A quote from my coach, Brooke Castillo:
“The thing about love is, when we choose not to feel it, we only hurt ourselves. When we choose to feel love, we get to experience that emotion and others get to experience their own. What would happen if you chose to love people for your own sake? How lovely would that be.”
Other people’s emotions only affect us if we let them. And we can only affect other people’s emotions if they let us. Nobody can “make you mad, sad, happy, or any other emotion” without your permission.
I’m not suggesting we don’t express love to others. If you really feel it, your actions will be expressions of love towards that person. And sometimes expressing love does make it easier for someone else to believe they are lovable and then feel love for themselves. But really, they were capable of believing that and feeling love all along.
Trying to get other people to love you because you want to feel loved is like trying to get other people to eat for you so you can feel full. Our emotions don’t jump out of our bodies and into other people.
You can choose to love just because it feels great. You can love somebody even if they don’t love you back. You still get to feel love for them and there’s nothing they can do about it.