We talk a lot about how to get love.
In fact, we talk about it incessantly. How to land a date, turn someone on, find a boyfriend, make yourself respected, admired, seen as successful. We talk about how to convince someone to commit, to get married, to take us out again. All of these things are the ways try to manipulate the love that people give us.
We talk a lot about how to get love, but we talk very little about how to give it.
We talk about getting love as though it’s a precursor to giving it. As though giving if we aren’t receiving makes us weak. As though no respectable person would keep being kind and loving to someone who didn’t love them back. As though being loving is being devoted, rather than being strong and honest and true and sometimes walking away.
You cannot convince someone to love you if they don’t.
This, above most else, is a rule. Love is not something you “get.” It’s not something someone else has and you must earn. It is not something that exists outside of you. When someone doesn’t want to express affection and love and respect to you, you have two choices: you can try to change that fact (and keep yourself stuck) or you can keep giving love (which will let you move on).
The pain of not having love is the pain of your heart being closed.
The pain of losing love is the pain of your heart closing.
The pain of losing love is trying to change or manipulate someone into thinking or seeing you differently. It is not actually a loss of love, it is a step into delusion and denial. It is the adoption of the idea that you aren’t lovable as you are.
Love is not something anybody can take away from you though. (It’s not something anybody can truly give you, either.) It’s not something you ‘get,’ it’s something you experience – and that exchange requires an equal and honest and willing contribution on each side. It’s not something that anybody is responsible to do for you, or owes you in a life.
If you go on living as though other people are required to give you love, you will never actually experience it.
If you go on living as though love is something that is always required of you, you will find it in everything. In every stranger on the subway, three-date-long relationship, six year love affair that almost was “it,” and everything else. All of these different loves become equally important. The pain of losing transmutes into the beauty of having discovered something more important than someone who can promise you forever.
Your life turns into a series of little love stories, all of which teach you how to love better, how to give more, how to be more of yourself, what you like and what you don’t. How to walk away with grace, and respect yourself genuinely, and listen to your intuition.
When you want to pity yourself over how little love you’re getting, I ask you to stop and consider: how much are you giving?