No one needs approval to be loved
Do you sometimes find yourself resisting receiving love because you believe you don’t deserve it?
Lauren asked about this issue when she said,
“Accepting that I’m loved by Spirit, knowing that I belong and I’m worthy of love have been challenges all my life: therein lies my resistance … and I’m becoming more aware of it now… Can you expand on this topic in any way that might assist with the process of receiving?”
The same issue came up in one of my 3-day Intensives. Rebecca, who had been badly abused in her childhood, was questioning whether she deserved love. She believed love was something she had to earn – especially God’s love. Ellen, one of the other participants, was there with her four-month old baby, Sara. We were all very taken with Sara, each of us taking turns holding her. Ellen said, “I used to wonder the same thing. Was I good enough? Had I done enough to deserve God’s love? Then I decided that just existing was enough – that love didn’t have to be earned. Now that I have Sara, I know for sure this is true. She doesn’t have to do anything to be worthy of love. I see all of you loving her just because she exists. I love her just because she exists. I love her when she’s happy and I love her when she cries. I love her when she is awake and when she is asleep. There is nothing she has to do to earn my love. My love for her is a free gift to her, and God’s love is a free gift to us. But I didn’t know this until I learned to love myself.”
I completely agree with Ellen. My experience is that God IS love, and that there is a law of love, just like there is a law of gravity. Just as we don’t have to do anything to deserve to have gravity hold us on the ground, we don’t need to do anything to deserve experiencing the love that is God.
The concept that we need to earn love comes from our wounded self who wants to believe we can have control over getting love. The wounded self LIKES the idea that we need to earn it because then it believes that, if only we can figure out the right way to earn it, we can feel safe being in control of getting love. The wounded self hates the idea that others choose to love us or not, based on what is going on for them, not based on what we are doing to earn it.
The wounded self generally confuses approval with love. While we might be able to control getting approval by doing the ‘right’ things to ‘earn’ it, this is not at all true of love.
I want to say to Lauren: “When you focus on learning to see and value your beautiful essence, then you will be motivated to learn to be loving to yourself. The more you love yourself, the more you will naturally experience the love that is God. As you bring the love that is God inside to your essence, you feel the safety, fullness and bliss of feeling loved. That’s when you know that you are unconditionally loved just because you exist. That’s when you know that your very existence – your essence – is Divine, and that there is nothing you ever need to do to deserve love or be worthy of love.”
[Margaret Paul Relationship Toolbox]