5 Questions to Ask Yourself About Love

When we are born into our chosen families our first experience with love is received through our parents. This beautiful exchange of unconditional love may be expressed in a simple moment of safety within our mother’s arms. It may be seen in the pure perfection reflected in our father’s eyes. Or it may even be felt in the brave decision of being gifted the opportunity for a better life. No matter how, where or when we are brought into this world, love is always present.

And then a funny thing happens: a new baby is born and takes away the attention, our parents start fighting and split up, our security teddy bear goes missing (forever), everyone around us starts telling us ‘no’ and ‘don’t do that’ and the next thing you know we’re in therapy dealing with our issues surrounding fear and abandonment. We spend several years working with therapists to solve these issues, only to find they continue to show up in every relationship. Then we begin to wonder: are we really ready for love?

This is where self-love becomes most important. The negative patterns that keep showing up – in the form of jealousy, resentment or even blame – are generally a projection of our own deeply ingrained insecurities that need to be accepted and healed.

If we blame someone for not showing up enough, perhaps we’re not showing up for ourselves? Or when we get angry with our significant other for continuously cancelling plans maybe we’re just afraid they’ll disappear forever.

Photo credit: Ramit Singh

Recognizing that your insecurities continue to show up in relationships is the first sign that you’re ready for love. Here are 5 more questions to think about:

What is your relationship with yourself?

If you haven’t fallen in love with the unique qualities that make you who you are, how could you expect someone else to?

Are you living in the past?

Just because Dad left when you were five and your first few boyfriends disappeared, doesn’t mean you can automatically assume the next guy will abandon you. Setting negative expectations in the beginning is just a prescription for failure.

Are you lonely?

Finding someone to fill the void of loneliness is only a temporary fix. (I learned this the hard way!) Attracting love from a place of feeling whole is the best formula for longevity.

Have you checked in with your self-worth?

It isn’t until you can build self-worth and acceptance that you will attract someone who deeply respects and admires you. Practice positive affirmations as much as possible and never settle for anything less than you deserve.

Are you open?

If you continue to walk around with your heart shielded, trust me, you won’t recognize love even if it ‘s standing right in front of you.

This kind of self-awareness takes time, that’s why it’s called ‘falling’ in love not ‘rushing’ in love.

It took me a long time to close the chapters of my past stories of abandonment and loneliness. For years I thought I was ready to fall in love, but I was looking in all the wrong places. When I finally reached deep self-acceptance, that’s when love found me. The best part: it was (literally) sitting right in front of me.

Love yourself (even the worst parts). Let go of the past. Become whole. Build self-worth. And open your heart, especially if you’re scared.

People often forget love is the fuel for creating your life’s purpose; without it, you’re just riding the journey on empty.

Ashley Rose Howard

Ashley Rose Howard is a New York City based writer and yoga instructor. Her work has appeared in various fitness, wellness, and lifestyle magazines and websites.

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