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Stop trying to get someone else to love you, special relationships don't work

  • By Paul West
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Stop trying to get someone else to love you, special relationships don't work

Do you feel like you're constantly trying to get someone to love you, approve of you, be proud of you, tell you that you're alright, or make you feel happy? Are you trying to get love from a parent who is absent or distant or unloving? Do you keep looking for love in all the wrong places, trying to get it from substitute people because the key person you want to get it from won't give it to you?

Do you feel a lack of lovability, lonely and alone, forgotten or abandoned, and in need of being loved by someone? Do you keep trying to get someone else to love you for you? Do you feel compelled to find love outside of yourself, to find someone else who will give it to you, usually in exchange for some kind of sacrifice or something that you give or do for them that you really don't want to do? Do you constantly try to people-please others to get them to like you and approve of or love you, to make you worthy and get the love and attention that you crave?

This is a very common psychological condition in almost everyone on the planet. People are feeling a severe lack of love and have concluded that it's because love is not inside of them - that they do not have love or are not love, and so they then see themselves as being lacking and in need, and go searching for someone else to fulfill that need outside of themselves. When you do not see that love is already within yourself, you will look for it somewhere else - anywhere other than where it really is.

It starts in early childhood. When a baby is born, the baby is completely dependent on the external world to support it. Babies are a symbol of having been created by the world (the dream), and therefore everything about them must come from the world. Without support from the external, babies would very quickly perish. There is almost nothing they can do to sustain themselves without outside help. The world is the cause, and they are the effect.

Being an effect renders them seemingly completely powerless, as though they have no identity of their own, and they will soak up whatever the world tells them is the truth with almost no filtering. They are very susceptible, persuadable, can be easily led astray and are constantly learning who and what they are, and who and what is true, based on the demonstration and example given by those around them.

They have very little discernment. The primitive ego mind sees what is outside of them as the causal truth, as reality, and whatever it expresses is taken to be the absolute truth. And if that means that the world around them is not unconditionally loving, this must logically mean the child is simply not lovable, should not be loved and can't be loved. These messages are taken in by the child verbatim as the truth about them.

They only possess concrete thinking, which is ego thinking, lacking any sense of an abstract thought or the ability to step back and compare the bigger picture. They are not able to assess whether something is true or not, and are very easily convinced by appearances of form and the things people do physically and emotionally. They can't screen out what is not the truth, they just soak it all up and turn it into a sense of identity.

In the ego's thought system, what is apparently outside of you in form, or how people behave or how they treat you, is taken to be the truth on face value, and must indicate without question that they are treating you correctly. Whatever the world expresses is taken to be reality and this defines all logical conclusions, leading to being affected by the world and thus changed by it.

Babies in particular are very susceptible to being molded and shaped by the external world, since they essentially began as an effect of an external cause. Whatever the external says they are, however it treats them, it produces effects in them. It's as if to say the world has the power to alter who and what they are, based on how the world looks at them, or the attitude of people around them. The child will just adapt to take the shape of the mold that is laid out for them by others, believing this modified sense of truth to be the truth about who and what they are.

The problem is, if the child is not surrounded by completely unconditionally loving people, and if the child's inherent love is ignored and treated as though it is not the truth, the child will logically conclude, on their own, that this mis-treatment must be true of them, they must've made the other people upset, it must be their fault, the authority of the external truth must be correct and they must be wrong.

When anything happens to anyone on the level of form, it has the potential to act like a cause, and this causality produces effects. The causality of events seems to have power over the individual to reshape them, redefine them, accuse them and attack them, and change who and what they are. Reactions then arise in the recipient as expressions of those "effects", in agreement with what the cause is saying. Even if those reactions are of hurt or anger or whatever, they are agreements, reflections, of what other people say is true of you.

A young child with very little ability to discern will just experience these effects as though they are the truth, and the ways that they have been redefined by them comes to be their new identity. False beliefs are formed, which can be held throughout the rest of their life, even if they are completely untrue.

The trouble is that if the child wasn't surrounded with genuine unconditional, spiritual love, they will have received all kinds of signals which said they weren't really accepted, weren't loved, weren't listened to, were perhaps even hated, were abused, hurt physically or emotionally or mentally, and generally treated as though they did not deserve to be loved. The child doesn't know any better, so they end up believing that this treatment must be true, must be deserved, must be because of who and what they are, and that therefore they actually were the cause of it.

