Let me ask you a question that you might not have ever been asked before.
How is it that you feel loved by the people in your life, and how is it that you need it to look like, in order for you to feel loved?
I think that this is an amazing question, and it was brought on by a conversation that I was having with a friend the other day.
Let me give you a better example or illustration as to what I mean.
Everyone drinks their coffee to their own preference. (if you don't like coffee, you can substitute tea, eggs, or something that everyone enjoys their own way in the manner in which it's prepared) If I brought a person coffee, and it was black and they liked it with cream and sugar, it wouldn't be the way they like it. Of course, it would still be bringing somebody coffee, which is a wonderful thought, yet it wouldn't be the way they like to enjoy drinking coffee. Get it?
So let's go back to Love. Love is the greatest gift of all, as we all know. However when you love someone, and you demonstrate your love for them the way YOU see love as occurring to you, and not how THEY see love in their eyes, you have the exact same situation as the coffee example. Then feelings and expectations are not met, and that's when you see a really challenging struggle start.
However, what if I were to ask you a simple question like, "How do you like to take your coffee?" If I remembered properly, I would always bring it to you the way that you like it. And what do I care how you take it? -You're the one drinking it, and if it tastes good to you, then that's all that is important, right?
Then why don't we do this with how we want to be loved? And why isn't this talked about?
We call Love the most powerful thing in the universe, and yet we are afraid of asking some really, really basic questions around it because we have a story about how we might appear for it.
That way, there really is no communication breakdown, let downs, or expectations that didn't get met that aren't addressed. Like I said, if somebody brought you coffee and it wasn't the way you liked to drink it, you would tell them, so that they wouldn't repeat the same thing, right? So my question is, if we do this with something as simple as a cup of coffee, then why do we ignore the most powerful thing in the universe in the same way?
Now, I could leave that question out there in cyber space and leave you with no real answer to a powerful question, but I won't. If we want to really find out why we don't tell the people in our lives who matter the most to us, HOW we like or need to be loved, it has to come from a place of authentic vulnerability in that context. Usually, this is the real reason why we don't tell people this, because in many ways we haven't been taught to talk about things like this. If it's as simple as a cup of coffee then we can do it, yet when it involves real feelings, it's "needy", or that's how the story goes in my case as to why I didn't do it.
I can look back now in my life and see that if I would've taken the care and time to actually ask and listen to HOW a person sees love, then I could've actually given them exactly what they wanted. Instead, I saw love only as how I could GIVE it to them. In many cases, I brought love to the table the way I saw it, yet not the way that worked for them. And love given that way isn't a 2 way street, is it? We all know that love has to be a 2 way street in our lives, yet we don't want to play it unless it's what we want.
When I don't want to give love the way someone else wants it, I feel resentful and I make them wrong for it. Of course, this is totally part of the way of being that I show up as in that moment, and you can usually just tell that I don't want to be in that moment. I feel emotions and conflicts about why I feel them in that moment, yet it doesn't really register as to why because I wasn't taught that as a kid. All I know in that moment is that I am resigned to being in an unworkable situation for me, and I am at a loss of power in fighting it.
But the thing is, the way someone needs to be loved was always my story about how needy THEY were, and not the reason why I saw it that way. I found that I made many women in my relationships pay for the relationship previous to that in the same way I saw that they wanted to be loved. I had so much resentment because of it, that I wasn't able to give it. Then I found out that it was actually my past, not theirs, that stopped me from loving them the way they wanted to be loved. What a powerful lesson that was...
When you can love someone the way that they want to be loved, and in turn they can love you the way that you want to be loved, and you can create what that is, it really is a totally different space to stand inside of.