The Answer is No!
For most of my life, I looked to others to make me feel secure, valuable and loved. I hoped with my whole being that my family, friends and loving partners would do everything they could to make me feel something I didn’t feel for myself. To that end, I trusted others in relationships to do their jobs. What were their jobs? To do anything I thought showed me they loved me, and I needed to see they could be trusted to do so no matter what. They needed to be consistent in their efforts. If they weren’t, I got angry, felt insecure and questioned their love.
Here’s the problem, though. No one is going to be able to do that for me—to love me in the way I expect to be loved so that I feel better about myself. No one can do this for anyone else, at all, ever. Not your mother, your friend or your partner. When we expect, and then trust, people to love us in the very specific and limited ways we have devised in our minds, we will always be disappointed and let down. Not by them, but by our limited beliefs about ourselves—I am not lovable, or I am not good enough—and the games we play because of these beliefs.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say your partner’s name is Paul. You might think to yourself, I trust Paul to love me. But when Paul does or says something that doesn’t seem loving to you, you question his trust and love. The truth is, Paul will always fail you in this endeavor—not because he means to, but because you have asked him to do your job for you.
Everyone you trust to love you will fail you because no one can be trusted to love you in a way that will make you feel better about yourself. Only you can do this—no one can be trusted to love you but you. You don’t need someone else to love you—you need to love yourself. Look within. Stop looking outside of yourself for the love you already are.
Providing a Service
Our lack of self-love forces us to look outside ourselves for love. We hope to get love from people, animals, jobs, or just about anywhere else. When we put this expectation on others, or anything outside of ourselves, we make others nothing more than a commodity, or a service to us.
When others don’t service us/love us in the ways we expect, we get angry, we don’t trust them anymore and we question them about their motivation for being with us. However, what we need to do is question our motivation for being with them. Are we with them hoping to get something out of it—like love, security, self-esteem and or anything else for that matter? If so, it’s time to wake up to reality and stop using people and things to make us feel loved.
Trusting someone to love us in certain ways so we feel better about ourselves can happen in any relationship, but it happens most of all in our intimate, spouse/partner relationships. These are our most challenging relationships in so many ways. However, they are also the ones we can learn the most from about ourselves and the ones that can help us find our own freedom, if we’re open to seeing the truth.
The Unwritten Contract
In every intimate relationship I’ve ever had, I people pleased to the point of exhaustion and total unhappiness. When I finally realized I was doing this, I had to ask myself Why? The answer was a massive wake up call. The reason I people pleased was that this was my part of the unwritten contract between me and my love interest at the time. Their part was to love me, and I trusted them to do so. My part was to do anything I could to make certain they loved me, and they trusted me to do my part. This is nothing more than a game based on a lack of self-love.
In the game of servicing or commodity-making in relationships, one must do something and by doing this the other must pay up. So, for instance, I make breakfast for my partner and then they appreciate me. Appreciation feels a lot like love so, in this scenario, everyone has met the requirements of the contract. However, when people don’t follow the rules, when I make breakfast and there’s no appreciation, I consider the person selfish and ungrateful. It is at this point that I get angry, name-call, demean and question my partner’s love for me. Of course, anyone of us would question the love of the other when they break their contract. Within the confines of the game, what other option is there?
It must be obvious by now that in this game of love, in the game of the unwritten contract of trust and expectations, there is no love. Such relationships are based on servicing and using people as a commodity to get love or feel loved. It is a self-centered game that never works. How do we move forward from here?
Moving Forward without Trust
Want to know if you love someone freely and unconditionally? Let them do whatever they want without it having any bearing on whether they love you or not. Just love them without any expectation for anything to be returned, especially love. It is here that trust becomes unnecessary. I’m not talking about letting someone abuse you or hurt you in any way. If you stay in this kind of a relationship, you really need to ask yourself Why and soul search for the answer. Then make the necessary adjustments.
What I’m talking about is making breakfast for them and not expecting them to do or say anything for it. Of course, it is good manners to say, thank you, but if they don’t say it, it doesn’t mean anything about how much they love you. I’m also talking about not showering someone with gifts so they shower you with love. And about letting them go for a run an hour before dinner without you, without it meaning they don’t love you. Just love freely. Let life flow.
If we realize no one is trustworthy, we can move forward with the freedom to just love without expectations. In the world in which we have been taught to live, this is a huge challenge for most of us. However, if we are going to be true to ourselves and love others truly and freely, we have to bring all non-love, or servicing, to the surface, bring an end to the trust for love game and then move beyond this to pure love.
It is in this space that we begin to experience the true love of self. My life changed drastically as I no longer trusted my partner to love me and just loved without expectation. I’m not saying it’s completely gone, but with this awareness, my life is changing for the better, as is my relationship. For instance, when I stopped feeing like I had to be home all the time or my partner would get angry and have leave me for someone else, I started doing the things I wanted to do—the things I loved.
For instance, just last year, I began traveling again. I have always love exploring the world. It is in my travels that I have found something that makes my heart sing—volunteering at Potcake Place K-9 Rescue at Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos Islands (British West Indies). Picking up dog poo and pee has brought me so much joy, I can’t put it into words. I’ve also found a new family with the baby Potcake puppies, but also with the other volunteers like Jane, Colin, Tina Tigges, Lynn, Loreen, Olivia, Chris and many others. I hadn’t realized I wasn’t living my life because of my unwritten contract, my people pleasing and the trust I placed on relationships—all based on me not loving myself.
You see, by people pleasing to get love, I put the interests of my heart aside so I could play the game—so I could keep up my end of the unwritten contract. When I stopped playing the game, when I broke the contract, I got the chance to get to know the real me and begin experiencing my life for the first time. Freeing my partner from the requirement of trust, love and servicing also freed myself from the same. It is here that we begin to truly live.
Realizing you trust someone to love you and that you are playing the servicing/commodity game, may seem to lead to a relationship conundrum—do I stay with my partner now or do I leave? Only you will know the answer to that question. There can be true love under all of the trust, servicing and game playing. Sometimes true love is what holds two people together despite the overlaying trust for love and servicing games. Again, only you will know. Follow your heart. There is a deep energy within us, an intuition or a knowing, that guides us if we will just pay attention to it. This is where you will find the answer to your question. This is how you move forward.
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