It is important to differentiate between giving and offering.
When I offer, I offer to existence but when I give, I give to a human being. The difference is important. To give is only possible when there is someone on the other side who receives. There is a certain kind of power in the act of giving. This is a human conditioning which perturbs many people.
Parents often say to their children: “Look at all the love I gave to you.”
The word ‘give’ represents a power of the parents over their children. When they give there is always the undertone of the child having to take it, not to mention the blame it is given if it doesn’t take it.
Offering is always free of charge while in the giving there is a connotation of compensation and power. Love which is given must be paid for in some way or other but love which is offered is free, you either take it or you don’t, without condition.
Offering is compassion, receptiveness is love. Offering is giving without condition, without expecting something in return.
In the same sense it is better to say “I receive you” rather than saying “I love you”. The word to love has been used so much in the sense of giving that it has lost its original meaning. In the spiritual sense love is an energy that one receives.
I am love, I am receptiveness.
I offer my love, I offer my receptivenss.
In other words I offer my openness and there will be no power any more over the other person. When you say “I love you” meaning “I receive you” you will no longer have power over the other person and the other person will no longer have power over you.
What kind of power can the other person have if you say “I receive you”? None at all if you really receive them without condition. In the Jewish-Christian system “I love you” has always meant to say “I am giving something to you” with the undertone “You are obliged, I am good, I am perfect because I give you my love and you have to pay for it”. That is why many children try to pay back the love which they haven’t really received from their parents for the whole of their lives. That is why they try to be good at school, why they are polite (the prostitute themselves). They are always waiting for this love. The child and even the adult will always be looking for the missing love.
Parents often say “I give you my love” thinking they love their children because they have been conditioned to think that that is the way to be good parents.
Love has often been a system of manipulation, of power over the other person. The child knows that love is but love and it waits for it; some children wait all their lives because they think that the others have to give it this love. But it is not for the other person to give us their love, it is up to us to receive it, it is up to us to receive the other person, because to love means to receive.
Once we understand deep down the notion of “To love is to receive” we will no longer have power over others and others will no longer have power over us. When someone says to you “I receive you” there is no power involved. It is ever so important to feel loved, to feel received.
Children naturally love their parents, it is up to parents to learn to love their children.