Isn’t love wonderful? If you think about it, love is a truly beautiful thing.
It feels great to fall in it, show it, make it, feel it, receive it, and heartbreaking to lose it.
In general, what does love look like? Keeping in mind that while we’d like to believe that love is confined to a set of actions and/or feelings, its appearance changes depending on the receiver.
Take, for example, a woman who was raised in a household with a very strong and influential male influence. She has a father that raised her with as much love as her arms could hold, as much care as her heart could feel, as much guidance as her mind could fathom, and as many kisses and hugs as her little body could take. That woman learns many things about love at a very young age. More importantly she starts to build a template for love from a man.
Additionally, you have a son who has a very strong motherly influence. He has a mother that makes sure that he feels like she is the pillow he can lay on when things get rough, the soul food restaurant he can always come home to in order to fill up and never, ever get a bill, the support he needs in order to pursue dreams located in the farthest vicinities of his mind. He also learns what love is in regards to a woman.
This a beautiful thing and much more influential than we know or care to realize, in some cases.
Why is it such a huge influence? (I’m glad you asked) It’s because they seemed, in our minds, to cover all the bases. They loved us mentally, physically, and emotionally. It felt great right?
Understanding the influence of love is the first of two steps. To first understand what love may look like, makes it that much easier to spot when it crosses your path. The interesting part about knowing it when you see it is the “mirror reflection”. If you were to reflect on the displays of love you’ve received growing up, from not just your immediate family, but love from neighbors, friends, church members, coworkers, even strangers for that matter, would you have a good enough list to determine how you treat YOURSELF?
If you were on trial for loving yourself, would there be enough evidence to convict you, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Before answering this, notice what I left out of the two, parental, examples above.
LOVE IS NOT ONLY WHAT PEOPLE DO TO AND FOR YOU, BUT ALSO WHAT THEY DON’T DO TO YOU.
Love should not be painful or agonising. This is important and although up for debate, I believe I have a strong case. Try to follow me on this.
Would you lie to yourself?
Would you cheat yourself?
Would you break your own heart?
Would you only give less than 100% effort to yourself?
Would you disappoint yourself?
Would you disregard your own feelings?
Would you never take yourself out to eat or the movies, just because?
Would you never buy yourself gifts every now and then and not just on special days?
Would you never spend time learning as much about you as possible so that you knew how to better please yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally?
I ask all of this for one reason. If you don’t love yourself first then how would you ever know what you expect from others that claim to love you?
If you haven’t treated yourself well, how would you know when you are treated well with no baseline for that determination.
Moral of the story is this, take time to figure out how to love yourself, before seeking love from another. You will gain such an appreciation for YOU that no one could ever sell you less than what you deserve. KNOW YOUR VALUE!