Many women and men go about looking for love “in all the wrong places,” as the song goes from that long ago movie “Urban Cowboy.” How does this happen when all we really want to do is meet the “right” person? We don’t trust our instincts and because we find ourselves physically attracted, a lot of times it is sexual attraction rather than a meaningful chemistry that is in front of you.
Real partnerships don’t start from a one time meeting, they start by taking the time to get to know the person, listening to what they are saying and then deciding whether or not to get intimate with them. But that is no fun so we end up going to bed with them immediately and since we don’t want a one night stand, we give it a few more days, a few more weeks, and then a few more months. What happens is we get caught up in “Well this weekend we have a concert to attend, can’t break up now.” Then it becomes, “We have that skiing trip we planned, better wait till after that.” Before you know it you are getting comfortable in the convenience of the affair that should have been a one night stand and instead you are pushing for more. Sometimes even considering marriage.
Without feeling a sense of “I am loved” within, we have a hard time being loved by others. Not feeling loved we have a tendency to give too much love out – to others, and then are disappointed when it is not provided in return. We expect that our partner will learn from our example. In essence we are giving love based on conditions. This isn’t something we consciously do but often we find ourselves in a place of confusion as to why it is not reciprocal. If we don’t feel loved within, we attract partners who do not feel loved within either. As an unhealthy couple desperate for love, neither of us is capable of having what we want.
How do we work on loving ourselves? This happens by beginning to focus on the self. I am not talking about shopping trips to the mall or getting your nails done. Instead, I am saying eat healthy, take vitamins, get annual medical check-ups, get involved in an exercise regime. That is for the body. For the mind, it is important to tackle inner issues with a psychotherapist. If you have had a past occurrence with an unhealthy family, a domestic violence relationship, an assault toward you physically or sexually, these are reasons that can bring us to not feeling loved within. I am also aware that losing a beloved family member at an early age (parent, grandparent), can cause one to feel unloved as they struggle with the abandonment and loss.
Spiritually, we take in all of these issues and look for support from above. Religion can be used as an escape from our issues. In fact it is not an escape but a place to find strength while we learn from our lessons in life. We become stronger people when we overcome obstacles which can bring us closer to our faith. Faith is also faith in the self and knowing that by turning within spiritually we are guided to the answers we seek. Our faith is not Santa Claus that brings us presents if we are good. Faith requires work on the self, on the principles we believe in (in our religion or spiritual practice) and together bring us to enlightenment. A phrase I love, that I heard when I was growing up is “God helps those who help themselves.”
If we can get to a place within our self that we feel truly happy, loved, spiritually enriched, healthy and prosperous then and only then will we attract true love into our life. This is not because you are passing it out but because you feel loved and people around you want to get to know you. They want to be around you. In this space you are confident and in charge of your life and will begin to meet people who are just like you. This includes someone who is on the same level of self-love that you are.