“At the end of life, our questions are very simple: Did I live fully? Did I love well?” ~Jack Kornfield
We have all grown up with some healthy stories about love, as well as some unhealthy ones. Many of us have gone through life – consciously or unconsciously – selling ourselves short, withholding love or excessively giving of our time, money and resources because of our childhood beliefs and conditioning about love. For most of my life, I have functioned as a “codependent caregiver” and I had NO IDEA what it meant to fully love myself. Rather than trying to blame anyone for my lifestyle choices, I have decided to create my own beautiful ideas about love. It is my mission on this planet to LIVE LOVE – that is to love myself and others unconditionally and then assist others on their journey so that they can LIVE LOVE too!
I’d like to share some of those healthy ideas that I’ve put into place for loving the people in my life but before I go any further it’s important to say that the biggest lesson I’ve learned about love is that it starts with loving oneself. All of the lessons, behaviors, and conditioning that I reference below are guidelines for loving another, but until we love ourselves unconditionally, these guidelines are just that… guidelines – words on a piece of paper!
I use these as guidelines to express how I want to relate to the people around me. I’m finding that I am in vibrational alignment with ideas like these: Loving people means seeing their wholeness and believing 100% in their potential; Loving unconditionally truly means to love WITHOUT CONDITION and this takes practice. We have been conditioned to judge rather than observe; Love means treating people with kindness, compassion, and gentleness; Loving the people in your life means celebrating their successes and supporting them energetically, especially when they “believe” that they have failed in some way. Loving in this way does not include codependent behaviors like thinking that we must “carry the weight of the world for another.” It’s about choosing to give our loved ones a helping hand when it’s appropriate and preferably when they’ve ASKED for support. Rescue energy does not serve anyone! This principle falls into the category of Assisting verses Helping! (Whew, that one has been a biggee for me!)
You see, I grew up with some stories about love that are not my Truth. They came from good intentions and they’ve definitely served a purpose, up until now. On more than one occasion, I’ve allowed those ideas about love to create disharmony and breed resentments in many of my relationships. Some of those stories about love sound like: Loving someone means ALWAYS being available to them, regardless of your own schedule or current situation; Loving someone means ALWAYS having space for what they want to talk to you about, whether they are sharing with a venomous tone or not; and If you wanna be loved, you’ve gotta GIVE love to BE loved. In other words, you’ve gotta work for it! Another myth about love is: If you love someone, you do what they are asking you to do, out of love, even if it feels difficult or out of alignment with your Truth. (I can tell you, that doesn’t work so well either.)
I can certainly say that the career path I have chosen and the way I show up in service to humanity provides me with the perfect opportunity to see the wholeness, the perfection in each person I come in contact with. Many people were raised with beliefs and stories about love, similar to the ones I mentioned above. We have gone through life, by choice – consciously or subconsciously – selling ourselves short or withholding love because of these beliefs. Today, I completely understand that it’s important to tell your loved ones how much you love them. Tell them about their brilliance. They likely can’t see it the same way you do and they don’t know its immensity, but you can see it and you can illuminate it for them.
Be real, be authentic. Yes, it’s perfectly natural to give of yourself, but never sacrifice or compromise yourself! It’s important to STOP if you feel resentment building and regroup. By regrouping and reevaluating the situation, you are allowing the energy to flow without the obstruction of resentment! Don’t do the martyr thing! That serves no one and no-thing.
Give others the gift of the real you and a real relationship with you. Ask very sincere questions and powerfully support the other person as they respond. Share your truest beliefs. Speak your Truth with kindness and compassion, without filtering your response. Talk about your BIG dreams and utmost desires and encourage others to do the same with you. It’s all about being in community, making genuine friendships and living life on Purpose. Go for it!
What you love, you empower. What you hate, you empower. What you empower, you attract!
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