4 Ways to Know You are Loved (Part One)

Amy

With this list, you can confidently know that you are loved and accepted by yourself and others or learn new ways for you to show your love for someone else.

My name means “beloved” which in itself means ‘ dearly loved’. You would think someone coming into this world whose name already means ‘dearly loved’ would be confident in their birthright huh? Not this person. I have spent most of my adult life asking myself “what does it look like to be truly loved?” (both for myself and others in case you were to think of me as a love hog!) So I have compiled this list in the hopes that you can find a sense of belonging in your own life, of self-love, self-acceptance, value and a state of being ‘beloved’ and feeling it down to your toes. Not only all of that but finding the ability to love others in return as well.

1. Acceptance.

A little bit of acceptance can go a long way. Whether it is as simple as knowing that people don’t mind you texting around midnight since they know its finally a time when you can think straight and not get interrupted or as deep as someone knowing the darkness inside of you and accepting it as something that makes your light shine brighter. Acceptance is a loving gift that just keeps on giving. It is artfully wrapped with a bow of grace, so that as you realize others accept you, you, in turn, can finally accept parts of yourself that curls up into the fetal position, hiding itself from the fear of exposure. Acceptance allows you to be fully yourself. Holding nothing back. It is how we’ve wanted every loving guardian in our life to look upon us when we were little. It is exactly how you can be to yourself upon waking, every single day. 

I’ve always loved (and had a little giggle at) the Serenity Prayer:

“…. grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Reinhold Niebuhr[1][2] (1892–1971)

We can so aptly apply this to ourselves. To give a wee shrug and choose the serenity of accepting ourselves and others exactly as they are. As we do that and receive that from others we find a sense of belonging and of being loved. And to be honest? It makes life easier. Like so much easier. Embracing body positivity in how we see ourselves and others is a good place to start if this is new to you. Simply by changing your perspective and your inner voice means that acceptance and love can be within your reach.

2. Of being neither too little or too much.

Do the people or person you are with make you feel simply more ‘you’? Or do you find yourself overcompensating and getting more animated or under compensating and getting quieter and smaller?

If the answer is that you are made to feel more like ‘you’ then I can guarantee that there is a healthy level of love and respect in the relationship/s. 

As a teen, my boyfriend said to me that I would go on to become ‘high maintenance’. I had no idea what on earth that meant and would spend the next few years scouring the likes of Cosmo and Glamour to try and understand it! 

It basically came down to me being hard work in his eyes. I wanted eye contact and to know that I was valued. I wanted to not be ignored and at best – be a participant in the actual relationship, not just arm candy. He also said I had ‘intense shark eyes’ but that’s for a different list on a different day. Moving on – as the years progressed I was often told I was too much or I had too much emotion. (“You are an emotional sieve” was one comment that still echoes down the years) Do you know the glorious truth? I am and remain, ALL of it. I am ‘too much’ when I talk about what I am passionate about. When my face lights up and I get animated with my hands. I am ‘too little’ when I am feeling unconfident in my profession despite years of training. But ONLY to the people that do not accept me and love me. To them I am whole. It is everything that they love about me and hope to see me expand or grow in too.

So know that you are loved by yourself and others when every part of you is fully alive and fully you.

An online article quote states that –“If the person/s only wants what’s best for both of you at all times, then they’re not really seeing you as a unique individual with your own needs and desires.”

3. They want the best for you. 

This is maybe the hardest one to grasp. As women we often find ourselves playing the nurturing role and often put others thoughts and feelings above our own. What we need to do instead is to find equality within the relationship. It is there that love resides. If you are struggling emotionally or mentally and could really do with a weekend away to gather yourself and have a think then the person/s you are with should make this a priority as you would for them. The same thing can be said for yourself. Do not always say yes to every single thing in front of you. Take a moment to think about how you are feeling, what is best for you at this moment? These are healthy boundaries and make for wonderful, loving relationships in which each person can embrace being themselves without fear of recriminations and are cheered on with loud shouts of “you go girl”, “you got this’ or “charge on!”

[A recent birthday card recently informed us that a hot flush was actually a power surge and to ‘Charge on’! My loved ones and I have now adopted this as our anthem to womanhood]

4. Your opinion is valued.

What better way to know that you are loved or to be able to show love to others than by letting them know that their thoughts and opinions are heard and valued. Whole lives can be changed just by one person turning to them and saying ‘I hear you’, ‘your opinion is valid and important to me’. Do you feel heard in your relationship/s? Do you listen to what your own body is trying to tell you? If we can take steps to learn the signals that our body is giving us we will know best how to care for it. When we have done that we will then be in a fit place to be there for and to, listen to others.

Do we have to agree with everyone to know that we are loved? No. Not at all. One of my Beloveds came from a family in which they were taught that to disagree with someone was to publicly insinuate that you didn’t love them! WOW! That was a hard one to work through. Especially for me since we were taught to speak up when we disagreed. It was rocky for a while in our relationship but when we realized what was really going on and understood each other we were able to work through it in a loving and respectful way. We now BOLDLY and joyfully disagree with each other, fully confident in our love for one another.

So that concludes part one of “4 Ways to know that you are loved”. I hope that you have found this helpful and affirming. I‘d love to hear from you and the ways in which you feel most loved by yourself or others. Be loved and be well.

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    Amy Chadney
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