Know your own needs, then allow yourself to be loved and you probably will be – particularly if you start by giving love to others.
How loved are you feeling right now? It’s an important question whose answer is sure to have a substantial impact on your overall state of wellbeing.
Actually, asking yourself how loved you feel is one of the twelve measures used by our WellBee cards to calculate your daily wellbeing score. (We’re being kept really busy hand-making sets of these cards in our California garage and shipping them off to people all over the world.)
Starting today with Loved, I’ll be writing occasional posts based on each of WellBee’s twelve cards. In fact, when Alex does a final check of each hexagonal WellBee tin before it goes in the mail she likes to make sure the Loved card is on the top of the pack: that’s how important we think it is.
It’s great to feel loved, but of course the reverse is also true. Feeling unloved can be a distressing state of mind, one often associated with periods of low mood. Believing you’re unloved is likely to lead to feeling alone, uncared-for and generally pretty miserable.
But what can you possibly do to get more love into your life? Since love comes from others, surely there’s not a lot you can do to jump-start the process? Surely you have to wait for others to love you?
Well, no. I’m fairly sure you and I have more power than we believe in this regard, and I’d like to suggest three effective starters:
1. Allow yourself to be loved. I know all too well that when my mood is low enough to cause me to shrink into my shell, I shut out others. But to be loved is to allow people to get close to you. You need to be present. You need to be open to receiving affection. So keep the lines of communication between you and others open. Show your pleasure when someone shows you affection, just as a cat purrs contentedly to let you know she enjoys being stroked.
2. Know your own needs. To some extent, feeling loved means you believe your needs are being met, so if you’ve not thought through what these are, others must simply guess. Is it important to you to be respected? Is it important to feel affection through the physical touch of others? Is it important to have your efforts recognised and your challenges commiserated with? If you think of someone you may know who seems easy to love, it’s likely you’ll have a good idea of their needs. Why not identify your own then?
3. Give love to receive love. In my view the American writer Elbert Hubbard hit the nail on its head when he said: “The love we give away is the only love we keep”. You’re far more likely to feel loved yourself when it’s you who went first, by feeling love for somebody else. Not only feeling it, of course, but demonstrating it. Why not tell someone you love them? And really mean it.
If you’d like your own set of WellBee cards they’re available here, and we’ll be delighted to send you some. In fact we’d love to.