You can only accept the love you think you deserve…..
In a previous post, I wrote about feeling lovable, about thinking through the old, incorrect, internal messages that you may have grown up with that somehow convinced you that you “didn’t deserve it” or “you weren’t worth it”…. but this post is really for the people who try to love you; the ones you push away. You see, it really doesn’t matter how hard they try, how much they want to help you, how deeply they really love you… you are unable to accept it. That is… until you BELIEVE that you deserve it. In the meantime… pass this along to those people… the ones who feel like everything they say or do falls on deaf ears or the ones who have begun to feel like no matter what they do… it’s not enough.
If you love someone who seems to push you away each time you start to feel close; someone who isn’t committing; someone who lashes out for no apparent reason (that you can see) just when things are going well…. it’s possible that you are loving someone who doesn’t love themselves. Someone who has a subconscious message in their head that is on constant ‘replay’ telling them that they are not worth it… they don’t deserve happiness… they will fail.
You may have been working really hard to no avail to show this person how much you care but they still question each of your motives, find trusting you difficult, and need constant reassurance. You may have noticed an addictive behavior, consistent lying, deeply rooted negative body images, or low self-esteem and felt like ‘you’ could help but continue to get nowhere. You may be feeling like you are failing… that it is your fault… that no matter what you do – it’s not enough.
First of all, please understand that when love is given – it has to be RECEIVED in order to be felt. The person who is unable to accept love can’t really FEEL loved. You must remember that you have no control what happens to love once you GIVE it!! The person you give it to will accept it – or not. Most often – the people described above ‘want’ to feel it – they believe they accept it…. they intend to … but ultimately, until they believe they deserve it – it flies right on by.
This pattern is often found in relationships where there is a perceived ‘good person’ and a perceived ‘bad person’. The ‘bad’ person (they think of themselves that way) doesn’t feel worthy of being loved by someone they perceive as ‘good’. They tend to accept love from others that they perceive as equally ‘bad’.
The only thing you really can do is to reinforce your feelings on a regular basis. Remember to separate behavior from the person .. “I love you every day but I don’t like the way you talk to me” (or describe the other behavior). People who are unlovable will often engage in behavior that ‘proves’ their unworthiness (i.e., addiction). When we can help them understand that we love them – the person – but not the behavior, it may be helpful support for growth in esteem.
When you feel they are pushing you away, don’t push back! That’s their way of telling you they don’t feel deserving. Stay in the moment, be present with them and reinforce your feelings for them.
Of course, a relationship with someone unable to feel loved can be a real challenge. Often there is a dynamic that spirals downhill and out of control pretty fast, generating drama and heartache for both individuals. If you are someone who keeps trying… it is up to you to establish healthy boundaries surrounding the relationship so that you don’t fall into the depression/frustration abyss. One of those boundaries / limits is the point at which you stop trying.
This is not to suggest that you ultimately ‘give up’ on the person… but on attempting to help them feel loved. Sometimes this does mean letting the relationship go… it’s probably not a healthy relationship and will eventually ‘infect’ the healthy partner.