No, I’m not talking about what we ordinarily speak of as prostitution, though what many of us do are not so far from it.
We all want to feel loved, but few of us do. Yes, we feel loved for some of our qualities or character traits but not loved no matter what. We are well aware of what we can do and what we should refrain from in order to receive love from others, they love us when we please them, when we make them feel loved, when we put their needs before our own, for example. But the crux of the matter is that we only love ourselves with the same or even harsher limitations and qualifications. Meanwhile our own selves feel abandonded, dismissed, unworthy, alone and unloved.
We learn, often early on, what gives us love and what doesn’t and as we grow up we form beliefs, opinions, convictions and even condemnations on the subject. The experiences when we were scolded, snubbed, dismissed, disrespected, felt abandonded and unloved define the love we give ourselves. Small children love themselves unconditionally but with time our love becomes conditional, limited and we live in a state of constant lack of love.
No matter where you look you see this phenomena. Whenever someone is doing something for another, not out of the excess of love in their heart, but in order to get something, they pay for love. We all do it and the price we pay for it is not only feeling unloved, unworthy or not good enough, it is that we are not authentic anymore. We walk around feeling this odd sense of being a fraud, “if people only knew who I REALLY am/what I REALLY feel/what I really think”…….
Most people have no conscious idea of what they’re doing. They just know that they have this need for approval and find thousands of superficial and flawed “solutions” on how they can get it, whether it is by going on a diet, being successful, wealthy, funny, powerful or even undergo surgery doesn’t matter: the hoped for price is always to feel loved, appreciated , connected and/or safe.
How do you pay for love? There’s a simple litmus test to find out. Whenever you feel a twinge of “no” when you are about to do, say or act, there’s your cue. That twinge, is your authenticity trying to tell you something. Most likely that you are about to pay for love. You are saying yes when your authenticity says no.
The thing is, you are not actually after other’s love: The added benefit of giving love to yourself first, is then you’ll get it from others too. The symbol of the cat, examplifies this perfectly:
When a cat chases his own tail, running around in circles, frantically (you paying for love) it ends up dissatisfied and exhausted. But when he just walks about doing his thing, the tail (love) follows him around wherever he goes.