One of the greatest deceptions I believe is ‘That someone in the world is meant to love you’. I think you will take a major step forward in developing emotional mastery in your life if you can break free from this belief. I believe it is one of the key steps in understanding your emotions and the effect they have on you and how they drive and sometimes control you.
This realisation came about after having a conversation with a friend and realising that I not only wanted this person to like me but ultimately love me too.
I observed this need and for the first time I questioned my motivation for this ‘needing to be loved’. Who told me that someone is meant to love me? Is that what happens in the world, do we spend our time looking for love or is there somebody out there that is just meant to love us?
So, I started questioning who do I think should love me?
The first obvious candidates for the people who are meant to love me would be my parents, aren’t they just meant to love me unconditional? I think we all have had stories of our parents not loving us in the ways we wanted, or not being there when we have needed them. Parents that have withdrawn or withheld their love, parent’s that have destroyed our trust, parents that were just too busy to be there and parents who were not able to listen to or even hear us. Well, I will take them off the list of people who are meant to love me, there seems to be too many conditions to their love.
Then there is of course brothers or sisters; surely they should love me because they are family? But then I became aware that they would rather play and hang out with somebody their own age or their own friends, so they are out.
And maybe it is my best friends, they will love me because that’s what friends do, love me and be there for me. But they have other friends and sometimes they want to be with the other friends and not with me, they don’t want to be with me all the time. So they are out as well.
So far in this life nobody has been able to love me unconditionally all the time. Not my parents not my brothers and sisters not my best friends, so who is the person that is meant to be there for me and love me unconditionally? It is obviously none of these people so far.
Now in walks the concept of having a partner, a loved one, a soul mate, now in romantic movies this partner loves you, cares for you, never lets you down, is always by your side, is always loyal, always loving and would do anything for you. Obtaining this partner is seen to be the love goal of life. The story sounds great, find a partner, settle down, have children and grow old together, the ultimate love story. But in reality doesn’t this seem to be one of the hardest things do, find the perfect unconditional loving partner? The world seems to be full of marriage counsellors, marriage guidance therapists, matrimonial settlement experts and divorce lawyers.
Maybe the person that can really love me is not a partner either? The idea of finding the perfect partner always seems very difficult and I seem to have lots of rules and expectations, even if I think I don’t and I know why I have these rules, mainly they are to keep me safe so no one can hurt me. So if it is not the partner that is meant to love me then maybe it’s my children maybe they are the ones that are to love me unconditionally? Hopefully it is the children because I am running out of participants. If I am a caring loving parent then the children will see what a good parent and a good person I am. The only problem with children is that they seem to want to get unconditional love from you instead. So when you say to a child “come here and I’ll give you a hug” who really wants the hug? And you think the child doesn’t know whom the hug is really for?
Now at this stage I seem to have run out of options, wait! Maybe it could be my adult friends but that’s no good some of them always seem to be too busy, they don’t seem to necessarily want to hear what I’m doing, they seem to want to tell me what they are doing. Maybe if I am a good boss at work my staff will respect and love me, but that doesn’t seem to work either. Hey, this getting someone to love me unconditionally isn’t that easy.
Now the questions start coming, maybe it’s because I’m not a good person that’s why they don’t love me? Or maybe I’m not loveable, maybe I’m not likeable, maybe people think that I have nothing to say that is important, maybe it’s that I don’t look perfect and they don’t want to be seen with me? Or maybe I’m not intelligent enough, maybe I’m not interesting enough, maybe I’m not entertaining enough, maybe I’m not funny enough, maybe it’s because I’m not in the ‘cool club’ at school, maybe I don’t have enough money, maybe it’s because I’m fat, maybe its that I’m ugly, maybe I don’t have a very good personality?
Maybe this is where all the big emotional stories in life come from? Like, ‘you are not there for me’, ‘I can’t trust anybody or they will hurt me’, ‘nobody respects me’, ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I don’t fit in’, ‘there’s something wrong with me’.
