Nothing in life is guaranteed, especially when it comes to being loved by someone else. This can apply to anyone in your surroundings, be it mother, father, sibling or lover, their love for you is not automatic. For that matter, it may never be.

This was a hard lesson for me to learn. For years I wasted my time trying to get my father to love and accept me, but he was incapable of it. My mother’s narcissism made it impossible for her to focus love on anyone else, for she struggled mightily with a bottomless need to feel loved. There was no room there for me either. What is most interesting about my story is that this kind of situation is not unusual in families.

My efforts to get love from my parents morphed into the people pleasing tendencies at the center of my adult conduct. Talk about a royal waste of time and energy! I now realize that my efforts to please others in order to make them like or approve of me served no purpose.

The heart wants what the heart wants

Having to date in my sixties has driven home this important lesson related to the heart’s desire. Just because you are attracted to someone does not mean you can make them be attracted to you someday. No amount of logic, persistence, kindness, generosity or acquiescing will convert someone’s disinterest into interest.

Although I have never done this, threatening, stalking or forcing yourself on anyone can’t possibly invite them to love you. More than likely this kind of behavior will scare them, not to mention, doing these kinds of things is criminal.

Affairs of the heart are still a mystery, but I understand now that attraction and love are an individual affair between a person and their spirit. Perhaps the person has a distorted view of you or their belief system is flawed, but whether or not they love you is ultimately their choice. I think it has to do with the lessons they need to learn. Nevertheless, there is nothing you can do about it and relying on your willpower to make them have a change of heart is a losing proposition.

Perhaps it is easy to understand that being attracted to one person does not guarantee their attraction in return, this has happened to everyone. It is much harder to understand why someone who once loved you stops, like a spouse. It is baffling when a parent, a person who is supposed to love us, does not love their offspring, but this is not uncommon.

It is hard to explain why a person’s heart changes their mind or was not engaged in the first place when we expect it should, but the same principles apply here; you cannot force them to love you. Therefore, it is important to remember, if you have to convince anyone to love you, they were never meant for you.

You cannot force yourself to love someone else either

Author and philosopher Prentice Mulford states in his book, Thoughts Are Things;

“Love goes where it will, and to whom it will, and where it is attracted. You cannot force yourself to love anyone or anything.”

I couldn’t agree more. There is no magic potion for relationships. One cannot engineer love and commitment for another. You can feign kindness and generosity, you can even take care of someone else, but you cannot force your heart to love them. This is a mystery, I know, but my time in this existence has taught me you cannot force or manufacture love for someone else. This applies to romantic partners, family members, colleagues, etc.

Life is constantly shifting, people change, you are transforming, this means love cannot be guaranteed to  someone for perpetuity. It is just a fact of life.

What are your options?

I believe a Higher Power created us perfectly. But we deviate from that creation by the erroneous behaviors and beliefs we have adopted. You are better than you think you are and accepting this about yourself is a giant step towards loving yourself. This is a love you truly have the power to engender. It also requires that you see yourself under a different light and let go of your fear, anger, violence, vengefulness, jealousy and embrace your better angels of love, kindness, generosity, courage and empathy.

Everyone is doing what you are doing, figuring it out as we go. Truths that may be inherent to you may not be to someone else and vice versa, so you have to give everyone the benefit of a doubt. You also deserve the benefit of a doubt. This means believing you are good enough and worthy of love. When you see yourself in this new light, you realize that you want no part of those who don’t love you. This doesn’t mean you hate them; it just means you don’t have the time to spend with the people who don’t value you.

We don’t live inside another’s skin to understand why their heart feels the way it does, but we can know our heart. We can know self-love and treasure ourselves for the rest of our lives. We can also be with those we are positive love and value us no matter what. This is the path I choose.

As always, wishing you a life filled with hope, love and serenity.

Photo by Milan Popovic on Unsplash