By Marla Sanderson
Are you looking for love in all the right places? You can find it in the dictionary somewhere between loser and lucky.
Oh, you want more? We usually seek love “out there”—a person who will be our life mate—or maybe we want love from our parents or children, friends or associates. When you’re looking for someone to love you, you’re not dealing with love at all. You’re focused on the object and what that will do for you. That approach doesn’t work very well.
When we’re young, we value appearance. Are they cute enough? Do they have all the right parts in the right places? I once had a friend who said she didn’t like a guy because he had a “funny back of the head.” As we mature, we find personality and charm more appealing—how someone handles him or herself in a situation. Or, maybe it’s about money and power. For the perfectionists, it might be whether he folds his socks right or even at all, how she deals with wait people or store clerks, if he leaves the seat up or down…The list goes on and on.
Obviously, you find some people more lovable than others, and you certainly have the right to pick and choose. However, even if you find that person who meets your standards, a relationship built on externals will not bring love. Being in a romantic relationship has its challenges, and living with another person has even more. If you value the relationship, you need to stop doing the things that get in the way of the expression of love. Can you love without judgment? Can you love without expectation? Can you love first and ask questions later?
What stops you from expressing love more freely? For starters, there’s fear of rejection, impossible expectations, perfectionist standards, fear of getting hurt, needing approval, acceptance and appreciation, needing to be right…hmmm. I could go on, but at some point, you just have to be willing to let go of all that stuff and start loving.
I know it can be hard to do when you feel vulnerable, but when you’re critical of yourself what do you project? Yep, criticism. When you judge yourself, what do you put out? Yep, judgment. When your self-concept is a mess, what do you attract? Yep, another mess. But when you love yourself in spite of your “faults,” it’s easier to extend your love to others.
In fact, when you feel good about yourself, you can feel confident even if you don’t live up to someone else’s expectations. You don’t have to react with fear, anger, hurt, embarrassment, and all those other feelings that wreck the moment. When you don’t need anyone’s validation, there’s no need to attack or retreat.
All the love you could ever want is there inside you. You only need to let it out. This may not be news, but it’s still true. Love isn’t a commodity to be traded. It’s the nature of the Divine within you, so it’s your basic nature too. In order to experience it, you express it. The more you do, the better you feel.
People are attracted to that.
Rev. Marla Sanderson is a skilled spiritual counselor, speaker, teacher, and workshop leader. She has studiedand practiced the Science of Happiness and Science of Mind for over 40 years. Her website, The NewThought Global Network, showcases ideas from many New Thought disciplines. She is ordained in the Centersfor Spiritual Living. (Religious Science). Contact her at 727-475-8991, or email@example.com or visit www.newthoughtglobal.org.