What initially was the lack of love in someone external, turns into a false belief that the child is not lovable anyway, and further into the belief that the external person must have become upset solely because of something that was wrong with the child. The child then blames themselves for the lack of love around them, agreeing with the accusations of being unlovable presented by others.

This sets up all kinds of dysfunction in relationships going forward, and in particular the relationships with those people who were the source of strong signals of unlovability or various forms of lack and separation. Often these external people are the parents who, perhaps through a similar process in their early life, have come to believe they themselves are not lovable and act out their self-hate onto the child in various ways. The child doesn't realize this and takes it personally, as though it's about them and because of them.

Experiencing a lack of love therefore builds in the child a sense of their identity being something other than love. They'll believe that they are unworthy, guilty, shameful, lacking, inferior, insecure, hated, ugly, not worth being listened to, not worth being paid attention to, that they deserve to be abandoned and rejected, they don't deserve to be treated with love, and that perhaps the needs of someone else are more important than their own needs.

If the external person wasn't very loving or kind and treated the child in various unloving ways, which really has nothing to do with the child whatsoever, the child will perceive that that person was telling the truth and that they are right and should be appeased. Their needs must be met and the child starts to believe that they must be the one who adapts and changes and be's at the effect of that person, so that that person is not made to be upset.

The child will then take on effectively the responsibility of "being the adult" or parent, for what they see as an adult or parent that is both incapable of fulfilling that role, and who has their own severe neediness which the child has to try to meet.

The child doesn't want to add to the other person's suffering or be the one who is proven to cause their needs to be not met, so they will develop an appeasing, people-pleasing mentality of never upsetting them and trying always to please them, always being obedient and never standing up to them, never getting their own needs met and constantly yearning for the other person to love them and approve of them.

The other person's needs come before the child's and the child knows this and attempts to meet those needs by censoring themselves. They will stop themselves from openly and fully expressing how they feel, from sharing what they have been experiencing, and from having a genuine relationship with that person. Much will then become repressed, there will be a lack of honesty, and the relationship is on shaky grounds, likely to experience a blow-up of tensions and repressed feelings at a later date.

They see that the other person is so caught up in their own suffering, which the child feels guilty for causing even though they didn't, and so out of guilt the child keeps trying to make the parent or other person happy by only showing them what they think they want to see and hiding everything else that they would not approve of. This leads to a double life, a sense of constantly having to people-please others, and a constant fear of being authentic or standing up to anyone.

When a primary relationship like this entails a more extreme experience of the absence of love, perhaps that a parent has abandoned them, perhaps there was abuse, forms of rejection, or even a dislike or hate of the child, the effects of this can be more pronounced. The child will form a sense of identity of being very unloveable, unworthy, having nothing about them that others want, and will feel isolated and alone. This will carry over into adulthood if left unchecked and play out in various destructive ways.

For example, having come to believe that you are not lovable enough, and that a parent or other significant person either hurt you or failed to love you in some way, you will have developed this same dynamic of believing you are the cause, believing their needs come first, believing that you are in need and are desperately seeking love, and that you feel compelled to get someone to love and approve of you.

You will believe that love can only come from the parent or that important person, that you must do something to manipulate them to get them to be the one who loves you, and that when they do you will finally get the casual signal from them that you are loved. You believe that this will produce an effect in you, that it will change you and cause you to be different.

It is really a state of victimhood, because you want someone else to affect you in some way, but you want to be "positively affected", or to have the effect be that you are finally acknowledged and accepted as wholly lovable and worthwhile. If they can "do this to you", then it will seem to finally meet the need or fill the void or sense of absence that you've been experiencing.

Typically though, although this will show up very strongly when you are in encounters with that significant person, it will also be carried with you at all times and it will be constantly interfering with all your relationships. You will be trying to get people to love you, will be trying to please them, and you will also at times become self-sacrificial in an attempt to give other people what they seem to want so that you might, perhaps, get some love in return.

