Valentine’s Day is supposed to be a very special day – a day to remember. However these days there are a lot of people who are very cynical around this “special day” with all the corporate marketing telling us to buy stuff “or your partner will not know you love them”. For hundreds of years Valentine’s day has represented love and relationships, but in our era of population overload and mobile devises, do we know what love is? We do know that love is a very complex state of being. It can feel good; it can be wonderful; it can be hurtful; it can be confusing. Undoubtedly, love is healing and incredibly powerful. The thing about us humans is that we are social animals and are driven to connect with each other. We are driven to love and to be in relationship, but increasingly do not understand how.
“What is Love?
There’s also an unhealthy mindset in which people have adopted. Most will accept that when someone else loves them, then that should solve everything – that will satisfy the deepest desires that makes a person happy. But the truth is, solely depending on someone else to provide you with external love is actually not enough. Not only that, but as humans, we expect people to give us the exact love we need or deserve. How can we expect for someone to achieve that when we don’t really know the type of love we need. Without knowing who you are on a deeper level; without giving yourself or knowing what it feels like to give yourself love, there’s no way you can expect for someone else to provide that for you. So in other words, if you don’t know how to unconditionally love yourself, how can you expect for someone else to love you the way you truly need. How do you know what to ask for from others? How do you know what it feels like, so when things go wrong; you can recognize it, accept that it may not be the right situation for you and make the healthy decision to move on to your actual happiness?
There are people who are in relationships, but can’t figure out why they don’t feel connected to their partners anymore.
Why does it feel like their partner doesn’t love them anymore. Why don’t they feel love for that person anymore. But yet try to force it.
Even if you’re in a situation that you may describe as a loving relationship, but you end up asking yourself, “why is it not as strong as I think it should be”. There are people who are not in a relationship and sometimes wonder why they can’t get a partner, or have that opportunity to fall in love. Perhaps in these experiences there is a missing link. The most important and essential piece of the puzzle; the very first step: Unconditional love for Self. When making the decision to finally want to fall in love, this is the most overlooked piece that people do not consider. And, what is the biggest key to this piece? The unconditional part. More and more, we are starting to hear the term “unconditional love“, especially now that Yoga has become popular in the United States.
“Unconditional Love of Self
But what exactly is being unconditional. That is the word we need to study the most in order to understand what we need when it comes to true love. Unconditional means not having any conditions when it comes to a person or thing. It means absolute; unreserved; surrender. Some great synonyms are: Unquestioning, unrestricted, unlimited, and wholehearted [this one is my favorite].
Conditional love is so common these days. A very superficial example of this is; ‘I’m sure I will find someone who loves me if my hair was longer’. ‘I’m sure this person will love me if I would just lose a little bit of weight’. ‘I might stay in love with her if her boobs were bigger’. ‘I would love him more if he would just listen to me and do what I want him to do’. And that’s where it all goes wrong.
Being unconditional means that a person excepts another person as being human. It means having the utmost respect for another as an existing and living entity. It means you accepting yourself for who you are as a person. It means having the ultimate respect for yourself and demanding your respect from others (especially when you have earned it by not causing harm or distress to others). Gaining your own respect means realizing, first, that there really is a reason that you exist (that doesn’t depend on another person. To test this, try to define who you are without mentioning what you do for others). No matter what others may say about it or expect from it, you have your own purpose that you just may enjoy if you get the chance to know yourself. Removing barriers and negative thought processes will help you to find all of your reasons for being, your potentials, and your love. Excepting this is your power.
When you have learned these attributes for yourself, then you have a better understanding about how to provide unconditional love to others – no matter what. Unconditional love is not limited to romantic relationships, it is potent for all types of relationships. If you work on this, you will find that all of your relationships will be healthy.
I know that the intention is to acknowledge Valentines. But, remember, unconditional love is the first step towards romantic love. I feel that this is so important to accomplish first before moving on to romantic love expectations.
I Learned My Lessons
Around the time, just before I first met my, now, husband; I was going through transition. I had those same questions. I couldn’t figure out why I kept ending up in the same ole, non-ideal situations. Why could I not find “that“someone who wanted to be with me, to want to stick with me, wanted to love me and respect me. Then I realized that it’s up to me; and I asked myself how can I expect for someone to love me, if I don’t even know what love is (because at that time, I really did not know what love was). I became fully aware that in order for me to expect for someone to authentically love me for me, I needed to authentically love myself first. I want to be the type of person that someone wants to love. And in order to achieve that goal, I knew I needed to do self-work. My first step; finding unconditional love for myself and learning how to like being around myself. My mission was to comprehend the Why’s around my likes and dislikes so that I could fully understand them. I wanted to know, what makes parts of me likable or unlikable? For the unlikable, are they characteristics I can improve? If so, I needed not to be attached to the old story. I needed to have the will and to dare myself to step inside another realm of being and explore what that was like.
If you don’t have a full understanding of something as simple as your likes & dislikes, then those ideas just may not be yours. Through discovery, you may just find out that those likes or dislikes do not compliment you.
I developed the abilitytof enjoy my own company, and to not be shy about it. At that point, I came to accept what ever I might find in the process without running away from it. Even if it meant never finding the “love of my life”. I accepted that if my destiny led me to being on my own for the rest of my life. I would have been ready to be my own true love for the rest of my life. Now my husband and I have this “joke” that if he had not come into my life by the time I turned 40, I would have gone to the Shaolin temple to immerse myself in martial arts. Now he hints, we could still do that together.
I learned that when dealing with other people and an issue arises that I may have initiated, it bodes well for me to come to terms with my responsibility in it; then do something about it in a healthy manner. The effort is accepting my own responsibilities and my own consequences.
“The more I am honest with myself, the more doors that open. The more doors that open, the more I know about myself. The more I know about myself, the more in love I am.
The key is being open and accepting. And understanding that there is always an answer – there’s always a way out, so there is no need for me to fear anything about life and decisions. And that is the foundation of true love.