October 13

Being Special

October 13, 2014

Personal Growth

One day as I was spending some time with Katie, she said, “You really do love me.”

“I do,” I said.

“But do you really love ME? Don’t you just love everybody?” Looking sheepishly at the floor, then back at my face, she asked, “Am I special?”

I’ve been asked variations on this question many times. I talked about our need for “special love” in a past blog—but allow me to say more about “specialness” here.

When I’m with you, my entire focus in the world is on YOU. I’m thinking about you and caring about you. That’s a lot of loving, and its very existence IS special—glorious, amazing. You don’t have to earn it. I give it to you no matter what you do. It’s unconditional.

Additionally, you are unique—special. You have a combination of kindness, boldness, gentleness, insight, or experience—to name just a few qualities—that is found in few other people, if any. This unique blend makes you “special,” but it does not make you more unconditionally lovable. By definition, the unconditional love we receive would not vary according to the qualities we possess. It is without conditions. But our specialness DOES give us certain capacities that others will not have. Our specialness makes us more useful, not more lovable.

This understanding of specialness frees us from the damaging condition of competing with others for special love, and from the harm that uniformly comes from comparing ourselves with others. We are far happier when we enjoy and use our specialness, rather than needing it to feel worthwhile.

Real Love book

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