“You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.” ~ Amy Poehler
We all want love, approval, appreciation, and validation in some form or another.
After all, it is love that makes the world go around, doesn’t it?
Many of us think that we can only be valued and worthy if we are loved.
As human beings, we’re in the constant pursuit of finding people who can make us feel loved, appreciated, and valued. However, most of us aren’t seeking but chasing it, and we don’t even know or realise the difference between the two.
When we’re chasing, we’re running aggressively toward that feeling or person we believe will be the one to validate our existence.
Chasing stems from a sense of desperation backed by fear and insecurity. It brings with it impatience, restlessness, and anxiety, and often fills us up with the dreadful thought, “Oh, what if I don’t get it?!” It takes us away from ourselves in so many ways because we’re running away from ourselves and toward something that may not even be good for us in the first place.
This chase of love turns love into a mirage.
“They say love hides behind every corner. I must be walking in circles.” ~ Joe King
Sadly, that’s what so many of us are doing. Running after people just so that we can feel loved and validated for who we are. It often leaves us tired, exhausted, depleted, discontent, and disconnected from who we are.
This chasing often takes the form of:
1. Self-neglect: because you’re so focussed on getting this love outside of you that you forget to love yourself in the bargain. You let go of your needs, wants, desires because you’re too busy putting others’ needs and preferences above yours.
2. Overcompensation: for others’ shortcomings and inabilities just so that you can find ways to be with them and get their love and approval.
3. Frustration and resentment: despite making the adjustments and compromises, you still end up unfulfilled and frustrated.
4. Loss of enthusiasm: for yourself and your life because everything in your life is about others and not about yourself.
Chasing comes from a space of excessive need and there’s so much push and pull within you because in this quest to run after what you really want, you lose sight of what you need. You step away from your real self and start to mould yourself according to others just to get their love and approval.
You’re like the shadow of a person who once was or perhaps can be so much more.
“Do not chase people. Work hard and be you. the right people who belong in your life will come find you and stay. Do your thing.” ~ Doris Shutt
But when you’re seeking love, things are different.
You want to be loved, appreciated, and cherished for who you are, and you’re not running around the world to find it. Rather, you engage in a deliberate interaction with the world around you to connect with people who are capable of seeing, valuing, and cherishing who you are.
“The flower doesn’t dream of the bee. The flower blooms, and the bee comes.” — Arty Fischel
You are grounded in your presence and have faith that whatever is meant for you will come to you at the right place, right time. Then, it’s like walking in a beautiful garden, observing, interacting, savouring what nature has to offer to you with patience and faith that you will spot that beautiful butterfly.
Seeking stems from knowing your own worth and value and being okay with waiting for the right opportunities, experiences, and people to come into your life rather than settling for whatever you find. There is no pressure to be or behave a certain way. You’re just yourself—comfortable, grounded, and free.
“Once you stop looking for what you want, you find what you need.” ~ Horace Cope
You know what you want and are willing to explore your options with a purpose and intent in mind.
Then, you are more:
1. Curious: about what you want, need, and the various ways in which you can fulfill your dreams and desires without giving up on yourself.
2. Clear: about what you want and don’t want.
3. Open: to learning and growing.
4. Patient: and are willing to wait for the people and opportunities that feel right for you.
5. Reflective: about your thoughts, emotions, and patterns. You are ready to course correct as and when needed because you know that’s for your highest good.
6. Ready to embrace uncertainty: because you understand that with clarity comes change and change will always bring some uncertainty and fear along. No matter how unnerving it may feel, you are ready to embrace it as the fundamental truth of life and prepare yourself to navigate it to the best of your ability.
7. Balanced: you’re able to balance your needs and desires with those of others.
Perhaps, the journey for most of us is to move from a chasing to seeking mindset, and for that we need to believe that what is meant for us will come to us and we deserve all the goodness in the world.
The insecure chase and chase till they hit the ground and realise they no longer can—in their own time.
Only the ones who are secure in their own being seek.
“Hope for love, pray for love, wish for love, dream for love…but don’t put your life on hold waiting for love.” ~ Mandy Hale