How to Love Without Sacrifice
That’s the word coming to my mind when I think of how my mother loves.
Even until now, she would only eat the small boney pieces of the chicken, leaving the drumsticks and the wings to my father, my brother, and I. She never spends money to pamper herself: never goes to the spa, never has a massage or gets a manicure, never travels.
She goes to work during the day, buy grocery on her way home, make dinner at night, and take cares of family emergency like when one of my cousins grew a pimple the side of a chestnut on her forehead or when my father fell asleep on the sofa, drunk, with his head inside a bucket of his own vomit.
I'm grateful for everything she gave to me.
Still, I couldn't help feeling like a burden to her, and think of having a family as a burden.
Somewhere in my early 20s, I considered renouncing marriage altogether. Freedom was the most important thing for me. I had places to go and things to do in life! I couldn’t stand being chained down like that.
I avoided love like the plague, hanged out with men just for fun and pushed away any men who were genuine to me enough to want us to be something more than a few night-stand (red flag: husband material!)
But a strategy that’s based on avoidance never works. My heart yearned for deep connection and lasting love. The lack of that became too painful.
That’s when I began to question, what if a) avoid love and b) be burdened weren’t the only options.
What if I can have both love and freedom?
What if I can love without sacrifice?
I had never seen anyone do that. But I let myself think that it’s possible. Just because it made me feel good and expansive inside.
Little did I know, that was the seed that changed everything. Love without sacrifice is how I love every single day now.
I owe this sentence to author and life coach Martha Beck:
“Real love always sets the beloved free.”
However, like a work of art doesn’t paint itself, Real Love doesn’t just happen. Real love needs to be consciously created, with intention and patience.
Below are the 3 things that helped me to love without sacrifice. Try them on and see for yourself.
Know the life you want to lead
When you know who you want to be and the life you want to lead, you have a clear direction on how to act each day of your life.
Once you understand and respect this desire, you’ll find a partner who understands and respects it too, and quickly let go of those who don’t (Thank you, Law of Attraction!).
Early on in your relationship, you can have a clear intention and communicate that this is what’s essential for you and what’s you won’t compromise no matter what. (This is what I refer to as a “bottom-line” in my book 10,000 Miles for Love)
Many useful questions help you explore yourself. For me, this one stands out:
- After I die, how do I want others to remember me?
This is not about social approval.
This is a good question because what people close to you remember about you would be what’s evident in the way you live.
After I die, I want those who’re close to me to remember me as someone who chose to love wholeheartedly, live boldly, and inspire others to do the same.
My husband Rapha knows this and cheer me on every step of the way. Not only because he’s a good guy, but because on our very first date, I looked into his eyes and I told him so.
Know that you deserve
I want you to take on an unapologetic attitude of “I deserve it” - not because you’re arrogant but because you are aware of your indestructible self-worth. Nothing you ever did and nothing you’ll ever do can change your worthiness.
Once you understand this, beautiful magic starts to happen: you’re open to ask for and receive what you want. From others, from yourself, from the Universe.
To love without sacrifice as a woman in this century, you’ll need to do it. A lot of it.
You don’t have to overwork to compensate for the feeling of unworthy. You don’t have to carry out a punishment sentence for being you.
Ask yourself this question:
- What do I want in a relationship?
When we want something so much but believe we can’t have it; we may deny it to protect ourselves from disappointment.
However, this stops us from ever having what we want.
Don’t let this be your case.
Whether it’s transcendental sex or laughter or the support to all of your crazy endeavors. Own what you want. Ask for it and open your arms to receive.
I know it may sound like a cliche now , but it is truer than anything I know.
Without Self-Love, Real Love cannot exist. With Self-Love, Real Love is not only possible but inevitable.
The world is a mirror. The way your partner treats you is, or will be, the mirror of the way you treat yourself.
Only when you begin to love yourself the way you want to be loved, you're ready to welcome someone who can do that too.
Have you met anyone who kept dating jerks while running away from the good guy? I have. It was me.
Because I had never treated myself with love, the good guy was unfamiliar and, strangely, scary. I was addicted to the drama, the control, the abuse. It was painful, but it was the only thing I knew.
When I started to practice Self-Love, the real way: reclaim my connection with my body, thoughts, emotions, and spirit.
For the first time, I experienced openness, expansion, love, and connection rising from within me. I no longer depend on a man for it.
Painful Love says "I need your love." Real Love says "Let me share my love with you."
With my love and husband Rapha, I can love him unconditionally, without sacrifice, without resentment. Because I never have to share what I do not have.
And that's how the burden becomes the blessing.
P.S: Now that you know how important Self-Love is. Are you ready to learn practical tools and methods in the Art of Self-Love?
Join me this August in Hanoi & HCMC, Vietnam for "Art of Self-Love" workshop to learn the 4 steps to create the life (and the relationship) you want by loving yourself, the real way.
Click here to find more information and sign up.