People often spend their whole lives searching for love only to be disappointed when they are let down when no one meets their expectations. A desire to be loved is a normal human instinct that begins in infancy when you rely upon the nurturing of your parents for survival and takes on deeper meaning as you search for a life partner who will stay with you for better or for worse. Yet, what do you do when love seems so out of reach? Deciding to practice self-acceptance while fostering the aspects of your personality that make you unique is the only way to open your heart to the love that is waiting to arrive.
Stop the Blame Game
Perhaps you have never been able to build a special connection with someone else due to social anxiety. Or you may have been let down by past partners who left you with a broken heart. While it is easy to get caught up in blaming other people or life’s circumstances for your lack of success in love, it is more effective to focus on what you do right. Spend some time thinking about the positive characteristics that you bring to the world. Then, focus on remembering what went right in your past relationships. Generating a positive mindset makes it easier to recognize love when it finally arrives.
Heal Your Past Wounds
The idea that love makes a person whole again is only half true. While romantic movies always make it seem as though a new relationship is the answer to healing, the truth is that you already have the love within you to overcome any painful events in your past. In fact, healing any broken parts of your soul before you get into a relationship will make you a stronger and better partner. Whether you are recovering from infidelity or learning how to deal with an abusive childhood, it is important to reach out to people who care for support. Talking about your past traumas and learning how to heal creates space in your heart for building better relationships.
When you feel great, you will look great. Although pampering yourself may feel like a luxury, it really does make a big difference in how much confidence you project as you interact with potential new partners. While you may be shaking your head at the cost of getting a massage or a manicure, remember that self-care does not have to be expensive. A relaxing bubble bath after a stressful day or skipping a social gathering when you feel ill are all ways to show yourself some love. Eating a nutritious diet, exercising and keeping up with your regular medical exams are additional ways to keep your body and spirit in shape for finding new love.
Redefine Your Understanding of Love
The media portrays love as being full of romance and whimsy. However, there are many different types of love that all bring joy to your life. For example, volunteering your skills at a community service generates feelings of love for yourself and the people who you get the honor to serve. Spending time with an aging loved one or playing with a young family member are additional ways to let love enter your world. Although these may not resemble the romantic love for which you are searching, they help to build your ability to relate to others with compassion and empathy.
End Your Addictions
Too many years dealing with low self-esteem may have led you to abuse drugs or alcohol. You may also have developed an addiction to food, gambling or pornography in an attempt to make yourself feel better during times that you felt unloved. Loving yourself means taking care of yourself. Although it may seem impossible to end an addiction, seeking professional help will allow you to find strategies for treatment that allow you to recover. Once you are sober, you will be emotionally capable of having a healthy relationship that is centered around love.
Learn the Power of Forgiveness
Guilt, resentment and unreleased anger are all negative emotions that interfere with the ability to love and be loved freely. They are also all common reactions that occur when you are unable to forgive someone else or yourself for a specific situation. When you learn to forgive and let go, you regain control over your life and emotions. However, forgiveness is not always easy, especially when you have let unresolved issues go on for too long. It may be necessary to seek individual or family counseling to get to a point where you can forgive a past hurt. It can take some time, but the freedom you feel once you can finally let go is essential for attracting love.
Develop New Interests
Throughout every stage in life, it is important to focus on self-discovery. Over time, your likes, dislikes and personal interests will change along with your skill set. Taking the time to discover new interests provides you with opportunities to find out more about what makes you special. For example, you may discover that you have an innate talent for playing a musical instrument. Alternatively, you could discover that spending time outdoors hiking through the wilderness helps you relax. Nurturing your soul by feeding it with new experiences opens you up to an exciting world in which love will be attracted to your vibrant enthusiasm for getting the most out of life.
If you are waiting for the right person to come into your life and make everything better, then stop now. The perfect love already exists in your heart, and it is just waiting to be released. Decide today that you are ready to change your current circumstances by recognizing your worth and value as an individual. Making this decision to practice self-acceptance transforms your entire state of being into one that is full of love. It is only then, at that moment when you know that you are capable of loving yourself completely, that you will be ready to embrace the love that surrounds you with open arms.
About Chris Massman
Chris Massman LMFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with offices in Agoura Hills and Tarzana, CA. Her specialization lies in the field of addiction. She received her CDS, Chemical Dependency Specialty in May 2014. Chris has life and personal family experiences that she has chosen to use as a benefit, to pass on her strength and knowledge to you. She is familiar with various Twelve Step Support Groups. She currently sees clients struggling with issues of addiction, gambling, alcoholism, co-dependency, and adult children of alcoholics and addicts.
To know more, visit her website www.chrismassmanmft.com.