How often would you like to be told that you are loved? Just think about it for a moment and honestly consider the question - would you like it if your beloved tells you they love you every day, a couple of times each day? What if you hear these words whispered first thing to you reach morning, and last thing before you go to sleep? How about if they tell you the three magic words once every few days or even once in a few months back when there is something extraordinarily lovable going on? And what if they tell you these words really, really rarely to the point that you can't even remember hearing it?
For most of us, just thinking of the decreased frequency of hearing these words can be quite the dampener. We can feel our heart rise at the idea people of being reassured of being loved often and on the other side of the same, if we imagine being never really told we are told, we can feel our heart sink. We might tell ourselves we don't really need it and that we are quite alright without hearing it, or we might try and read that meaning into many different things, but the truth is that we do want to know that we are loved.
Now, consider the other side of the same question: how often do you express love for your beloved? How often do you say those words, or do things that clearly show you love this person? Do you show or say your love as often as you would like to hear it? Do you say it a lot more than you hear it? Or are you more tentative in your expression of such love, waiting for it to be told so that you can reciprocate? Is it easier for you to love or to be loved?
Chances are that we are different in how much we express love and how much we want to experience being loved on an ongoing basis. The difference is rarely genetic or just how we are built - it is a result of how our previous experiences were. How we were loved, whether it left us hurt and made us retreat into ourselves just so that we feel safe, or did we get to love deeply and safely, and were able to let it go lightly - that is what makes the difference.
If we were beloved in our lives and if we had good endings, we learn to cherish being loved and not fear its loss so much. We are ok to share those emotions even at the risk of losing it, and we have faith in ourselves and the world around us.
A good love, well-remembered doesn't usually take away the ability to love again and as deeply. In reality, a well-loved person is usually able to love again deeply, and that is worth aiming for in all our lives
As written for The New Indian Express
Ajanta, Mahesh and other InnerSight counsellors and guest contributors are happy to share their thoughts here.