We spend a lot of time and energy seeking love in our lives. We may be looking for acceptance from a partner or approval from a parent; we may be hoping to succeed at a job interview or to win the respect of our peers; or we may be looking for support from our friends or help with some heartache. But all of these things are a form of love, and the need for this love drives almost everything we do.
Yet in relating to our partner, parent, boss or friends, we often send them very self-defeating messages. In our need for love lies our subconscious belief that we don’t deserve it. And in our attempts to appear lovable or acceptable to others, we trip over ourselves telling them how inadequate we are. I know I look fat in this dress. I’m really stupid when it comes to maths. I’m never going to get this right. I don’t earn enough money. I’m a hopeless dancer. I hate my legs—they’re full of cellulite. My hair’s a mess. I’ve got SO many wrinkles. I look ancient… What man/woman is going to want this??
We invalidate ourselves daily and we’ve got an arsenal of disclaimers to pre-empt the possible—and anticipated—criticisms of others. We so desperately want others to like/love/accept us that we allow them to define us—and we help them along by listing all our flaws and shortcomings. We give them rights to us—the right to determine how lovable we are; the right to determine how we feel about ourselves; and the right to treat us the way they think we should be treated. Yet we’re entitled to love and we must take ownership of our rights.
When we subconsciously believe ourselves to be unlovable, we prevent others from loving us. If we want to truly allow others in and to be deeply, unconditionally loved, we must stop rejecting ourselves—before, during and after any kind of interaction. We must reclaim ownership of ourselves and allow ourselves to be loved. It’s a choice, not a judgement. We must realize that we determine just how lovable, acceptable and deserving we are. We think it’s determined by others who appear to be judging us, but the deeper truth is that our perception of unlovability causes us to attract people who reflect that perception back to us.
Being overweight, financially challenged, clumsy, shy, insecure etc has nothing to do with our lovability. These are merely the outcomes of our belief that we’re unlovable and we use them as excuses to buffer ourselves from being ‘found out’. After all, if someone gets too close, they’re going to discover just how unlovable we really are, right? Or so we often believe.
Yet a lot of our insecurities can generate self-pity—even blame. I’m so upset that he didn’t like me. How could he SAY such a thing?? If only she hadn’t made that nasty comment about me I’d be okay. It’s her fault that I’ve got this whopping headache. Some people are so selfish; they just dump everything on me. Everyone expects me to do all the work around here. We even use others as an excuse for staying stuck. I’m not going out today; I’ve put on so much weight, I don’t want anyone to see me like this. I’m not going to his party; he’s only going to talk about his boring work…
We’re really quite creative in the strategies we devise to hold ourselves back. We hardly need others to help us. But we need to wise up if we truly want to be loved. We must take ourselves seriously if we want to be seen for who we really are. And we must take responsibility for all the people we reject in their bid to reach us. Attracting love is not just about loving yourself more; it’s about choice, ownership, responsibility and entitlement—keys to the core of you.
Olga Sheean is an author, educator and empowerment catalyst specializing in healthy human dynamics and creative potential. She is dedicated to activating the power of you and transforming the negative subconscious programs that drive your circumstances, relationships, performance, self-worth and success.