We may feel that they would be perfect if they could just say this instead of that, or stop a habit all together. If you find yourself playing this game, it may be because you are not truly loving that person.
Here is how you can learn to open your heart and love completely:
Let go of expectations
Most of the time, we create expectations for those we love. We expect that they will be there for us. While these are perfectly reasonable expectations, what happens when they let us down? When they disagree with us or aren't there when we need them? What happens when we pile on other expectations? When we start getting picky about how we want them to act? By making expectations we are creating a checklist someone must follow to be loved by us. But there's a glaring issue with this plan. No one is perfect and people are unpredictable. You will soon find yourself disappointed when they don't meet your expectations. Loving someone means loving all of them, even when they act in ways we may not like.
Learn to love their imperfections
There are certain traits, qualities, habits, or flaws that you don't like in a person. You may find them extremely annoying or even offensive, but they are part of who they are. It can be anything from nail-biting to constantly one upping your stories with their own. Whatever it is, if you truly love them, you will look past those imperfections, and may even learn to find them endearing. It will hard to do at first, but making a conscious effort to focus on their good qualities when faced with their not so great ones is a good way to look past their flaws.
Never give up on someone
Sometimes you may love someone, but they don't love you in return, or at least they don't show you their love. Don't let that stop you from expressing how you feel. They may resist, fight you or ignore your actions, but keep going. It could be a child, parent, or even friend that you are struggling with. No matter how much opposition you are getting from them, if you love them, you will continue to love them through this difficult time. Don't give up on them. Sometimes they are facing a trial and taking it out on you. These relationships are hard, even draining, so make sure you have people around that do love you so you can get the support you need.
Don't be afraid to tell the truth
When you love someone, it means telling them things that are not easy to hear. Perhaps they are doing something wrong, or they are in a relationship that is causing them pain. Perhaps they really hurt you and you're not sure how to tell them. Loving someone is not always easy. You may have to put your own feelings or relationship at risk to do what is best for that person. The important thing to remember is even if they ignore your advice, you will continue to love them anyway.
This is the most basic, yet all-encompassing trait when it comes to loving someone. To love unconditionally is to love with your whole heart, with no expectations, no requirements, no conditions. You love someone for who they are, annoying habits and all. It doesn't mean you have to agree with them 100% of the time, or even always getting along with them. It does not mean you will not fight or have moments of doubt, but it does mean that you will get through it. You will not let road blocks stop you from loving them with all your heart.
Once you learn these steps, you will be able to have a fuller, deeper relationship with those around you. It is not easy, and sometimes all your effort gets nothing in return, but love is a selfless emotion that requires hard work and compassion. Sometimes we are our own obstacle. By following these steps, we can learn to love completely.
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