By Ashleigh Stewart
How do you measure the love you have for yourself in comparison to the love you have for another person? It is sometimes the case that when we fall in love, we throw all caution to the wind and give all we have and all we are into the relationship, or at least, so we may think! This is normal of course as you have to invest yourself if you want the relationship to work. But, just how much do you feel you are gaining from this and are you emotionally fulfilled with it?
I had one experience of my own where I fell 'head over heels' in love with a guy, as did him with me. I put everything I could into that relationship and sacrificed many aspects of my life in order to comply with his demands. I sacrificed my own time, my friends and even my family in order to accommodate him. As time passed I was slowly beginning to realize he was taking complete advantage of my willingness toward him and did not receive much effort from his part into making allowances for my sake. I'll admit. I was so mesmerized with him that I didn't see anything wrong with this. I loved him, being with him made me happy, my sacrifices made him happy. He lost nothing and had his cake and ate it too! So, in conclusion, if he's happy then I'm happy... right? Wrong!
I never questioned my contribution into this relationship. I truly believed that because I loved him, by giving up everything to please him, I would then be respecting myself, my own wishes and answering my heart calls. I was completely mislead as I soon realized there was a problem somewhere along the line when the effort and contribution into making our relationship work from his side was somewhat lacking! What I realized after the relationship was over was that the problem was not altogether his blame, even though he was particularly selfish! The truth is I was not completely investing in this relationship myself.
The relationship was lacking the contribution of me sharing my true feelings toward him. In any event where he would express his love and emotions for me, I would either freeze and give no response or giggle like a child and quickly change the subject! Is this a contradiction or what?
You see, I was afraid. I was scared of the intensity of the feelings I had for him. Why? Because I had grown to believe that if I openly expressed my feelings and emotions to someone I loved, that was opening the gateway for them to manipulate or take advantage of me and the way I felt for them. These are the conclusions I had reached after dealing with my difficult childhood and adolescence where I had no examples of stable, loving relationships in my immediate surrounding!
I didn't trust love and believed it was a negative, a weakness which would only eventually lead to heartache in the end. So where was the justification in allowing myself to love or to be loved when I would eventually end up hurt. This was my conclusion of the matter in plenty! In conclusion after the failure of this relationship, I do see where the fault lies. If I had been truly honest and open when it came to expressing my emotions to him instead of trying to replace it by sacrificing all other aspects of my life, then maybe he would have taken me more seriously and the relationship might have survived having been built on more solid foundations with us sharing mutual love, trust and understanding of each other.
I learnt from this experience that real happiness comes from when you love and you give your love openly and freely from yourself, without question, reason or analysis to the other person. This brings real fulfillment and satisfaction knowing that you are sharing your love not only to bring pleasure to the other person, but for yourself likewise. If you really love yourself then allow yourself to experience the pleasure that comes from giving love as well as receiving love.
Unstable relationships are based on the grounds where you place the responsibility of your own happiness in the hands of the other person. This instance will always leave a degree of lingering doubt, regardless of the quality and strength of your relationship as you can never ever be completely convinced that they will serve you or your emotional needs 100%.
So, with that in mind take responsibility for your own happiness. It is your right and duty toward creating the most happy and fulfilling life you possibly can for yourself. Give, share and allow yourself to receive love freely, openly and completely without judgment. You will see and feel the difference when you are building your own happiness by learning to love yourself and sharing that likewise with another person.