Maybe this is where the perceived negative feelings come from, like betrayal, or being disrespected or feelings of abandonment, or the feeling of mistrust and that somebody is going to hurt you. I believe all these emotions and feelings come from a belief that somebody is meant to love you in your life and these feeling arise when you don’t get the love that you want and the love you think you should get from other people.
People could read this and want to fight me for their beliefs about getting love from another person being the answer to happiness. They could say that aren’t we all meant to experience love and feel love from another human being? I truly believe that the purest feeling of love is when you give love to someone else. Without any of your own needs attached to it.
Now my questions turn to the belief itself. Who told me that getting love from someone is the answer to my happiness, who told me that? Who told me that this is true?
What if it is not true and that no one is meant to love me and that the only person who can really love me unconditional is myself?
But even this brings about a problem.
How hard is it to love myself when if I also have a belief that I’m not good enough?
How can I love parts of myself that I don’t like? How about the part that is judgemental of other people or the part that likes to compare itself with others or compete with others to be better than them? Or the part that just sometimes doesn’t care about anybody else? Or how about the part that is jealous of other people’s lives or the part that gets angry, or the part that is intolerant, or the part that is impatient, or the part that thinks it’s better than others? These aren’t all mine but I have witnessed them in others.
I think we all have stories like these and many others running in the background of our lives.
I think like this sometimes and when I catch myself having these thoughts I wonder, where did they come from? What is my backstory or childhood experience that created these reactions? These stories on how I think life should be and definitely the story that I have created believing that somebody is meant to love me.
What if all these emotions and feelings stem from just one single story which is that I think that somebody is meant to love me and, having that will make me feel happy?
Do you have this belief too?
I think all these thoughts and feelings come about when I think that I’m not getting love? Maybe there is a link from all these feelings to the underlying story?
What if my ‘I’m not good enough’ story, is because I think I’m not good enough to be loved? What if ‘I judge others for doing things wrong’ because I judge myself because I think something is wrong with me and because of that no one will love me? Or ‘I compete and want to be better than others’. Is it that if I’m better than others, people will think I’m a good person and will love me more?
What if ‘I don’t care about other people’, because I think they don’t care about me, if they did care about me then I would feel loved? Or ‘I’m jealous of people’. Is it that I think they are better, kinder and a more generous person than I am so they will get more attention and love?
Or what about if I’m richer, people will think I am more successful and they will respect and love me more? I could go on and on. Notice that all of these stories have a common theme running underneath them.
I have had a realisation around this belief that ‘someone is meant to love me’ and it’s that it’s not true. It’s not true at all.
When I let go of that story it was like a great weight was lifted off my shoulders. I noticed my relationships with people changed. I no longer had expectations on them on how they should treat or be with me. How can you feel unloved if you don’t need someone to love you? How can you feel betrayed if you don’t need them to love you? How can you feel abandoned if you don’t need them to love you? How can you feel disrespected if you don’t need someone to love you?
How can you feel unheard if you don’t need someone to love you? How can you feel unseen if you don’t need someone to love you? How can you feel lonely if you don’t need someone to love you? And how can you feel that you’re not good enough if you don’t need someone to love you?
This has changed my life remarkably, a new sense of freedom.
Now all I have to do is love myself for who I am unconditionally, that is, without conditions and judgements on my own performance. To accept that I’m not perfect and never can be, because what does perfect look like anyway?
Not caring about how people see or perceive me, (My job in life isn’t to keep people happy so they will like me) and not giving meaning to other people’s opinions of me, their opinion comes through their filter of the world.
I am now free to be myself and enjoy growing and learning, doing my best at what I do. The only difference now is what is driving me. I’m not being driven for others approval, respect and love, I’m doing what I love. My life is just for me, living my life being free. It’s not that I don’t give love and caring to others freely and gladly, it’s just that I don’t need anything back from them.
I encourage you to look inside and ask yourself: Do you want people to love you?
And what do you feel when you don’t get the love you want? And how do you react when you don’t get the love that you want?
Then I encourage you to imagine what it would feel like not to need anyone to love you and that all you needed was to love yourself.
How much space and freedom would there be around that.
How happy and content would you be?
Love you all,