Remember in elementary school… the Valentine’s and notes that you used to give and receive? Remember how many of them would have two options?
Do you love me?
Check: Yes or No
Remember how elated we felt when the note would come back with a check by the “Yes?” And how devastated we would feel when the note would come back with a check by the“No?”
It’s almost as if we thought, “Well, if they don’t love me, I must not be lovable.”
So many of us tie our worth to whether:
- We are getting asked out on dates.
- We have friends that text us.
- We have a social life.
- We get compliments from our boss.
- We have a valentine.
- We get flowers from that valentine.
Setting the Record Straight
But, I’m here to set the record straight.
The way someone behaves towards you can never tell us how lovable you are. Not ever.
The way someone feels about you can never tell us how lovable you are, either. Not ever.
When someone metaphorically checks “No” it only tells us about their lovability. Not about their ability to BE LOVED, but their ability to LOVE OTHERS.
Being Lovable is different from Love-ability.
Everyone on this earth is 100% lovable. Infinitely lovable. You included.
But, everyone has a different level of Lovability… meaning the capacity they have to love.
I was bending over backwards to make myself more lovable…
Several years ago, during my young adult life, I had this friend. We did a lot of things together. We went on double dates, we went on girls’ lunches. We confided in one another. But, I noticed that things started to become a little one sided. Have you ever noticed this happening your your relationships? I seemed to be the one always texting her. I seemed to be the one always inviting her to do stuff. I seemed to be the one always offering to help her with things. I was bending over backwards to make myself more lovable to her. But, soon I started to grow weary of the constant contact and effort I was putting into our relationship, and with very little reciprocation.
I remember the exact day I was driving around town. I had this thought come to me, “I bet if I never texted her again, I’d never hear from her again.” In my mind I sort of knew that I would likely never hear from her again. And I was right.
All those years that we were friends I wondered what was wrong with me? How could I be a better friend? How could I change myself to make her care for me? How could I make myself more lovable? What I didn’t realize is that there is no such thing as being more lovable. The question was never whether I could make myself more lovable. It was only… what was her love-ability? And at that time in her life, she didn’t have the capacity to love me… and now I understand that it is actually, totally ok. AND I can still choose to love her anyway.
For the Right Reasons
Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here… I’m not suggesting that we should not reach outside of ourselves, or not stretch ourselves to be better people, or just decide to drop all of our non-reciprocating relationships.
But, what I am suggesting is that we serve, stretch and do what we do…. For the right reasons.
More Lovable? That’s not even a thing
Do what you do because you are working on your capacity to love… because you are growing your love-ability. Don’t conform or change yourself, because you want to feel more lovable. That’s not even a thing.
The day when I decided to never text this friend again,
I imagine myself giving her one last chance to tell me she cared, by sending her a last ditch metaphorical note:
Do you love me?
Check: Yes or No
And her response… was a big metaphorical black check on the box labeled “No.”
But, I didn’t need her to love me.
I loved myself.
Her lovability had nothing to do with me.
Her lovability had nothing to do with me, it only had to do with her capability to love.
So, you can quit worrying about whether people like you.
You can drop the part where you need to convince people that you are lovable.
Start by growing your love-ability for yourself. Then move onto how to grow your love-ability for others.
Because generating love from knowing that you are 100% lovable is the best feeling in the world.