My ability to love is one of my greatest strengths. In the past I viewed it like a superpower and saved my love for when it’s needed (making sure I Used My Power For Good). But I didn’t allow myself to goof off with it and just have a good time. Think about it: Wonderwoman must have flown her invisible jet to the Caribbean for a weekend, and when no one was looking, I guarantee you Spiderman made trampolines out of his webs. So instead of over-focusing on Finding The One or Getting The Love I Need or Calling In Mr. Right, I decided it was time to be as loving as I can on a regular basis. You know, for kicks.
Luckily, I think I’m on the right path. I was recently told how incredibly loving I am – from someone who wasn’t even in love with me! So this is good.
The difference between how I see it now and how I’ve seen it in the past is the result. I’ve been afraid to love if there’s even the slightest chance I won’t be loved in return. But that’s just a game of chicken. Why wait for the other person to dive first? Why not just practice loving and see what happens?
I came across a couple of articles recently that really spoke to being loving instead of being loved. Robert Holden posted a lovely piece on The Daily Love that talked about what happens when two people looking for love find each other: nothing. They may find infatuation and be tempted to think it’s love, but it falls apart. “If, however,” he says, “you are committed to being the most loving person you know, you will attract someone who is committed to living on that wavelength too. And, when two people – who are committed to being the love they are looking for – finally meet, they will find love.”
Another piece that caught my eye was by Margaret Paul, Ph.D., an author who specializes in relationships. She posted ten signs that you’re really in love (and not just infatuated) and the one that stood out to me was number four:
You receive deep joy in giving to your beloved.
Her focus is more on being supportive and not begrudging your partner any of the work you do on his or her behalf, but I see it as the same thing – you get great pleasure out of loving your partner (not out of being loved by your partner).
It’s a new perspective and a new experiment, so I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.