Generally speaking though, a belief that you are not worthy of love, in spite of your deep desire to get love, makes you still believe that even if other people were to love you, you wouldn't deserve it. You may therefore seek for relationships where you barely even get any love at all, both proving once again your belief that you don't deserve it, but also falling short of being actually loved because you don't think you're good enough for that.

This can show up for example in loveless relationships where you seem to have to give something to someone else that you think they really want from you, which might entail you doing something that you really do not want to do, and in return they might give you a little bit of attention or acceptance. This can skew towards relationships where the person has a lot of sexual encounters, where sex is confused with love and loveless sex is thought to be all that you really deserve.

The person may then perform acts or believe that they have to do things which they feel ashamed of or don't want to do, to try to appease the other person, in hope that if they will sacrifice themselves they will offer enough causality or desirability that the other person might be so pleased as to return the favor. This can produce sex addictions or other dysfunctional behaviors where the former-child very strongly believes that something about themselves is the cause of the upset in others, and so if they give the other what they want, they'll be loved.

Except that these relationships typically don't involve genuine love and therefore it doesn't work, leading to a constant compulsion to keep trying or to try harder in order to get someone to love you. The fundamental basis for this endeavor is flawed but the person doesn't see it because they believe it is the truth. If they give enough of themselves away, do things for people that other people want that they really do not want but are willing to do as a bargain to get a tiny amount of love back, then maybe they will be able to manipulate the other into loving them.

It really doesn't work because the person really doesn't believe that they are worthwhile, doesn't believe they deserve genuine love, and doesn't see themselves as deserving to receive it. They will sabotage relationships which might offer real love in the belief that they don't deserve or want them, or will see a projection of their own self-attack in the other person and accuse them of having ulterior motives. Their belief in unworthiness tells them that they want someone to find them worthy, but at the same time they don't.

Without questioning the belief, it must stay, and continue to express itself over time. Someone who has experienced a lack of love and attention or affection from someone close therefore will be constantly trying to find the love that was missing, outside of themselves, in others and in substitutes. They might not even realize that they really want to get it from one particular individual, and so will see this lack projected onto many different people.

This can lead to the perception that they are attracted to people who seem like they might want them, regardless of the terms or needs that such a person has. This can even come across as people of the opposite sexual preference seeming to be candidates for giving love because of what they seem to want out of the relationships which you might seem willing to suffer to give them, in hope that you'll get the love you've been craving.

Or alternatively it may result in a special relationship with a partner who doesn't really love you unconditionally, who is violent or abusive, who has a lot of needs and is weighed down with past baggage, who wants the world to revolve around them and do for them what they refuse to do themselves, or who generally manipulates and controls instead of letting go and allowing.

The presence of a belief in unlovability blinds you to the ways that someone else is being unloving. You don't question their unloving attitude because you are unwilling to question your own. You don't see past it to realize the quality of relationship that you really "deserve", or that would be a reflection of your self-love, because you think you deserve to be treated poorly. You then put up with and suffer in the relationship, rationalizing that it is love and that its the best you can expect.

Really, these efforts to find love everywhere outside of you in other people is entirely based in the belief that you do not have it in yourself. Your belief in your unworthiness, likely constructed in childhood, is still active and is still projecting onto all your relationships.

You will feel strongly that other people are supposed to treat you a certain way, respect you a certain way, treat you right or only show you a certain face or attitude. And then if they fail to do that or they reveal that they don't meet your special need, you will go into a rage about how they were supposed to love you but didn't. This is of course your old pain coming out and you're failing to see that you're not supposed to get love from them anyway.

You'll also try to control the person and manipulate them into giving you what you want, because if you don't they might treat you in a way that you don't believe you deserve. If you are really desperate for love, you will become extremely controlling because otherwise you are afraid that you have little chance of getting what you want. Really your manipulations are attempts to cause other people to love you, but will come across as being a controlling monster.

The real solution that needs to take place, or at least the first step toward it, is to acknowledge that you feel a lack of love in relation to a particular person because of the way that they failed to love you. Their absence, their rejection, their judgement, their hate, you never being good enough for them, your inability to meet up to their standards, the things about you they could not accept, their constant attempts to change you and correct you, their attempt to maintain their role of authority instead of being your equal, etc. You have this belief and experience within you of a lack of love.

