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February 9

   In this relationship, I'm constantly confronted with a paradox: to get unconditional love, how can I love my SO without having the "condition" that they love me back? I know other couples where one seemed to do all the giving, getting very little in return. Often they ended up drained and disillusioned, vowing never to be taken advantage of again.
   If I remember that genuine love always gives me back as much or more than I give out, I can begin to find better ways of loving that automatically have their own reward. When I expect something back, I set myself up for disillusionment. For example, when something I do for my partner leaves me feeling hidden resentment, I can usually find my hidden motives lurking underneath. Maybe all I wanted was appreciation or acknowledgment, but no matter what my actual motive is, whenever I want something in return, I'm actually bartering, and my attempts to be loving become frustrating because of that.
   Letting go of my wish to have my partner change something about themselves, for example, is loving, because love involves acceptance. As I let go of my desire to change them, I find that my happiness and peace of mind increase as well, because I have one less thing to stew over.

Just for Today
   Today I'll try to do one simple, small thing that feels loving, without any expectation of acknowledgement, but just for the sheer pleasure it gives me to do it.

The paradox is clear: what you give out comes back. What you give away is yours to keep. All that you give you give to yourself. - Douglas Bloch

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