KAREN SCHACHTER

What Kind of LOVER Are You?

There is nothing more powerful in this Universe than LOVE.

LOVE has the power to heal human hearts, to heal relationships, to heal communities, and in my humble opinion, to heal the world.

So if love is so powerful, why is the world so f-cked up? If love has such a healing potential, why are we in so much pain, both individually, relationally, culturally, globally?

It certainly isn’t because we don’t crave LOVE (we all do!); but most of us haven’t learned how to really truly cleanly and directly LOVE ourselves & others.

You may be thinking: Well, I know how to LOVE - it's everyone else around me who doesn't love enough. And I say to you, sister (lovingly, of course;), others around you generally reflect what you believe about your own lovability.

(You believe you're worthy? I bet you're getting all the love you know you deserve. You believe you're not quite good enough - yet? I'll bet that's what's showing up for you. You believe you have to give more in order to get? I am guessing you're damn exhausted + resentful).

SO LET'S EXPLORE TOGETHER: WHAT KIND OF LOVER ARE YOU?

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Before we continue, I want you to take a deep breath and remove your internal judge-r. You know, that critical voice that tells you how flawed you are? Yeah, that's the one.

Put her aside for the next few minutes so we can dig a little deeper without you going into a shame attack, ok?

Because self-judging is most definitely not loving 😉

OK, let's dive in - here are 8 types of LOVERS I see most often:

Conditional: I love you when you're the way I want you to be

If you ever tell yourself you will love yourself WHEN you are finally “good enough” (read: thin enough, successful enough, perfect enough, then you are a conditional lover; and yes, this is probably coming through in some of your relationships too, whether you verbally speak it or not). Conditional love is not experienced by our own hearts, or the hearts of others, as love, but as control.

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Critical: I love you but I hate this about you…

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Similar to the conditional lover, the critical lover believes that her love is dependent on change…in herself or her beloved. The minute we become critical of ourselves or others, the heart (ours or someone else’s) feels pain, instead of peace & fullness. And even if you think you are only judgmental to yourself, think again: People around us can feel our judgment, even when we try to hide it. Sorry but it’s true.

If-Then: I will love you if you love me first

The if-then lover is operating from fear, not love. Fear of rejection, of being shamed, of being too much, of being proven she's not enough. She keeps herself in an insecure position, waiting to express what’s in her heart & often leaving her anxiously seeking something thats already inside. Ironically, its our giving freely of love that fills us with love. Can you try loving without knowing if it will come back?

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Rescue-er: I will take care of you so you’ll love me back

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The rescue-er lover WANTS love, but isn’t quite sure she is lovable. So she GIVES. And tries to SAVE. And shows how generous & unselfish she is…all in hopes she'll prove her worth and get the love she wants. She's often appreciated, but has a hard time really receiving love & continues the cycle of over-giving in order to hold her belief that she is lovable - often resulting in exhaustion + resentment.

Dependent: I NEED you to LOVE me

The dependent lover often feels highly insecure in her own love, believing that it is others who need to save her with their love, and only then, will she feel safe. Unfortunately, from this position, there can never be enough love to “prove” your lovability and to fill you up. You will feel you’ll always need more, until you learn to recognize your worth and fall in love with yourself.

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Counter-dependent: I don’t need ANYONE at all to LOVE me

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While the counter-dependent lover may SEEM to be full of self-love, she is often full of fear. She is so afraid of allowing others in, of really being seen, nurtured, and having intimacy, that, like the rescue-er lover, she ends up secretly feeling lonely, misunderstood, and like she can’t count on anyone but herself. Exhausting.

Indifferent: I love passively, not passionately

The indifferent lover pretends she doesn’t care much about herself or others, for fear of being hurt. She often feels bored in life, ho-hum about relationships, and out of touch with her passion, purpose & deepest desires. Feeling too deeply creates a vulnerability she is incredibly afraid of. She may believe her passions (aka LOVE) are destructive OR will abandon someone else. She believes she's better off staying neutral.

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Rejecting: I am not able to receive love

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The rejecting lover wants to be loved, but isn't willing to be vulnerable. "You think I’m kind/pretty/smart…you should see how messed up I am!" OR "I can do it myself, thanks anyway." "I'd love someone to take care of me but no one knows how.” She can’t take a compliment, doesn’t allow herself to be taken care of, nurtured or truly seen, she dismisses all the love that wants to find her. And when she rejects love, she pushes others away.

SO NOW WHAT? Once you've identified what kind of lover you are, what can you do next to let more love in and send more love out?

What kind of lover do you want to be?

Once you understand how you tend to love, you can begin to move into the kind of lover you WANT to be.

So what kind of lover DO you want to be?

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Me? I want to overflow with love - for myself & others. I want it to ooze through my pores. I want my life to be a passionate expression of all that I love: people, places, experiences. I want to love freely, without putting a wall around my heart, without withholding my affection. I want to accept myself and others in all of our human-ness, mistakes & struggles. Damn, that felt vulnerable to share.

I know, if you’ve been hurt (and who hasn’t?) then it can be super-scary to open to the kind of love you want to give + receive. It takes courage & it takes practice.

(P.S. I love you)

How to Be a Really Great Lover

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Here are three simple (not always easy) practices you can begin RIGHT NOW (why wait til Valentine’s Day?) to increase the love in your life and become the kind of lover you want to be:

01

First, the minute you go into self-judgment, put your hand on your heart.

Can you shift your internal language to one of kindness, right in this moment? (Love is expressed moment to moment, not in some grand romantic gesture). Can you offer yourself the same kind of acceptance you might offer your favorite little person?

02

Can you receive the love that already exists in your life?

I promise you, it’s all around you. Even if your mind has been telling you various forms of bullshit about your lovability, your loneliness, and so on…I promise you, there is love wanting to come toward you from so many directions. Can you SEE it, recognize it and receive it?

(One of my favorite Rumi Quotes: Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. SMART GUY)

03

Practice expressing love, without any promise of return (both to yourself and others).

Say "I love you" first! Hug more. Say what's in your heart. Say you're sorry, even if you think you weren't wrong. Tell the truth in the service of connection. Ask for what you want and give even more.

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Be extraordinarily generous with yourself. Withholding love from ourselves and others is the most painful form of loving there is.

Let’s STOP talking about LOVE and let’s start DOING love. Let’s start BEING the change the world needs by embodying this quality that has the universal power to heal…everything.

P.S. If you weren't afraid, how much more love would you let yourself feel and express? (Go do it now. Love conquers fear. Really)

Let’s STOP talking about LOVE and let’s start DOING love. Let’s start BEING the change the world needs by embodying this quality that has the universal power to heal…everything.

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Hey there…I’m Karen, a former psychotherapist, a mentor, an Energy Editing™ Professional, an Art of Feminine Presence coach, mom and an entrepreneur. I'm also a wildly passionate advocate for helping women become their truest selves + live their most fulfilling lives.

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