By Sonika Tinker, MSW & Christian Pedersen, CLC, LoveWorks Relationship Help
Love gives. And this is no more obvious than at the beginning of relationship. When in love, we are generous with our giving. We bestow upon our beloved an abundance of touch and attention. We offer gifts and love notes and phone calls. We make love for hours. We listen to each other with great rapture and divulge all of our secrets. We make delicious meals for each other and delight over the sharing of food together. We fix things that are broken when we know it will bring relief or joy. We are willing to go out of our way for each other. We can't wait to show and express our love.
When newly in love, we mistakenly believe it is the OTHER who makes us feel this blissfully charged with love and generosity. We do not see that it is the act of loving itself that produces such joy!
We LOVE to give! It is where we are at our best. It is where we are the most connected. It is where we are the most expansive. In truth, it is who we ARE to give to another. As relationship proceeds, we give less and less. We don't see it, but we begin to focus more on getting than giving.
It begins when our partner doesn't do what we expect or want. We feel hurt, disappointed, angry, afraid or sad. Old wounds resurface. We don't want to feel the pain so we close ourselves off from our feelings. Unfortunately, when we close ourselves off from our feelings, we close off our love too.
In our confusion, we think the path to feeling love again is to change our partner. We have to get him or her to quit doing that thing that hurts. So we focus on trying to GET our partner to change, to meet our expectations. In a word, we try to GET them to give to us. We try to GET them to keep their agreements, to commit, to help around the house more, to make love with us for hours, to listen to us, to show their love to us like they used to.
Our partner is doing the same to us. Trying to GET us to give to them. Unfortunately, no one is giving. Both of us are trying to GET. In trying to GET, the flow of love is cut off. Generosity ceases. And we feel terrible when we are not abundantly giving to those we love. We have inadvertently disconnected ourselves from our hearts, from who we really are. And it is this disconnection from love that kills us. It is this disconnection from love that kills the relationship.
We mistakenly believe we have fallen out of love because of our partner's unwillingness to give. If only he or she would have (fill in the blank), then I would still be in love. But it is actually our own unwillingness to give, our own focus on trying to GET that has taken us out of love…Many of us leave our partners in search of another, and repeat the process over and over again. We don't see that GIVING and RECEIVING is at the heart of feeling this blissful state of love. So take note. One of the fastest ways back to love is to give again. Give Fast. Give Freely. Give Frequently. Give what YOU want to receive.
Kahil Gibran said this: Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.