Our needs influence our perceptions. When we experience any interaction our brain filters it through our needs, at that time, to give us an interpretation of what we think is happening. This is why it is said that two people can experience the same event but interpret it differently. It's their needs, along with past experiences, that colour the interpretation.
The need to be loved is a core need. Within itself it is a perfectly normal and acceptable need. If we need to be loved by everyone, even near strangers, then this core need has turned into an irrational belief that is creating pain, drama and hypersensitivity to other people's opinions and interactions with us.
Wanting to be loved, feel loved, treated in ways that stem from love, quite simply makes us feel good. This is a great thing. Being able to love those people back is what makes the world go round!
The tricky bit is when our need to be loved doesn't feel like it is being fulfilled in our life and we start to fear what it says or mean about us. Are we unlovable? Are we worthy of love? Will those we love always love us? Will we be abandoned?
The fears create anxiety, self-doubt, and insecurity and that's not enjoyable. In fact, our brain dislikes feeling anxious and doubtful so it demands we find a solution to the problem.
Our thoughts become consumed with looking for ways to be loved; to test or check if others do love us or will be there for us; and for evidence that being loved is possible. We may talk a lot with friends about finding a partner. We may organise dinner with our family or ring regularly to keep the relationship alive.
Our daily interactions will be filtered through our need for evidence that we are loved, will be loved and can be loved. Being loved and feeling loved gains a lot of our attention and focus but because it is driven by the fear of it not being met, we stay trapped in the cycle of need-fear-solution-need.
When fear drives our focus and attention, physiologically, the flight-flight process is activated. This push-pull-fight-run approach rarely brings us closer to feeling loved, being loved or experiencing love because fear taints love with conditions, expectations, rules, and irrational beliefs.
Love by its very nature is unconditional. We are love. We are loved. We are loveable.
Fear on the other hand is conditional and conditional love is actually jealousy, envy, insecurity, doubt, fear and control.
It's time to call things what they are. Stop saying l love you no matter what and here is my proof - I expect you to do this; l demand you be like that; or l want you to meet my needs no matter what! This is fear speaking not love.
When we need evidence that others love us, the fear is within us. It is our job to heal our fear and to learn to trust in our lovability.
If we don't love ourselves then it's our job to heal our pain and learn to love ourselves.
If we fear loving others in case they don't love us back or they leave us then the fear of vulnerability is within us. It's our job to fix that and learn to love others unconditionally.
Others issues with love is for them to fix. If they are stuck in fear then we have a choice to make - love them anyway or let our need for them to love us in a certain way go, if the person is significant like a family member, or let them go.
Remember you already are love, loved and lovable!
What steps will you take to act with love towards yourself and others to securely feel your needs to be loved are in fact met?