You need to then see that this lack of love cannot be fulfilled by getting that person to love you. Doing so means that you are completely dependent on someone else to give you an experience of your own lovability and the presence of love within you. This is unfortunately completely impossible, because it depends on you denying that there is love in you already.

You will believe that you can't be loved, shouldn't be loved, and are not loved, and that therefore someone else must love you for you - really your own refusal to love yourself. You will believe that you want them to love and accept you, but if they were to actually suddenly do this, it would NOT undo your belief that you don't deserve it. You would not be able to accept it.

Even if they suddenly became unconditionally loving, you would still be stuck with your own beliefs about how and why you don't deserve love because you're not good enough, having sinned by causing others to not love you, and being flawed in some way as determined by how you were treated. You believe you want their love and approval but really this just is a way for you to maintain your belief, your hidden belief, that you should not be loved or approved of. That's the real problem that needs correcting.

The problem then is NOT that other people do not love you, or that they failed to love you, or that they hurt you or abandoned you or were absent in your life. The real problem is that you believed it was personal and about you and redefined your sense of identity based on it. You formed beliefs about what you are worthy of, what you deserve and who you are, using the evidence of how others were treating you.

These were not beliefs that they put into you, they were beliefs that you concluded on your own, based on what was happening and the apparent concrete logic that it must be because something is wrong with you. You need to look at and admit that YOU believe that there is something wrong with you, YOU believe that you're not good enough, YOU believe that you don't deserve to be loved, and it's YOU who has the power to change this belief once and for all.

If this is you, then you've probably been trying your whole life to coerce that person, or substitute stand-ins for that person, to treat you in a certain way and give you the love and approval that you crave. You just want them to love you, is that too much to ask for? Well yes it is. They're not supposed to be the source of your experience of love. You keep seeking to alleviate your sense of emptiness and absence which seemed to be caused by someone close to you.

You keep trying to believe that IF you can just actually find that one person who will fulfill your need, even if it means hurting yourself, and even if it means sacrifices, and even if it means doing things you are ashamed of because you don't think you deserve any better, and even if it means a relationship which is thoroughly unhealthy for you and really not what you want at all, you will attempt to bring that about in the hopes that you'll finally get rid of this hole in your heart.

It won't work. The entire foundation of such a special relationship, in which the other person completes you, fulfills you, provides your needs, does for you what you cannot do for yourself, forces you to be happy, gives you what you want, fixes you, tells you what to do, or generally acts as a "cause" in your life, the effects of which you may think that you desire and enjoy greatly, is completely based in a lie.

Special relationships are totally based in a belief that there is not love in you, and that therefore you need someone else to provide the love. And you will seem to fervently want them to do that, and may even succeed in seeming to get them to do that, but you will then struggle to accept it, receive it, or really want it, and you will sabotage it and push it away. You don't believe in your lovability. That's a problem. It's a block that won't let you get the love that you crave even if it is offered, and even if it is offered by the person who failed to give it the most.

Special relationships are a substitute for love, which is your attempt to find a replacement for the love that you believe you do not have, that is not in you, and therefore is not who or what you are. You believe you are made of guilt and sin and fear, instead, having come to believe this about yourself as a result of what others said was true of you. They are your attempt to fill an emptiness by getting someone else to do FOR you what you are unwilling to do for yourself.

They can therefore seem very alluring, very attracting, very desirable. They can seem to beckon with a solution to your pain and misery, to offer you a glowing light on the horizon to fulfill that extreme craving that you've had, a craving founded in a sense of lack and emptiness, which has created a compulsion to solve it in any way other than what will really work.

If it's your father that did not love you, you will try to find other men to love you as replacements. If it is your mother that did not love you, you will try to find other women to love you as replacements. Whoever it was, you'll find stand-ins for them and feel drawn to them as though you want to merge with them, to access in them the specialness that they conceal and are keeping from you. You wish that they will finally love you, as though it would undo your emptiness, but it won't.

You can't undo a belief in a lack of love but having someone else love you. You can't undo a belief that love is not inside of you already, by having someone else give you theirs. You can't undo the separation between you and love by having someone who is separate from you, or separate from love, be its source. It's just impossible. You need to give up the fight of trying to bring this about. It just will never work at all.

