Do you love too much?
Feeling the sting of loneliness?
Looking out of my Bristol window today, I can see the grey clouds. As we go into the dark and cold of Winter, it strikes me that today might be a good day to focus on inner warmth. Maybe this is a good day to reflect on the love that I’ve shared, and how I’ve worked on love in my life this year.
Loving too much
Some of us think that hard work for love means sacrificing ourselves. Making compromises to please another person. Suppressing our wants and needs for the apparent happiness of someone else. Understanding and accepting a partner’s behaviour, despite it causing us some measure of discomfort or disappointment.
That’s not love.
Love is something that we were all born with the capacity for. However, many of us were not taught how to receive it, or how to give it, without cost to ourselves. How many of us feel we give and give and give, only to end up alone or forgotten?
This is such an English thing. I’ve no doubt other cultures have their own version, but we really have it embedded in our culture. Many of us think it’s selfish to put ourselves first. We come from a very powerful ‘stiff upper lip’ culture that encourages us to keep quiet about any emotional difficulty. So, many of us keep on giving, accepting and understanding, in the hope that, if we love enough for two people, eventually someone will love us back.
It just doesn’t happen like this. This is almost a fairytale. In fact, I’ve heard that romantic fiction was invented to distract the population from political unrest and famine. Unfortunately, this approach can lead to sadness, bitterness, resentment and even physical illness.
How to achieve love
It’s considered a cliche, but the old adage of not being able to be loved before loving yourself, is true, especially in this case. It’s hard for people who love too much to accept that somebody else did something ‘wrong’. Mainly because this kind of person has absolutely no reference for knowing the difference between being treated well and being treated badly. This kind of person is talking badly to themselves all day long
The trick is to start to learn to treat ourselves well. This means starting to do things for ourselves, from our own desires, and starting to speak up about what makes us tired or uncomfortable. It’s to start thinking from our own perspective, rather than from what anyone else might think of us. If only to ourselves at first.
That’s what I’m suggesting you do today.
Start thinking about what you REALLY want in a relationship. Like kindness, fun and consideration.
Start making a plan for how to work on what you want for yourself, for the rest of this year
- How can you be kinder to yourself right now?
- What consideration would you like today?
- Think of what would have been a loving way for you to spend your first moments?
- Is there something you can you do now that has an essence of this as you go to work, come home, or wake up next morning?
- How can you keep this thread going each day?
Sometimes it helps to read, listen or watch people talk about these things. I’m sure if you search on the net for ideas on how to be kinder to yourself, you’ll come up with tons of bright people talking on this subject. Hopefully you’ll discover that you deserve to be treated better. You might even see that you are the awesome person that you really are.
Want to go further?
Sometimes it helps to have an expert to help you shine a torch on your own wisdom.
Ask me about my 7-week coaching programme on finding love: http://www.bristolcounselling.co.uk/making-love-a-reality
Shelley Treacher MA BACP Accred.
I am a body centred psychotherapist, and a certified practitioner of The ‘Calling in ‘The One’ coaching process.
I work with adults individually and in groups, to help you open up to new possibilities.