Synopsis: You may be your own best source of behavioral love gifting; what the idea of love gifting yourself to others is all about; and how your love gifts are important to love relating are aptly dealt with here.
Your Most Personal Gift of Love?Do you agree that the more personal the gift the better is the gift’s love effect? Do you know that among the most personal of gifts can be the gifts of yourself? Are you aware that especially this can be true for growing healthy, real, love relationships?
Your finest love gift can be yourself, along with your real self, your growing and improving self and your best self. Those things can be true because the more you give of yourself to someone who loves you, in a sense, the more they have of you, know about you and the more they can experience love with you. Also, the more you give of the personal, real you the greater the growth of closeness and heart-felt bonding can occur with you. Conversely, the more you do not give of yourself the more likely there will be an emotional distancing and disconnection. So with that in mind, let’s ask two questions. Do you know much about giving of yourself and do you know what the real you has to offer?
The Real You and Your Many Fine GiftsThose who would do love with you want to know the real you and experience the real you so they can do real love relating with the real you. Therefore, if you love someone, the challenge is twofold. First, is to be real and not fake. Second, is to work to become your best self and, as you do that, keep giving of yourself to whomever you would love.
So long as you are truthful and sincere, your words and actions reveal and consequently give of yourself. Conversely, if you are untruthful and insincere, your words and actions likely will manifest only fake love and make real love less likely. If this effort to hide the real you is discovered, only a phony you will be revealed.
The many fine gifts you have to offer are accomplished by doing behaviors. They are done through the behaviors of truthful talking and sincere and/or experimental action-taking. You are capable of making a lot of different love-giving, truthful statements plus doing a great variety of sincere and experimental loving actions. This enables you to do a lot of different kinds of love gifting. So, let’s take a brief look at just five of the less thought about gifts of love you have to offer (see “Love Active Enough?”).
The Gift of AffirmationYou give this gift by first looking for what you can honestly see as worthy, of value and/or positive in another. Then spend a little time appreciating what you have observed and time to find the words you can use to speak of it. Then with those words you can give honest praise, compliments and perhaps thankful statements to the person you are gifting with your affirmational love. This can be done privately, or in front of others or in the form of a possible keepsake type note.
Affirmation is one of the most important ways to love a great many people especially if they could use some increase in self-valuing. By the way, whatever you find to appreciate in another reveals a certain amount of your own, inner workings and so that is a gift of yourself (see the “Affirmation Love” chapter in Recovering Love).
The Gift of Listening with LoveHave you heard the old saying that proclaims we were given two ears and only one mouth because listening is twice as important as talking? This especially has relevance when a loved one seems to need or want to tell us something, share their emotions or just know by experiencing it that they are being heard.
It is very important to know loving listening can not be done just mentally. It must have heart in it. This heart-full quality must be well and often expressed via quiet but very active expressional love behaviors, via facial expressions, gestures posture changes, voice tones, etc. Passive, inactive, blank and stone face listening can be quite anti-loving. Link “Listening with Love” Link “Listening With Love and IN and OUT Brain Functions”
The Gift of Loving TouchWhether it is a gentle, soft caressing or a good solid, full-body hug, a simple comforting hand holding, a one arm buddy hug or a loving full body massage – love via touch is known to change our body and brain chemistry for the better. Loving touch brings closeness, relational love bonding and is very assistive in both physical and emotional healing processes. When loving touch is done well and often, the research shows it to be quite assistive in life lengthening (see “50 Varieties of Love Touch” and “Touching With and For Love – A Super Important Love Skill”).
The Gift of Receiving Love WellIt is a gift to receive a gift of love well. This means focusing on it, appreciating it and what went into it to come into your life, as well as the thoughts and feelings behind it. Gifts come in several categories. Object gifts basically are things, experience gifts are like a surprise birthday party, favors and assistance gifts are like someone paying off your student debt, and gifts of yourself are like what we are focusing on here. It is important for the health of love relationships to notice, sincerely appreciate and actively receive them all. This is the gift of good reception (“How Receiving Love Well Gives Love Better”, “Removing Your Hidden Blocks to Receiving Love Fully” and the “Receptional Love” chapter in Recovering Love ).
The Gift of Self DisclosureLetting someone you love know you in personal, intimate ways is one of the finest of love gifts. It is essential for growing closeness and for creating some of the deepest of love experiences, plus it often comes with a very sweet joyfulness. Letting someone know your private, personal, not usually shared thoughts, feelings, behaviors, know the positives and negatives of your past, present and possible future and every other little and large thing about you is some of what is giving the gift of self-disclosure for love. Of course, it is important that you receive with love the self-disclosures of those you would do love with.
If you have been taught to think poorly of yourself and what you have to offer, or you just have not discovered what a bundle of miracles you are, you may not realize how much you have to offer and how much it is needed and wanted. Perhaps the want and need for what you have to offer is in other circles than the ones you are traveling in now (see “Intimate Love”, “Intimate Love, What Everyone Needs to Know”, “Growing Closeness – A Love Skill” and the “Self-Disclosure Love” chapter in Recovery Love).
Manifesting Yourself Where and With Whom?If those you focus on now do not seem to care much about you or what you have to offer, you have some choices to consider. You can try to get through to them in new, bigger, more powerful ways. You can go looking for others who will want to see and relate to you in deeper ways, value you, and grow to love you as you do love with them better. You can learn to love yourself better and in more self-dependent ways if needed. You also can do all three of these, or any two. It is also important that you self-disclose to yourself the many miracles that make you up and the many ways you can experience the good of yourself, along with the many fine ways you can come to be. The better you do this the better you can do well with others and the better they are likely to do with you.
One More Little ThingYou might want to go looking for compatible others to talk over what you have just read. That may take some searching in new and different places, or perhaps not. In any case, if you do talk this over with others please mention this site and its many mini-love-lessons. We are grateful and thank you for that.
As always – Go and Grow with Love
Dr. J. Richard Cookerly
Quotable Question: If you don’t give of yourself to others you love, how much are they likely to give of themselves to you?