There was a time in my life I became afraid to love. Because all those times I fell in love, I got hurt. I thought maybe that’s why it’s called “falling” in love.
I would give my all, loving deeply and wholeheartedly. It would be a truly emotional, extremely euphoric experience. I would dream about the object of my affection all day and all night, imagining good times together, thinking of what I can do or give him to show how much I cared. I would feel light as a feather, energized and excited, literally blooming with the joy I felt inside. Then somehow something would go wrong and my whole world would crash. Disappointment. Resentment. Anger. Pain.
Why? Can we not love without pain? Is disappointment really a price to pay for all the happiness we feel when we’re in love? Should we blindly accept that because we love we get hurt?
It was only after many years of soul-searching and internalizing inspirational writings that I discovered that I can love without getting hurt. I finally understood that unconditional love was the answer.
Love is one of the most powerful forces in the universe. It is the fire that burns inside, the essence of being. Love is the source of all our comfort and contentment. It is a precious gift that defines our purpose in life. If we keep in mind that we can indeed preserve its true meaning, we can love to the fullest and be happy the rest of our lives.
Accept that people express love in different ways.
How do YOU express your love? You say “I love you” three times a day, you kiss and embrace him every chance you get, you never forget your anniversaries, and you always prepare his favorite dishes. How does HE express his love? He rarely says “I love you”, he seldom kisses you, he forgets your birthday, and he doesn’t even try to cook. But he works overtime, walks the dog, helps you with the laundry, takes you to the movies, and calls you “Honey”. He probably loves you as much as you love him, he just shows it differently. If you can accept that difference then you can have a healthier perspective of your relationship.
Derive happiness from giving love.
When you love, do it because you want to. There is indescribable joy in loving. Just give it. And cherish the satisfaction in having given someone something of yourself. It’s like giving a gift. Whether it is appreciated or not, find joy in simply giving.
Love without expecting anything in return.
Now this is where pain comes in: when you demand something in return for the love you give. You are actually setting yourself up for disappointment because love cannot always be reciprocal. Love between two people can never be of the same intensity at the same time and place. No matter how much your partner loves you, she will never be able to fill all your needs all the time. And you are worst off if you believe you should love only when you are sure to receive equal love in return. Sad to say, you will be waiting in misery forever.
The past is gone and the future is just a dream. All of yesterday’s aches and pains, even the joys and laughter, are mere memories. Let them go. And your fantasies and worries? They may never come. So why dwell on them? Live now. Give love now. Do it now and enjoy the moment. That is the secret of inner contentment.
Throw away those destructive habits.
When you insist upon yourself that you always have to be in control, that you always have to be right, that others must always please you, you mold unreasonable expectations of yourself and the ones you love. Loving relationships are flexible, dynamic, and evolving. Give room for change and interaction. Allow for new behavior and learning experiences. When we welcome these into our lives, we open ourselves up to love and affection rather than anger and frustration.
Yes, you will say that unconditional love is easier said than done. Especially when we have always believed that love is give and take. Try believing that love is simply giving. They say “Give until it hurts”. Let’s say “Love until it hurts no more”.
By Ruby Bayan