How do you meet the other in any relationship? Are you more of a giver, are you also comfortable receiving? How is it for you to ask for what you need? And how do you feel as an individual within a relationship unit?
If you find yourself holding out for something to change in the other, so you can be seen or heard, have your needs met, feel safe or acknowledged, loved and validated in some way, chances are, you’ll be waiting for a long, long time.
The more whole and fulfilled we are in and of ourselves, the free-er it is to offer and receive love in our relationships.
This is not to be mistaken as a call for self-sufficiency that makes us shirk help or assistance. Independence for the sake of defying and denying the basic human need for connection and collaboration is futile. This is more the subtle but important difference between learning to satisfy your fundamental needs in a healthy way, versus waiting for them to be met by unwilling/incapable parties.
When we operate from a place of wholeness, we enter into relationships ready to give and take freely, rather than expectantly waiting for the other to fulfil or complete us in some way.
There is a lot to be said about learning to make choices and build a life that reflects and reaffirms that you can look after yourself, tend to your needs, nurture, love and keep yourself safe. Then everything else that you may ask for and receive from the world, will be a bonus. But, to be the master of one’s needs requires a level of judgement-free honesty about one’s own vulnerabilities, that most often requires learning and building.
Cultivating the means to meeting your own needs begins with a truthful understanding of your needs — whatever they may be. Union and connection for some, safety and boundaries for others. This too is an act of self-love. The term gets oversimplified when we don’t include the important parts of owning up to missteps that we may have made from seeking love or completion in places where it could not be found. From people who weren’t equipped to fill those gaps. Or in places that were inherently unsafe.
Completeness or “wholeness” as it is often called in therapeutic practice comes from understanding needs, which are the shaped by a range of experiences and the positive and negative effects they may have had on us. When we do ourselves the honour of healing that emotional back-log, we can connect with others without putting the burden to soothe us, on them.
Self-love and healing is about reinstating trust within yourself, that you can keep yourself safe, loved and cared for. That you are enough. The interesting thing is that learning this takes *making* choices that reflect the fact itself.
A catch-22 of sorts.
You can begin by checkin what it’s like for you to say, “I can trust that I can keep myself safe” ? See what comes up for you. Is it disbelief? Or maybe a deep trust already exists.