Sherrie Campbell, Ph.D.SherrieCampbellPhD.com10 Clarity Points on Love
Relationships are our greatest teachers of what love is and what love is not. When we learn what love is not, it gives us a better idea of what to look for in an effort to find what love is. For something so simple, love or the idea of love can often bring us more confusion than clarity. What love is:
- Love is open. Love should not be used to dictate to another person what the rules on their behavior should be. Love does not ask people to shrink to make others more comfortable. Love expands, it does not demand.
- You can feel love in your gut. Your gut will tell you when you are in a relationship where you are not being loved, respected or treated kindly. If you are being treated poorly, you do not have to stay in that relationship. Love should make you feel secure, not diminished.
- Love is fair. Love is not about trading. Love does not make bargains or set limits. Love wants for the ever-expansion of each individual in the relationship. No one who truly loves you should want to control your actions: what you can and cannot have, and what you should or should not do to make another person feel secure.
- Love starts with you. The first love relationship you should have is with yourself. If you love yourself, you will attract another healthy person to your life to love you back. So, love yourself first and all positive relationships in your life will be born out of that.
- Love gives permission. Being in love should not mean you give up your hobbies, your friends, your passions or individual tastes in life. Love should not be about giving things up; it should be about developing yourself and your life even more.
What love is not:
- Saying, "I love you," should not be used as an avoidance phrase. Love should be expressed when it is deeply felt. Sometimes saying, "I love you," is a way to avoid the emptiness which exists in the relationship. It can act as a band-aid instead of a real life giving force.
- Love doesn't need proving. Love is not something to have to substantiate to someone over and over again. You can literally lose yourself trying to prove yourself. You cannot fill up someone's insecure places no matter how hard you may try. If they don't love themselves, you cannot make them feel your love.
- Love isn't a good reason to stay in a horrible relationship. If you are consistently not fulfilled or satisfied in your love relationships, then you need to consider what the real reasons are that you stay. Maybe you need to love yourself enough to find something or someone that is better for you.
- Love is not a reason to be miserable for the rest of your life. We often stay in unhealthy relationships out of fear, obligation and/or guilt. Living this way allows fear to dictate your decisions rather than love.
- Love is not a reason to accept substandard treatment. You do not deserve to be treated poorly. Take a moment to think about that. Love does not treat people poorly. Never stay somewhere unhealthy in the name of love.
If love has become confusing and overly painful, this may be the first sign that you are experiencing what love is not. Love is gentle. Love is open. Love is not fear. The more secure you are in your life, the higher quality love you will find outside yourself. Little Life Message: True love starts within you.
Dr. Sherrie Campbell is an author and a licensed psychologist with more than 19 years of clinical training and experience. She provides practical tools to help people overcome obstacles to self-love and truly achieve an empowered life. Click here to get her free article, “Five Ways to Make Love the Common Ground in Your Communication.” She is a featured expert on a variety of national websites and has a successful practice in Southern California. Receive free insights from Sherrie and be involved in her Facebook community of others looking to improve their relationships. For more information visit SherrieCampbellPhD.com. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.