Love is complicated for sure. Those we love and who love us may have different expectations of love, some of which have nothing to do with love at all. Our definition of love may be askew as well. Love from the heart wants what is best for your higher good but real life interactions often mask that love. Our own expectations block that love as well.
Often love is seen with strings attached. IF he, she or they loved me, they would __________. That kind of conditional love is destructive from the start. It judges the heart of another based on what you desire of them. Love says no when it is not for your higher good. Love says no when the timing is not right. Love says no when it is not right for them. The other person is not obligated by love to do something that is not for their own higher good to please you. Your love for others respects their limitations in regard to what you ask of them. Fulfilling your dreams is your obligation. Others may help you attain your destiny if they are able, but following your path is not their responsibility. Determining obligations for parents begins early and can last a lifetime. Children who do that set themselves up for disappointment which can also last forever. That disappointment is too often associated with not being loved.
Love is not abusive, but the person may be. That is unfortunate and sad. The love may be there but they have no control over their own reaction to life. Abusive people are never happy with themselves nor their life and do not know how to change it. Somewhere they also may have believed that it is you that would fix that. Too often young women get pregnant believing they are creating someone who will love them the way they always wanted to be loved. That is not nor ever was your responsibility. Again their idea of love is based on what they expect to achieve from it and is not from the heart. No matter how much you love someone, you cannot change them without it being their intention. Understanding and accepting them is love, but accepting abuse is not. Self-preservation is necessary. Love them, not their actions.
Relationships take effort as well as love, with good honest communication at the center. Discussing situations that make you uncomfortable usually go best when expressed with ‘I’ statements. This way you are clearly stating your feelings, needs or wants without criticism of the other person. ‘You’ statements put them on guard immediately and they stop listening as they prepare their defense or attack. The intent of a problem solving conversation should always be kept on track and not veered towards accusations.
Feeling loved is comforting, but the first love must come from yourself. To demonstrate love to others and accept love in return requires you to love yourself. Too often people block the love of others when they feel unworthy or unlovable. That is simply never true, yet easily believed. Self-love can be attained through accepting love from God, who created you in unconditional love, and loving back gratefully. Feeling loved is more important than being told you are loved. Even a smile can do that! Some people just never say it, but be open to the smile or hug they send your way.
If you question whether or not you are loved, consider your expectations. Evaluate your situation fairly. You cannot demonstrate love genuinely as long as you don’t love yourself first. Take those steps, beginning with prayer. Talking to God, the angels or the universe is a great beginning. Talk it all out, not forgetting to listen or feel a response. Do you require certain behaviors or actions that mean love to you? Have you expressed them and are they fair to the other person? Is it possible for them to live up to your demands? Are your wants for your higher good or some other reason? Are you communicating well? Advocating for yourself in love IS loving yourself.
Love of any kind is not as complicated once you leave ego and are loving from your heart. When it is expressed through your eyes, others feel it too and usually respond to it. Beginning and ending each day, and each interaction with feelings of caring love rather than lists of things that are on a to-do list, provides comfort even in a hectic world, and that caring is returned to you.