Special relationships become a cover-up for a lack of love and are a band-aid over your emptiness, a form of denial, that you really are being loved by someone else and that it feels great. They seem to offer the potential to get what you lack, but how are you to get what you lack if you believe in lack and therefore will not really accept it? No-one else, not even those people who didn't love you, can save you from your own unwillingness to receive love from God, or to admit to the love that you really are. No-one can admit that you are love itself, for you.

While there is the question on your heart of, "why won't they love me?", to which you attempt to find answers in all of the places where real, genuine, honest, supportive and healthy love does not exist, you will not find it. You will think you are finding it, however. You will believe something fake about you is desirable to others and therefore you can use it as a weapon to force them to love you. But this can also lead to violence and sexual abuse in attempt to force love out of someone against their will, based in a profound lack of self-love and unworthiness.

All the love that you have, all the love that you are, and all the love that you need, comes solely from God. There is no other love, no other real love, and no other source of love.  It is within you. God gave it to you right off the bat. It is yours. It is who and what you are. It is what you're made of. It's your true identity. But this has been covered up by lies, by false conclusions that you came to, by misunderstandings based on misperceptions, and errors that you made as a result of forgetting who you really are.

Relationships in which there was a lack of love or an abandonment from love, merely symbolize your relationship with yourself and with God. In some way you believe in separation from God, from love, and pushed it away and see it as attacking you. Other people being unloving toward you is actually your ego's attempt to implement sin, i.e. the belief that it is God's fault that you are separate and that the separation is the truth.

It may play out with a parent or some other significant person, but ultimately the whole purpose of this story and the experience of unlovability is your attempt to position yourself as being unworthy of God, to suggest that God is incapable of loving you, and that therefore God is not love. It is part of the ego's attack on you and on God, to suggest that God has stopped being what He is, has stopped being love, that it's your fault, you're the sinful cause of it, and therefore you are guilty. Guilt produces a sense of unworthiness, and it calls for punishment instead of forgiveness.

You must come to realize that this dynamic of trying to get someone else to love you is really not going to ever work. This can be very upsetting to admit to. You may have been trying your whole life to persuade this person to love you or approve of you or be proud of you.

Wanting a parent to be proud of you is dysfunctional. You do not need anyone else's approval, and attempts to make a parent proud really are based in trying to coerce them to love you, because if you didn't do something fantastic then perhaps they would not love you enough. Can you be unconditionally lovable without having to do anything other than exist?

Your parents are not supposed to be the ones who love you. Your partner or spouse or friends or romantic partner are not supposed to be the ones who love you. Your attempt to find love in them and through them and to then experience the effects of that, is really a substitute for God. It is God's love that you really want because God's love is real, heartfelt, meaningful, honest, real love. It is truly valuable. It is the recognition that you are love ITSELF that you really want.

You can't become loving by having someone be loving toward you. Love is inherent to who you are. It is given you by God as your true nature. You have covered it up. The things you have covered it up with are blocking your awareness and making you believe that you are not love, and therefore cannot be loved. Love would turn you into love and your unlove of yourself does not want that. It thinks it wants it, but it will simultaneously reject it. It will have a constant tug of war, push and pull, unsure of what it really wants, saying it wants love and then pushing it away.

You are not supposed to find love coming to you from special other people. You think you want that because you think it will work. You think you want it because if it were to be successful, you would FINALLY solve this aching hole that you've been trying to fill ever since it was created. You think that you have the ABILITY to actually pull this off. But you do not. You are incapable. You cannot be loved by something separate. Separation keeps love from you, it doesn't make it accessible, so any other separate person can never be its source. Love is what comes about when separation is lifted.

It can be hard to admit the truth to yourself that you will NEVER be loved by the person that you've been trying to be loved by. And that may seem like a complete failure, and heartbreaking. It's okay to feel that. BUT, that is not the whole truth. It's GOOD that you can never be loved by others, because you are not supposed to be. You're not supposed to DEPEND on them for that love, or to NEED to get that love from them, because that just means you yourself are against love and won't accept it. It'll look like you're searching for it, but secretly do not want it. Seek and do not find.

