HOW ARE YOU LOVED?
By Jane Dovidio-Gagliardo
Someone recently asked me “How are you being loved?” I found this question not only interesting but very intriguing. I immediately began to give thought to how I love the people in my life… my children, my grandchildren, my cousins and my friends, even my dogs, even though that wasn’t the question. But I felt it necessary to examine how I love others in the process of understanding how others are loving me. I had to take a step back and think about it for a while. Yes, yes I did.
Now… let’s see. How am I loved? What is Love? The definition defines love as “a strong feeling of affection and concern for another person.” But who feels this way about me? About you? Have you ever thought about it? So, love toward me or you can be expressed by the way someone/others treats us or the things they do for us. Right? The way someone shows their love can also be identified based on the way they speak to you. The way they accept who we are without judgement.
Here are my thoughts on “How someone loves you,” unconditionally. In some ways the concept of love… true love is hard for many people to understand, and therefore follow through on. But I think most of you will agree that it’s difficult to find someone who can love you, without judgment… just as you are. When it comes to love, no-one should ever ask you to change for them to love you. But the reality is some people do. Some people actually expect you to change to meet their standards, whims and wants.
In my lifetime I have experienced someone who I thought was a good friend and treated like an extended family member only to discover that she wasn’t. She couldn’t love me for who I am. She had to always find something wrong with me or my decisions and would express her dislike behind my back. To only find out, many years later that she was fake, was truly a crushing blow. This person was untrue to me and herself. When I called her on it, she tried to turn the tables and place the blame on me. Even after I tried to smooth the situation out… because I valued our friendship. Unforgiving and judgmental as she was, after a period of time, I finally realized that she was self-serving and thoughtless when it came to me and others. I know some of you have experienced this very scenario. What did you do? I realized that this person could only love me if I was willing to become the person she wanted me to be rather than the person I really am. I also realized that I allowed it to happen throughout the years. After I terminated my connection to her, she tried to recruit everyone else to jump on her deceitful and hateful bandwagon. Big eye opener. Big!!!
The conclusion of this is that my circle of people who genuinely love me as I am is getting smaller as I age. And I’m really good with that. Really. I’ve found that I get to choose who is in this very small circle. Not allowing others to tell me who should be in my life and their rationale for why! How we value ourselves is exactly how others will value us, treat us, and love us. Knowing our worth and standing strong in this reality is self- love. Respecting yourself is the only way others will respect you and love you as well. I leave you with this quote: “To fall in love with yourself is the first secret to happiness.” (Robert Morley)
Stay Safe. Stay Strong. Stay Fearless.