Well that’s crap. That’s not love, it’s your burning desire to control.
Love does not entail setting conditions that must be met. It’s not predicated on a list of ‘ifs’. You either love fully or you don’t.
How many times have you done things because you wanted to be loved? I am going to be completely open with you; my list is so long, it makes me gaga. There were so many times I didn’t honor me, my feelings or my values in order to please someone else for the sole purpose of acquiring their love. What do you think happened? Did I get the love I was so desperately seeking? No! I was used for whatever purpose and then painfully discarded.
In full disclosure, when I loved others based on the conditions I placed on them, the outcome was also extremely disappointing.
So why do we do it?
We all have a great inner need to feel loved, to feel valued. It’s part of our DNA to want to be accepted and appreciated. Most of us are raised surrounded by conditional love. We take these conditions on as part of who we think we should be. Like “little girls are ladies and not noisy.” There goes your will to speak up. Or “big boys don’t cry.” Grown men feel they can’t show emotion.
If you sit for fifteen minutes, I bet you can come up with a list of conditional zingers you heard as a child. Our parents didn’t mean any harm by them; they were just trying to get us to behave the way they wanted.
We grow up believing that certain things, that have nothing to do who we really are, make us more lovable or appreciated. So many of us think that, once we are in a relationship with someone, we will get them to change and become what we want them to be. My mom always said you can’t change the spots on a leopard; I really understand what she was saying now.
Look around you today – who could you love fully if you let go of the expectations or conditions you have put on them? Let’s go deeper with this. How could you love and appreciate yourself more if you released the meaningless conditions you have put on yourself? Love is about being happy, content and real. Maybe it’s time to wipe that list of conditions clean and see how love shows up today, in a new authentic and embracing way.
I would love to hear from you how you take that list of ‘ifs’ and turn it into ‘wows!’
Live Faithfully, Mal
Mal Duane is a Best Selling Author and Personal Life and Recovery Coach who has overcome life challenges using the steps in the Alpha Chick Process. Her personal mission is to help women excel in all areas of their lives from business to personal relationships. Mal has been featured with Fox 25 Boston Morning Show, CBS Radio, Aspire Magazine, Healthy Living and Metrowest Daily News. She has also been a featured guest on over one hundred Blogtalk Radio shows discussing recovery and personal transformation.
Mal’s book, Alpha Chick, Five Steps for Moving from Pain to Power, is a best selling book and is available on Amazon.com.