Due to the circumstances of my childhood, I’d adopted the belief that love is something you have to work for. The truth that love doesn’t have to be earned escaped me.
The phrase “limiting beliefs” shows up everywhere I look lately. And when I started to write mine down, a lightbulb switched on above my head.
Without realizing, I’d held on to the belief that love is hard to get. Because my parents did a poor job of showing me love, I’d defined it as something elusive and difficult to obtain.
After all the personal growth work, I hadn’t absorbed the basic fact that love doesn’t have to be earned. You can’t chase or catch love. In fact, love is not a thing at all.
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Here’s what my exercise on limiting beliefs taught me about love.
1. I am love.
Love is not something outside of me that I need to seek out and grab hold of. I am love. Love for myself and love from God fills me every day.
Even if no one else loved me, I’d still have that everlasting love within me. It’s not going anywhere and I don’t have to change or perform to access it.
2. Love doesn’t have to be earned because it’s not a commodity.
The moment you try to earn love, it stops being love. That’s the amazing, frustrating thing about love. All the rules around working hard to get what you want don’t apply.
Love is easy. It’s not something you acquire like a new car. It’s already yours. All you have to do is express, share, and acknowledge it within you.
3. You don’t have to change to win love
Think back to a time when you tried to change or become something else to win love. Did it ever work?
When you were a child and did everything you could to experience your parents’ love, did they give it to you? Not accolades for an accomplishment, but love for who you are.
I’m going to guess not. So, when will we learn that love doesn’t have to be earned and, in fact, can’t be? How many times will we chase it, change, or yearn for it before we believe we already have it?
4. We need to show ourselves love.
This is not a version of “you need to love yourself before anyone else will love you.” I understand how impossible it feels to love yourself when you never received love as a child.
Instead, we need to treat ourselves with compassion and care. That way, we experience ourselves as valuable and worthy of nurturing.
Taking care of our needs helps us see that love is an inside job. Not something we tell ourselves in a way that creates cognitive dissonance. But something that changes us on a cellular level.
Love doesn’t have to be earned. It’s available to us at all times because love is within us. Love is not an external entity we have to acquire to feel complete. We simply have to release the love already inside us.