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Best misconceptions about love to know about

Many people view love as a two-way street, with each person receiving affection in proportion to what’s been given out. It’s true that love often breeds love in return, but expecting a measured response for each gesture of affection is unrealistic. Worse, it leads to score keeping and the constant feeling that one is doing either too much or too little.

The reality is more like a series of candles, each lighting the others. Some candles are large, some are small. One person’s 80% may glow dimmer than someone else’s 20%. Sometimes we pour love in a constant stream toward someone who is not yet able to give it back. Try to give 60%, 70%, or even 100% in every relationship you are part of. You never know which candle may be just a few seconds away from sparking.

We all make sacrifices for the people we love, but there’s a big difference between changing your plans for someone else’s benefit and allowing yourself to be swallowed up in self-destructive behaviors that benefit no one.

Remember that sacrifice is about exchanging something of worth for an outcome we value even more. Like a chess player giving up a pawn in order to advance his queen, we let go of our own desires in order to improve the well-being of those we love. If our selfless gestures fail to achieve this goal, they cease being sacrifices and become waste.

You never have to stop caring about someone. But sometimes, for your own safety and sanity, it’s important to step away, regain perspective, and create an environment that allows everyone to grow.

No one likes to feel alone. Feelings of isolation can become crippling, like an all-consuming whirlwind that funnels into a black pit of despair. When you’re trapped in that pit, it’s easy to feel that if someone – anyone – would just care about you, things would get better.

The truth is that people do care. They just haven’t figured out how to say it in a way that gets past the whirlwind. They want to help, but they can’t. No amount of love poured in from outside can fill up the aching chasm of loneliness.

Fortunately, there is hope. Often the chasm can be filled from the inside – not by being loved, but by loving other people. Reach out, be honest, share what you are feeling and express your sincere desire for the welfare of others. You may be surprised at what happens next.

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