We accept the love we think we deserve.
- Stephen Chbosky
In our brokenness and wounds we sometimes push those away who actually love us the most. Why is this? There could be many reasons, but sometimes the reason is because their expression of love isn’t the love we crave or want from them. We desire something else. Something that would meet a deep need that may be neglected.
Perhaps we’d rather receive an empathetic hug from someone instead of a verbal explanation for their misbehavior, or maybe we wish someone would help us with tidying up the house instead of just giving us a kiss hello, or maybe we’d like someone to sit down and ask us how we’re really doing instead of them just assuming we’ll open up on our own about our troubles. There could be a hundred different ways we all yearn to be loved and yet the ones who we turn to for that need to be met, often fail to fill us how we keep hoping they will. It can be painful and lonely. This does not mean they don’t love us, even though that may be our emotional reaction triggered by our hurt. It means that their expression of love is coming from a different language than our own.
Communication, mutual growth, striving to speak the other's primary love language, being vulnerable and opening up about how we feel, and expressing empathy can do wonders in the development of relationships so that each of us feel understood and loved well. We are imperfect beings though, so our love is not going to be perfect. We mustn’t expect others to love us perfectly in every way we want them to.
We must embrace the feminine genius of RECEPTIVITY. As women we have a natural gift to open our arms and hearts to others and to receive them deeply. We must learn of this gift on a deeper level so that we may embrace it more fully and begin receiving those in our lives more graciously. This means opening our hearts to ALL of who they are and accepting all that they have to give. This does not mean we lower our standards, let harmful behaviors eat away our relationship, or become a doormat. It means to strongly accept the other person’s dignity, beauty, strengths, wounds, and brokenness. It means to accept their hearts in our own and by doing this we are filled with the grace to open ourselves up to the love they pour from their hearts into us. It may come messy at times, it may feel like the wrong times, but it is it coming from a sincere heart who loves us in the way they know how. Isn’t that enough?
I know for me, understanding that their personal expression of love is genuine, heartfelt, and just for me, brings peace and security even when it comes in a different language than my own. Keeping this knowledge in mind warms my heart. Becoming familiar with their language allows me to feel so loved in these moments. It especially enables me to develop keener intuition toward their self-expression of love, which makes my heart glow.
I think one of the keys to preserving a relationship is knowing the person’s heart. This beautifully safeguards the individuals from breaking out into unloving arguments. I am far from perfect, but I have learned that conflict often can be avoided when one does not pick apart or become fixated on the other’s wording, actions, or assume wrong motives, because there is a deep trust there. Deeply knowing the other’s heart purifies the wounds. Trusting their heart makes all the difference in the world. The heart is from what all things flow. If one knows the other’s heart to be sincere, kind, loving, selfless, and fervent, then rest assured their motives reflect and one can move past skewed comments or behaviors (in reason) because they appear out of character of this virtuous person. If one does not trust their heart and believes it is malicious, then hell will repeatedly break loose. Fights break out. Wounds go deeper. There is no peace.
Come to genuinely know the hearts of those who love you. You will be amazed at how much they actually do.