Am I Enough to Love?
By: Dr. Rick Petronella
We all want to receive love. But maybe it comes in a form you don’t want – perhaps someone offers romantic love but that’s not what you’re looking for – or it doesn’t come at all. Then there is the heartache and helplessness; you can’t make others love you if they don’t.
Do what you can to get the love you need. The best way to get love is to give it; even if it is still not returned, your love will likely improve the relationship, and help calm any troubled waters.
Sometimes people worry that being loving will make them vulnerable or feel drained. But actually, you can see in your own experience that loving itself doesn’t do this: it protects and nurtures you when you give it. When we love, we feel uplifted and even stronger. I gave a talk a few years ago at Northpoint Church to a singles gathering. I challenged the singles with the question I have titled this month’s newsletter article. Am I enough to love? I asked them the question, “Am I enough to love” or” Is there enough of me to love?”
Both have very significant meanings.
To give love and to receive love is woven into our DNA. We need to give love to be healthy and whole. If you bottle up your love, you bottle up your whole being. Love is like water: it needs to flow. Otherwise, it backs up on itself and we miss the blessing. Look at the faces of some people who are loving: they carry a beauty that is undeniable. When we love, old wounds are healed, and our hearts are opened up with a newfound strength.
In the world in which we live today with all the pain, tragedy and uncertainty; giving and receiving love is more necessary than ever. Those we live with and work with need it, as well as our families and friends. Never underestimate the power of love spreading out from just one loving word, thought, or deed!
Think about those who care about you and be open to feeling cared about. Think of things that evoke heartfelt feelings, such as gratitude, compassion, and kindness. The heart has more than a metaphorical link to love. We can strengthen these loving feelings with soft thoughts toward others, such as starting with I wish you well. I am sorry you are in pain. May you be at peace. To love is to have courage, which root meaning comes from the word “heart.”
The effects of love can be read the writings of St Paul the apostle:
“Love hopes all things, bears all things, endures all things, conquers all things. Love Never Fails.” -1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Sometimes we may ask ourselves, Am I brave enough to love? Each day gives us, many chances to love. Don’t miss out wishing you gave love a try…
Quiz: Do You Nurture Love Enough?
How Well Are You Nurturing Your LOVE? A quiz to help evaluate how effective you are at nurturing your LOVE— and why it matters.
A romantic relationship is like a beautiful, vibrant garden that requires regular watering, nutrients and sunshine to keep it alive and healthy.
You wouldn’t expect your garden to grow and thrive without taking the proper steps to nurture it. The same is true of your relationship. Without ongoing care and attention to your romance, your relationship will ultimately wither on the vine.
Take the following quiz to find out how well you are nurturing your romance. It contains 10 excellent ways to help love relationships to grow and thrive. Grade yourself on each of the following statements according to how frequently it pertains to you and your relationship. You can then interpret your results at the end of the questions.
Very frequently 10 points
Often 8 points
Occasionally 4 points
Rarely or never 0 points
- You hug, cuddle and say “I love you” to your spouse or lover.
- You compliment your loved one with true and honest statements.
- You surprise your partner with romantic gestures, such as unexpected cooked meals, special notes, trips or date nights.
- You enjoy sexual intimacy with your partner: You’re as much a willing giver as you are an appreciative receiver.
- You make your romantic relationship a major priority in your life, as opposed to other distractions such as TV, sports, chores or other obligations.
- You understand and acknowledge your lover’s needs and wants and show interest in his or her feelings and desires.
- You are generally willing to give more than you receive—and you don’t keep score.
- You treat your partner with respect, even during disagreements.
- Along with being intimate partners, you and your loved one are good friends, companions, co-creators, fun pals and spiritual equals.
- You communicate openly and honestly with your loved one.
Now, add up your total points to find out how nurturing you are of your romantic relationship.
80 to 100 points: Congratulations! You understand that love is about creating an equal and balanced happy relationship with your partner, one in which both of you learn and grow together.
60 to 79 points: Although you might have a few weeds in your garden of love, you are doing an adequate job of nurturing your relationship. But you could use some pointers, such as that in order to have a wonderful partner, you have to be one.
0 to 59 points: You may want to re-evaluate your relationship to determine if it’s really the right one for you. Unless you make some changes, your relationship may be in danger of drying up. Please don’t hesitate to call if you would like to explore how to reinvigorate your relationship.