The car won't start when the gas tank is empty...
The plants won't grow without water...
The debit card is declined when the account is overdrawn...
So... Why do we think we can give love, when we haven't filled up our own love tank? Love is one of the only commodities we expect ourselves to give in aces... without topping-up our own supply.
There is no scarcity of love in the universe, but when we withhold it from ourselves, we create our own scarcity and we limit how much can flow through us to others.
And even though our tank may be empty, we still want to be perceived as loving... so we pretend. We dress-up in the knowledge of what we think love looks like, acts like, and talks like...and we put on the "love show" for the objects of our affection in hopes of receiving the love we want and need from them.
But even if we get their love in return for our performance, it's never enough. Not for me, anyway.
Our attempt at playing the "love card" may succeed at getting us some approval perhaps. A smile from that special someone. Some good laughs from our friends... a pat on the back, a hug, or even sex. But when we are alone, out of the presence of the object of our affection, left to ourselves...their love is not enough to fill us up. We find that we are empty even still.
I always know that my Self-Love Tank is low when I am trying too hard. I am with a group of people and find myself laughing a little too loudly, smiling a little to broadly, listening too hard, being too clever, too likable... an over-amplified version of myself. Me x 3. In over-efforting myself, I am clearly in a place where I believe just me isn't enough. These kinds of exchanges usually leave me exhausted and anything but fulfilled.
So what to do? Well, for me, I know I need some time alone to get really honest with myself.
I've learned over the years, from the destructively harsh way in which I used to speak to myself, that gentleness is key-- and far more effective. I learned to talk to myself like I would to a small child... that I loved. Because honestly, I've found that us "adults" are nothing but older, more experienced children in grown-up bodies. And that's not a bad thing... children are, after all, the most authentic and honest of human beings.
When I am over-exerting myself, feeling not enough or just plain have the blues, I'll speak from my higher self and ask... "What's going on?" "How are you, really?"... and then I wait. I find that when I talk to myself like this, the noisy scattered thoughts in my brain meant to distract me from the uncomfortable feelings underneath, quiet themselves... and then the truth can emerge. This very act of asking myself how I am doing brings me one step closer to love... and begins to open my heart.
And then the answer comes... and it's always so simple. Sometimes it seems so childish, even silly... but if I can suspend my self-judgement and truly listen, I am able to get to the heart of the matter.
"I feel so insecure today."
"I feel jealous of so-and-so."
"I'm sad that I wasn't invited."
"They don't really like me."
Always asking these questions leads me to the uncomfortable feelings I'm experiencing under the surface and it brings them to light. And then it is exposed... the place in me where love is needed.
This is what I've learned to do instead... instead of reaching for the trail mix, the "healthy" snacks, or drinking a forth cup of coffee, or driving to the store to pick up some chocolate, or packing my schedule with more more and more until I'm too busy to pay attention to my feelings... Self-love is what I do instead of taking those "drugs."
What is your drug?
What do you do instead of self-love?
So, I speak lovingly from my higher self and pour affirmations of love over that seeming silly issue, or hurt feeling... sometimes I'll even wrap my arms around myself. This is where the Self-Love rubber meets the road. As I speak into myself with words of love, those feelings of lack and unworthiness melt away and bring me back to a place of balance, worthiness... peace.
"I understand, dear one."
"I'm sorry that happened."
"You are so loved... beyond what you even know."
"Everyone makes mistakes."
"You are enough."
"I love you anyway. Just as you are."
And if you really wanna top-off that love tank, follow-up your affirmations with one of your favorite self-love actions... a bath, a walk, a nice meal, a good book, a yoga class, time alone to relax and breathe.
Because you ARE worthy.
...And we need you to love YOURSELF by filling up your Love Tank,
so you have more love to share with us!