Love Is Not a Piece of Cake

Love Is Not A Piece of Cake
Don't give a piece of your heart... give all of it

Don't take a piece of my heart... take all of it

There have been a lot of relationship changes in my life in the last few years. Some of which have caused me a huge amount of sadness – and the circumstances of those changes and experience of loss have made me think about the nature of love and why it can cause us more pain than perhaps it should.

Our perception of love is defined as much by how we feel it as how it is expressed by another. One of the challenges is that so many people see love like a cake. Both their own love and what they receive. It is finite and we slice it up and share it out. When the slices have been given out, then we compare how big our slice is to others – and when it’s gone, there’s no more cake. So if someone new comes along and needs some love, then we all perceive that we have to have a smaller slice of cake. And we’re not very good at sharing. So then we feel hard done by. Or we try to compete for a larger slice. It’s this perception that leads to so much resentment and jealousy.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. We can view it differently. Because although there are many things in our lives that are finite – time, resources – love is not. It is infinite. We can give love endlessly and boundlessly if we choose to – and we can also choose to receive it endlessly and boundlessly. If we detached love from the measured vehicles of its expression, we would all feel it so much more – another of life’s inevitable ironies.

And somehow in this world dominated by control and materialism, we also seem to have lost touch with the fact that love is a feeling undefined by anything other than its pure expression. If we attach something else to it – like time, gifts, then we are adding a value that creates an expectation. That expectation can then lead to unnecessary disappointment – we feel loved more or less only by the level to which we receive those attachments.

If I spend less time with you this week than I did last week, does it mean I loves you less? If I give you a less valuable gift this Christmas than I did last, does it mean my love has diminished in equal value? If I write a greater number of words in your Birthday Card does it mean I love you more? And if another human being comes into my life and I love them, does it mean I have less to give to you? Well unless I tell you so, the answer is no. Because my love for you is whole, regardless.

The point is not that we can’t enjoy those things as declarations of love, just that we need to stop measuring and comparing them – and if we feel a change and it hurts us, then we communicate with each other about the feeling that leaves us with.

And the wholeness is essential because it is not defined or constricted by the love a person gives to anyone else. It is not a competition. It is solely a connection between two people and even if they share connections elsewhere, or they individually have connections elsewhere, that doesn’t have to mean there is less energy in the relationship directly between them.  And if you regard it as always whole, then you will not feel short changed. At any point in time, we can only give what we can. If we make the assumption that someone who loves us is always giving at their ultimate level, then we will feel loved by them both constantly and completely.

We all define love and feel love in different ways. Taking responsibility for understanding how we feel love and for how another person feels love, transforms our ability to love and be loved.

I was lucky enough to be in a long term romantic relationship where all of that was innate – it’s taken me a long time to work out consciously why it was so extraordinary and to understand the elements that made it work. Perhaps ultimately, we were lucky to have shared values and were both people whose thoughts were primarily driven by our feelings, rather than the other way round. We wanted to feel for each other, so we did. But it was only the pain of the relationships that have fractured that offered enlightenment on that.

Now I know how incredibly fortunate I am and that it’s not always that easy… love is not a piece of cake, is it? But when we taste it unconditionally and without boundaries, it is infinitely more delicious…

 

P.S If you’d like to find out more about how you feel love – and how some one you love might, take a look at the 5 Love Languages on this link…

ElaineSturgess
ElaineSturgess

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