As human beings we have an innate drive to value and also like to feel valued. When we grow up being valued by our caregivers, we learn to value ourselves and expect this from others. We naturally value others and are open to being valued for who we are.
In relationships we begin to attach to our partners by valuing them. We notice and value their differences, their opinions, their input, their individuality, their idiosyncrasies. In a relationship between two healthy partners this is a mutual bonding and valuing process. The more we value, the more satisfied and grateful we feel for sharing our life with our partner. The more we feel valued, the more freely we value and give. It’s a win-win situation.
“We love what we value and we value what we love.” M. Tillhon
We love what we give time to and what we pay attention to. We create a relationship by deepening our experience and giving ourselves to it.
Many of us say we value our health and yet don’t eat healthily. Truly valuing something requires values-guided action. It highlights incongruence when our actions do not match our words.
In relationships we may say that we value our partner, but how we behave towards them truly portrays how much we value them. We can quickly check this by asking ourselves if we would feel valued if we were treated or spoken to how we speak or treat our partner.
Action Point: “What can you do today to show that you value your partner?”
The Right Intention
True valuing comes from a place of love. There is nothing in it apart from a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude. It also comes from a place a knowing that we are not owed anything and that what is given is given freely and received lovingly.
In some relationships we do not feel valued. This may stem from a place of neediness. What if our partner is with us because that’s the safe option for them? What if they are with us because we pay the bills? What if we are with them because we fear change?
Being in a relationship coming from a place of need will lead to using our partners for something other than valuing and love. For example, when we choose to be with someone because we do not want to put any effort in creating new experiences for ourselves, we deprive ourselves of new opportunities, of new ways of growing as an individual, but we also deprive our partner of being valued and appreciated. Instead of seeing them as an individual in their own right worthy of valuing and loving, we hold them captive for our own purposes based on our needs.
Act With Love
If you realise that you have used your partner to avoid exploring and growing in other areas of your life, you may want to reconnect with feelings of appreciation and gratitude for them. It is easy to get carried away in life, to take things and people for granted. It does not make us bad people.
But to fully experience life and the joy of it, we must choose wisely. We must re-engage in valuing, something that is innate but we can easily disconnect from when our minds become more self-centred and self-serving.
To act with love means to value ourselves as well as our partner. It means to care for ourselves and our partner, It means to show appreciation for the life we create together and for the experiences we share.
To give someone one of the greatest gifts in life is to let them know they are valued – not just by our words, but more importantly by our actions.