For some people, it is easier to give than to receive. We receive many instructions about how important it is to give during our education and in our culture. Good people Love and give to others is a message imprinted in our minds. We have many opportunities for giving, for being there when others need us, volunteering, checking on others, helping not only those you Love but everyone. And you get something out of it as well; it makes you feel great. It is so rewarding to serve others, to give, to offer what you have.
Maybe nobody has explained to you that it is equally important to receive gracefully. We cannot only emphasize giving and forget the other end. Never put conditions to the Love you receive. Accept it with an open heart and be grateful for it. If something arrives to you it is because you deserve it. Be ready to receive without feeling that you have to give something in return. It is time to receive!
You cannot receive what you don’t believe can be yours. Feeling unworthy of something guarantees that you cannot have it, and you may even reject it. Someone may offer you their Love and care, but you cannot accept or feel it because you don’t think you deserve it. Love is real when there is a flow of giving and receiving, when balance exists. We know how to Love, it is natural, but we often put limits to the Love we receive from others, stopping it from getting to us.
You are a precious gift. Your uniqueness makes you special. Share yourself. Give yourself to others. Show the world who you are. Express your gifts. Don’t hide thinking that you are not good enough to be seen for who you are. You are not just one more human being. There is only one like you. Share your Love, smile, hugs, laughter, conversation, insights, compassion, your sense of humor. Give all of who you are and see what comes back to you.
We also have to learn how to give to ourselves. We, inadvertently, may put ourselves last on our list. We keep giving until we are depleted. This Love, care, time, and attention you give to others, turn it in on yourself. Do it because you Love yourself. You deserve your own Love. You need the understanding and nurturing you offer to everyone. Devote time to know what you need and give it to you.
I lost myself in relationships where I thought I had to give and give more to keep the relationship alive. I abandoned myself to nurture others. Now I know that it doesn’t work to give in this way. There has to be balance. There are moments to give, and it is so pleasurable to do it. But Love is not sacrificing. We need to replenish our batteries before they are empty, or we won’t be able to continue giving. In Love, we support others, but we need to support ourselves and be supported as well. Live and give Love, and open yourself to receiving it.
"He had always known that to truly receive, you had to give. Now he understood the equal truth: that to be able to give with a whole heart you had to be prepared to receive in turn.”
We all want to be recognized, understood, and loved in our close relationships. It is crucial to invest energy in demonstrating to the person you are relating to that you really care about them. The most important gift you can offer a loved one is your undivided attention and a real interest in who they are. Don't take anyone for granted.
You don't need try to guess who the person you Love is in essence, or what is important in their world. Ask questions! Show your interest in discovering their dreams, what they wish and why, what excites and worries them, what makes them feel happy or frustrated. Ask them anything that helps you understand them and their universe; what is the reason they wake up every morning, what they appreciate. Listen carefully to the answers. Be totally there, just listening without reacting, not trying to figure out a response. Just take it in.
Once you have received all that the other person shared with you, you will realize that there were more than words. The body language, the tone of voice, how relaxed the person is, a smile, or the pauses or silence during the conversation, will tell you as much as the words this person chooses. Presence creates a real connection. To build a relationship, and to share, requires time.
Many people are afraid of showing their real selves. They feel that if someone sees them as they are, they will stop loving them. They wear a mask or try to please everyone they are in a relationship with to get the Love they want. It isn't easy to know someone who doesn't want to open up, talk about real feelings or desires, or that is not really connected with themselves.
When you really Love someone, your Love can provide a safe space and encourage this person to step out of their shell and be more authentically themselves. When you Love, do it unconditionally. Love the real person, flaws, stories, and past experiences included. Give the other the opportunity to express who they are.
Being together for a long time doesn't mean that you know a person. Perhaps it is the opposite. Maybe this person has evolved and has changed without you realizing it. Perhaps now you only know the image you have of your loved one. Maybe because you see each other every day or speak regularly, you think you have a good idea about who they are. Or maybe you never arrived at this deep place of sharing your most intimate side.
Building intimacy is an art, and it happens when presence, interest, and time are devoted to another being. If you want to experience true Love, connect from your heart with the one you have chosen to have in your life, this being that you consider special.
When you spend time with someone, share yourself, all of you, be vulnerable and authentic. Allow yourself to be seen. Rediscover each other every moment you spend together as if it were the first time you saw each other, and share your Love. Look into the eyes of the person you Love and tell yourself, "I want to know all about you, to Love you even more. I want to see the depth of your essence."
