It is no wonder that “love” is the basic desire of the human heart when humans far and wide have been doing all that they do motivated by this singular emotion.
Monks climb the steepest hills, Budha searched the jungle, Shah Jahan built Taj Mahal, Curie was consumed by an atom, Rumi cast aside his clergy and Sohni sailed across a river on an unbaked clay pot.
They were all carried by the same current of love.
Though each of them had their own unique storm that they had to brave to win the favor of their object of affection.
Yet still some of us find it to deeply resonate with us when Nietzsche says, “The demand to be loved is the greatest of all arrogant presumptions.”
As if human beings simultaneously believe that while they are deeply in need of love, they are also; unfortunately owing to a multitude of their personal shortcomings: undeserving of love.
Well, the good news is that the imperfection of a person is far from the element of success in most loving relationships.
Therefore, there is absolutely no need to fixate over your imperfections or idealize a certain narrative.
Not only will it never help you achieve this fantasy of a perfect relationship, but it will also destroy your self-esteem. Even in a movie, if we were to see a lead with no quirks or oddities — that everybody seems to fall head over heels for.. then eventually we would lose interest.
In reality, the secret to being loved abundantly in life might be to love in abundance. Whether it is a person, an idea, a passion or a strange thing that only we could think to love; how we feel about it is real if it is strong enough to even be confused with “love”. Now, whether we are ready to invest in it without clarifications, reservations and the fear of it not being reciprocated is what sets people apart.
One single person who earnestly believes in another person’s potential and goodness despite seeing their weak moments can change the course of their life forever for good.
In the business world, dedication to the most mundane and useless ideas has turned them into multi-million empires and people who had the vision benefit off them for generations.
Here are 5 simple ways you can make this shift in attitude happen for yourself.
#1 Use the Pygmalion effect
When you fall in love, it should broaden your perspective of beauty rather than limit it. Your love should evolve and transcend beyond the first few things that you noticed about your partner as you initially fell in love with them.
On good days it can mean finding your loved one stressing in front of a mirror, plucking out a grey hair that they swear wasn’t there yesterday. On bad days, it can mean being the sole witness to their weakest moments and holding on with the knowledge that you are the sole witness to some of their best moments too.
“The Pygmalion effect is a psychological phenomenon wherein high expectations lead to improved performance in a given area.” — Handbook of Psychology (volume 12). John Wiley & Sons.
Hopefully, this learning seeps into your treatment of others in daily life too. Your world view should become such that you come to believe that everyone out there has something in them that can be loved and cherished, even if, at first you don’t see it.
With enough chances that they didn’t ask for, you can inspire people to start to see themselves in the way you expect them to be. And if it is abundance you shall ask for..
#2 Don’t compromise on moral justice
You should be able to humanize all those that the world has demonized because your love should grant you the strength to look out through kinder and wiser eyes.
At the same time, the ones you love should always be treated with the respect of a safe place that makes you braver in the face of the vices of the world. Never raise others to the level of or be blind to their flaws to an extent where you are devaluing the virtues of your “safe place” and the very reason you feel secure with them.
Have the patience to give evil a chance to turn into good and the good to get tired if it’s only an act. But always know one from the other, or you will do a great moral injustice to yourself.
#3 Be fearless even when your heart quivers
Though we all have certain likes, dislikes and pet peeves: we should be careful not to turn it into an unrealistic checklist and dates into auditions for the perfect partner.
A person continues to evolve and change throughout their lifetime, and sometimes faith that they will not outgrow you as they grow is all you have.
Similarly, if you belong from a line of work or have a degree in a course that no longer excites you; it is possible to pour all your effort into it one last time without setting rigid expectations for the outcome. There are situations when moving on is necessary. But it is always better to encourage your mindset to grow before trying to change things in the outside world.
Love is persistent devotion, understanding and consistent efforts in a world full of unpredictability. This is exactly why it drives us forward, but also grounds us.
#4 Don’t pick yourself last
In a healthy situation, we like those who like us. Unless you love and respect yourself, it is hard to believe that you would attach any real value to someone who thinks the world of you.
Having a good self-esteem can help you a bit when it comes to this. But if you have any destructive patterns or “martyr tendencies” then self-awareness and honest self-reflection can help you more.
When looking at yourself, remember that you’re not created to fit another person’s perception of “beautiful” or what they would like to see when they look at you.
Fitness goals, self-care rituals, and beauty regimens are personal commitments. Like all lifelong commitments, your body should be one that you choose yourself. Not even your favorite person is entitled to choosing the body you get to work for or have. It should be one that makes YOU feel good and that YOU enjoy looking at.
You shouldn’t be constantly made to feel like you are overcompensating what others can’t appreciate in your personality with your physical attributes.
There is a very transient and shallow fulfillment found in that.
Similarly, in other areas of your life — forget about explaining, clarifying, or concreting the pillars of your mind as a reaction to someone finding you inadequate. Your existence will pose its own dilemmas and you need not make it all about answering other peoples’.
#5 Believe you are worthy of the love you give
The world will time and again make you feel like you are falling behind, that another is better or more deserving because it is capricious and tailored to suit those who are powerful in the moment.
A normal person cannot be on top of their game at all times or being better than everyone else at everything. We all have our limitations and shortcomings.
But it is important to point out that the most confident people are not those without any flaws, but rather those who are aware of their flaws and simply choose to not be in constant fear of being vilified for them.
Your partner should love you even when you are most vulnerable to insult and shield you from the worst in even themselves.
When you carry yourself in the world with the confidence that you are worthy of the respect, love and accolades — people think to themselves that you must really be on to something and their treatment of you improves.
What you need to know
Everyone is afraid of believing in love until someone comes along and voluntarily makes themselves vulnerable for the sake of someone else. You can either wait for someone to come along and bet all their horses on you or you can pursue the love you want through:
- The Pygmalion effect — Treat people as if they have already done the thing you want them to do.
- Know good from evil— Give people a chance but don’t bend your definition of good and evil.
- Love unconditionally — Be fearless even when your heart quivers over the thought of “what if”.
- Stand up for yourself — Make sure you choose those who choose you.
- Believe you deserve love — Without striving for perfection.
I hope this advice helps anyone seeking fulfillment and love. You can apply this to a particular relationship, but by incorporating these tips into life you can reap love in abundance from many facets. Simple mental shifts can reflect by leaps and bounds in the physical world.
Previously published on medium
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