When we are internally driven, love just exists, the problem is the majority of us are externally driven therefore we constantly seek love outside of us. We often look for others to give us love, show us love and to fulfill our need for love. We seek love from our partners, our children, friends and even our pets. Unfortunately, external cravings and expectations of love are just a recipe for disaster because when the love isn’t reciprocated or if it leaves due to a break-up, death or a falling out, all that remains is pain and heartache. We basically have given our power to another and suffering ends up being the result at every turn.
Say there is a romantic partnership and you love your partner with all of you as he/she is filling a void or hole within you. What happens when your partner misses the mark of what you ‘deem’ to be a loving action or verbal sentiment? I would suggest you are left with the pain and heartache as described above. This is an example of being externally driven as it is only sets both you and your partner up for failure. No one can ever love you the way you truly ‘need’ to be loved as only you can fill that void, since only you know what it looks like.
This can also be extended to a parent/child relationship. If we self-sacrifice and give to our children with an expectation that they have to respond a certain way to what we are giving, we then again, are setting everyone up for failure because each of us responds differently and disappointment is virtually guaranteed. Also, add that we are projecting onto our child(ren) and perpetuating the cycle of being externally driven as we are demonstrating and teaching them to do the same.
Basically, when negative emotions creep in, we move from our natural state of love. We no longer feel good, as we now are being driven by a new set of emotions be it, fear, anger, anxiety, etc. We are allowing the negative thoughts to intrude and replace what is essentially who we are—Love.
Now, imagine if you looked into the mirror and loved you. I mean really loved you, every inch of you. No criticisms, just pure love and acceptance. This would be the epitome of an internally driven love of which no one can ever disappoint or let you down, as you feel it from within. The beauty is from this whole space, you can now extend it outward to others without having an attachment to any expectation. You can now just share it and give it away freely without the need to receive anything in return, a kind of “pay it forward” premise. This is an example of unconditional love of which you extend to yourself, first and foremost, from the deepest recess of your wounds, healing the core of you. We have to reprogram and learn to give ourselves all of which we have sought from others. Fill yourself up with anything you missed from your childhood. Be to yourself what you have been seeking from others to give to you and then you share that love outward with complete joy and peace.
There is an easy assessment as to whether you are coming from an authentic loving space, just inquire if your action or thought makes you feel good or not, regardless of anyone responding to you? Or ask yourself if you are giving for the sole purpose of giving or if you are giving with an underlying need to get something in return?
Below are a few questions of reflection to ask yourself to aid in shifting your perspective.
- What would my life look like by extending unconditional love to myself?
- How can I remain internally driven when outside forces aren’t supporting me?
- What would my life look like if I released attachment and expectations of love from others?
- From this new loving space, who would I extend love to that I have been withholding it from?