The only way you are going to really, actually experience the love you've been craving, is to learn that you already HAVE it. It's inside you. It's your natural identity. Everything else which says otherwise must be found to be false and untrue of you. Any belief you have that says you are unworthy or unloveable or guilty or sinful or bad in any way cannot be true. You must remove the BLOCKS to the awareness of love's presence. You must learn that no-one needs to give you love because you do not NEED it because you do not LACK it.

Love comes from God. You share it with God. It's already fully available to you. Nothing is really stopping you from having this love or sharing it or giving it. The only thing seeming to stop you is YOU - your own beliefs that are false and dysfunctional, which you constructed when you didn't know any better, based on conclusions you came to which were errors in perception. You need to dig them out, release any feelings of reaction that they produced, clear yourself of these lies and learn to accept the REAL truth about you.

The real truth is that you are so incredibly lovable and worthy, so completely filled with love, so absolutely loved by God, that you are PERMANENTLY love, constantly sustained by love, constantly nourished and nurtured by love, and that love is even your identity. It is who and what you are made of. It is your Self. It is the truth about you. 

No-one can GIVE this love to you because you are not lacking it. No-one can TAKE this love from you because it is permanent. You do not NEED love from anyone else. You do not need your partner to love you all the time. You do not need your parents to love you. You do not need your boss to like you or your neighbors to approve of you or your siblings to accept you.

You need to realize you've been trying to find love OUTSIDE OF YOURSELF this whole time, and that is precisely where it DOES NOT EXIST. The reason it does not exist out there, is because YOU are love, and therefore love is inside of yourself. If you believe you are separate from love for any reason, you will believe love is separate from and therefore outside of you, and will go out there trying to find it, to replace what you're missing. But it's an illusion. It's not out there AT ALL. It's inside you, BEHIND the belief that you are truly separate from it.

Learning to love yourself, or rather, learning to remember and uncover the fact that you are always love and you inherently love yourself, is the ONLY way that you will ever experience real love and the only way that you will accept and receive love. It is the only way you will regard yourself as worthy of, deserving of love, willing to be loved, and able to share in love. Your acceptance of a love that is already present is the key. And that love is shared with you by God. There is no other source, regardless of whether you believe in God or not.

Love can only be shared with God, love is the only thing which can truly be shared, and God is the only source of Love. That's a hard, permanent fact which you can accept or deny, and only in its acceptance will you erase the hole in your heart, heal the ILLUSION of a lack of love from other people, and undo the supportive beliefs you formed that said you couldn't have it.

You should be loving yourself so much that you have no lack of love and no need to get love from elsewhere. If you've blocked it from God you'll go looking for it externally, pretending you want to find it but ensuring that you won't. You can't find love where it does not exist. It only exists when it is shared with God. And that means that only by loving yourself and sharing God's love with yourself can you truly experience what love is. And then you will not depend on anyone else to provide it for you.

Love is your natural INHERITANCE. You deserve it. You are worthy of it. You are innocent and therefore have not done anything to be NOT worthy of it. Love loves you. It's all that real love can do. It can't stop loving you. You can't stop being love.

You are free to love yourself forever, regardless of whether other people seem to love you or not. And then you will come to recognize that other people's mistreatment of you, or their attempt to offer truths to you which were false, was really just their own lack of love. It was their own lack of their own ability to accept love in themselves, really a call for love, which they were projecting onto you in an attempt to deal with it in themselves.

Their abuse of you, their blame of you, their judgement of you, their condemnation or disapproval of you, their lack of love of you, or their hatred of you, was all a part of their OWN belief that THEY did not deserve to be loved and that they were lacking in love within themselves. No-one in their right mind would fail to love you. No-one who knew that love is the truth would fail to love you.

You took it personal only because you thought that THEIR lack of love was really about YOU. It wasn't. It never was. It was always only their own pain and their own self-attack. No-one ever really did anything to you. Your own problem was that you went along with it, believed in it and agreed with it. That was your error, which can be undone.

It doesn't matter whether others love you or not. If you have love, you have it. They can't take it away and they can't give it to you anyway. That's a fact. No-one can give you what you already have and do not need. You already have love in you, it's just buried under illusions. You need to dig it out and bring it into the light and realize, you never lacked it to begin with. It was always here. You were always loved and worthy of love. And God loves you still.

Thank God for that!

 

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