At some point we have to be willing to let down the drawbridge so others can know our deepest soul, but many kinds of love can shine on us before we are ready for that. Even if we can see ourselves reflected somewhere, often that image gets clouded by perceptions. What if the damage to our psyche broke our ability to adjust focus? What if we're stuck in microscope or telescope mode.
Think of it, all you see is that GIANT zit or a fuzzy far away indistinguishable figure. Up close, the wings of a butterfly have no color. It's only the play of light that shows us their flickering beauty.
I think love shines independent of how we understand it. We don't give back love given to us. We have our own independent light that we choose to shine in the other person's direction. Maybe their light sparks some flame within us, but I'm doubtful that we can "make" someone love us by the amount or intensity of our love for them.
Like light from the sun, love comes from a deep internal process. Also like other stars, the intensity of such brightness may be obscured and or dependent on it's own structure. It might also burn. Different colors of suns produce different kinds of light. Different kinds of love produce different kinds of effects.
We learn about love from practice. It starts as a dependence on parents to feed and provide for our safety. These natural bonds loosen over time. We go out and bond in different ways with people outside our family.
Seems to me that Freud had an interesting perspective on our influences. I don't think he had it EXACTLY right, I think there are choices involved. I made the choice to turn away from some aspects of my family story and embrace others.
People react to our self perception, sure, but they also react to the side of us we cannot see. It requires effort to see our own backside. What about a doctor who looks at our Xray or blood tests? These tell a part of our story too.
I once saw a huge moth against a wall. It's monochromatic four inch wing span entranced me for several minutes. How could nature build something so beautiful out of just two colors? The blend of dark and light built a pattern that begged to be seen.
We can all take steps to calibrate what we understand. We agree that in general, people with sight enjoy looking at butterflies. Not all consensus equals truth, but it's a starting point of reference.
We can all use reference and perspective to figure out who we are. We can ask questions and develop our own unique pattern. Some elements, say whether we are made up of shades and light and dark or brilliant refraction of color, may be fixed. We can learn to accept whatever form of beauty we possess.