Love Me The Way I Want You To

I almost don’t want to tell you this because it’s kind of embarrassing. I don’t want you to judge me or think I’m ungrateful for the people in my life. But what I’m about to discuss is also indicative of a deeper issue, which I think might be valuable to share.

Have you heard of the five languages of love? Gary Chapman says there are five ways people give and receive love: words of affirmation, physical touch, acts of service, receiving gifts and quality time. Chapman says we won’t feel loved until we receive love in our primary language. My primary language is words of affirmation. I want those I love to compliment me, tell me why they love me, write me heartfelt cards and poems. This is not me fishing for comments, but rather divulging why I’ve felt frustrated of late.

For the past two months I’ve felt upset people haven’t been expressing their love for me the way I want them to. Being the person I am, I conveyed this need but nothing’s changed. My friends are still showing me how much they care via the other languages – not words of affirmation. And it bugs the hell out of me. “Why can’t you just do what I want? Is that so hard? Love me the way I want you to!” I keep secretly hoping they’ll change, but they aren’t. So really, my choices are to either accept them for who they are, and how they express their affection, or I can ditch them. Let’s get real though, I love these people. I’m not going to stop being friends with them because they don’t tell me how awesome I am. Strangely, even knowing this I’ve still felt upset. I’ve still wanted them to what I wanted them to do.

Pondering my feelings last night I’ve realized this is yet another way I’m trying to exert control. The important thing to remember is I’m receiving love. Does it really matter how I’m receiving it? Reflecting on my control issues, I’m finally allowing people to be who they are and express themselves how they see fit. Control is a sneaky fellow because it comes up in all aspects of my life. When I allow people and the universe to do its thing is when the magic happens.

For instance, I was offered a part-time copyediting gig (yay!) but I also need to make more money to pay for my expenses. I decided freelancing was the answer, and more specifically, freelancing for a specific publication. It didn’t pan out. My controlling nature wanted to take over and “fix things.” I had to take a step back because I realized when I try to dictate how things are going to work with both love and money I disallow the universe from working its magic. There are INFINITE ways for me to receive money. Why does it have to come from freelancing for X publication? Similarly, why does love have to be in the form of words?

Sometimes I think life works like Best Buy – I go in, pick what I want, pay for it, the end. I get exactly what I want, the way I want it, when I want it. But life isn’t like that – at least it hasn’t been for me.

Wants and needs are natural. I’m allowed to ask for what I want but the “when” and “how” are out of my hands. When I try to dictate life according to my specifications I end up feeling demoralized. The best thing I can do is say, “I want love, financial abundance and success,” and then sit back and watch the universe go to work. And wouldn’t you know it? In my e-mail inbox this morning someone messaged me and asked me if I’d like to freelance for them. The universe provides, I just have to let it. People love me, I just have to let them.

I dream of a world where we are more allowing. A world where we ask for what we want and then let go. A world where we let the universe do its thing, knowing what we want will come to us. A world where we understand the world works in mysterious ways and that’s what it makes it so fun. A world where we recognize we are not in control because there are greater forces at work. A world where we accept what we receive, no matter how it gets to us.

Another world is not only possible, it’s probable.

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