Ulterior Motives That Can Increase Love

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Ulterior Motives That Can Increase Love


I was in the Costco parking lot with my trunk lid popped open, putting in the bags of cereal that I’m addicted to, along with a few other items…

When a very nice lady offered to take my shopping cart back to the store for me.

Immediately after I said “Thank you” to her…

She shot back, “That’s OK. I’m just trying to get to heaven.”

I’ll give this woman one thing…

She was aware she had an ulterior motive for being kind.

In other words, no matter how big her heart was and no matter how kind I thought she was being in the moment…

She had an ULTERIOR motive for volunteering so quickly to take my shopping cart back to the store.

She thought that in performing this service, it would help her get one step closer to something she really wanted.

Most of the time we do the things we do with the highest and best of intentions.

And much of the time, we do the things we do with ulterior motives without being aware that we even have them!

We “do” to get.

I’ve done it. You’ve done it. We’ve all done it.

We’ve all said or done things with an ulterior motive attached to it.

Since that day with the woman in the parking lot, I’ve thought about all the times and all the ways I have ulterior motives for doing something or trying to get someone else to do something.

–Like the time I bought each of my coworkers one of my favorite chocolate bars, hoping they’d think I was great and no one even thanked me.

And I was upset about it.

–Like the time when I kept quiet when I should have spoken up when my “friends” weren’t being kind to someone who didn’t deserve to be treated with such unkindness…

Because I wanted to be liked by those people.

–Or like all the times I thought those in my life should do something the way I thought they should do them…

And held back my love because of it.

So what does it matter to our relationships that we and others have ulterior motives?

It matters.

It matters because when you “do” with the hope of getting something, you are manipulating…

And no one wants to feel manipulated.

It creates mistrust when you cannot make an honest request for what you want.

When gifts of service or physical gifts are given not from the heart but rather to get something like recognition or even love in return…

Somehow both people feel the hollowness of the action.

Giving for the love of giving brings fullness and connection…

And becoming aware of your motivations is the first step.

Here are a few takeaway questions…

–When have you done something with an ulterior motive?

–Were you aware that you had an ulterior motive when you were saying or doing what you were saying or doing?

–Were you coming from love or fear when you did what you did?

And finally…

–When you look back on the things you’ve done in your life, and you’ve become aware of your ulterior motives…

Would you like to show up differently and more authentically with those in your life now?

The truth is that seeing your ulterior motive can increase love in your life.

–You can become aware when you fall into old habits of manipulation.

–You can make the choice to let love lead the way in each moment instead.

–You can meet the ulterior motives of others with love and honesty.

When your ulterior motives become clear to you and you make another choice…

You can ask yourself what you really want and possibly give it to yourself instead of looking outward for it…

Or you can make a loving request.

You can see your world through new eyes–the eyes of kindness and love–for yourself and for others.



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