"The first duty of Love is to listen"
When you relate to others, be sure that you build a relationship that is authentic, no matter if it is with your life-partner, a colleague, a friend, or your children. See the other person as they are, and accept them completely, all of them. Don’t try to change, fix, or tell the other person how they must be to meet your standards.
To have a relationship means to support the other person, to empower them, to be there for them, but also to respect the other person and their decisions, even when you don’t like them. How difficult is to see that someone you Love deeply is stuck, confused, unhappy, or is not making the best decision (in your opinion). It can be hard to support them until they find a way out, a solution, or a new and better path in life. We frequently give unasked advice to others, with our best intentions, and it might not help the other person to move forward or to feel better.
In order to relate authentically with others, you should know who you are. You see the world through your own eyes, and you decode what happens to you influenced by past experiences, your belief system, your childhood, education, and the environment you live in. When you look at someone else, try to be neutral. You may inadvertently judge others, or project into them what you have not solved in your life, haven’t overcome or understood yet, or everything you are not conscious of, because it is suppressed or repressed. We blame others for making us feel a certain way, when they are giving us an opportunity to resolve underlying issues and unconscious patterns, and to heal past wounds that still affect us in the present.
We create relationships that are based on the ideas that we have about what our connection with a person should look like. Maybe we don’t know the real ‘person,’ not because they don’t allow us to do so, but because we don’t see who they really are. Sometimes, we idealize someone and, after the honeymoon period, once we see how the other person really is, we reject them. The other person has not changed, they were always the same. What has changed is only our opinion, and we realize that we were relating to this person through the filter of our own ideas about how the relationship should be.
If you want to really know someone, take your time to be with this person and build the connection; invest in it. Listen to what they say, and look at the way they act. Their behavior may speak louder than their words. When you are together, be one hundred percent present and give this person all your attention. You will perceive a lot more than mere words in a conversation. When you listen, don’t listen to answer, just listen deeply and actively. Make an effort to respond, not to react to what is said. Choose your words carefully and think if what you are going to say just fills the silence, or if it is really meaningful, uplifting, and necessary.
We learn a lot in our relationships. We become better beings in relation to others. We change the lives of those whom we Love. We are transformed by the Love we give and receive. Every relationship should bring out the best of each person (hopefully!), and if this is not the case, it might be teaching you something.
If a relationship you are in is not working, don't only blame the other person, always look at yourself too, and figure out what can you do on your end to improve it, even if it is just to be more loving. Look at what you bring to every one of your relationships, and try to be at your best in every encounter or conversation. Don’t ask for Love, shared it, give it freely and it will return to you multiplied.
"But let there be spaces in your togetherness and let the winds of the heavens dance between
you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: let it rather be a
moving sea between the shores of your souls"
Love is a state of being. It is not something that comes from the outside. Love is not a feeling, it is who you are. Look deep inside of yourself and you will find it. Love is abundant. It comes from you and it flows outwards to everyone. Love resides in you and it is dormant, waiting until the moment you awaken it within you.
All the Love of the world cannot make you feel loved, if you are not able to Love yourself. You won't be able to recognize true Love coming from others, if you don't feel it coming from yourself. Love yourself simply because you are. You don't need to change or to accomplish anything to Love yourself. You only need to be committed to it.
You are lovable the way you are. Accept yourself, and have the certainty that you don't need to do anything to be loved by others. Don't seek for external approval. You don't need to act in a certain way to receive Love, or to behave like others say, or to please others. Love, true Love, is unconditional. Try to be the best version of yourself, but be always authentic.
Be sure that you live in the world of Love; that Love guides and inspires you; that you act in a Loving way. Love is the energy that makes you feel alive. Love is the solution to any problem. Find the way to share your Love. Tell your loved ones how you much you Love them, and demonstrate it with your actions. Give hugs, smile more frequently, embrace, kiss, share your laughter every time you can, share your joy.
Learn how to Love. Give Love, but don't lose yourself in the process. Learn how to show your affection without the need to control or possess, without expectations, without wanting anything in return, without being afraid of losing your loved one. Love because you want to Love. Enjoy the Love!
“In your heart is all the love you need”
Don Miguel Ruiz
Judith Costa is a Life and Love Coach, Seminar Leader, Writer and Speaker. She has a Masters degree in Psychology & Psychotherapy and an MBA. She helps her clients to overcome their blocks to Love, to Love themselves and to manifest the relationship they want.