Sometimes it is hard to love one another isn’t it? Life gets messy, people are emotional, stuff happens.
But we are asked to respond in love. Before we can do this, we must love ourselves. Some may be thinking, I already love myself, its simple. But do you really love yourself from the inside out?
I believe that in order for us to love ourselves, we must nurture ourselves and not look to external means for validation. Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do you ever feel envy?
Do you ever feel jealous?
If you answered yes to one of these questions, then perhaps you need to investigate the why.
It has taken me most of my life to love myself. I often wondered why this was. But as I look back, I know that when I looked in the mirror I did not see beauty. I saw a blank face staring back at me. I know that it came from believing what others said about me, in my youth and childhood I was bullied. I would never change that experience for anything in the world, because every moment helps us become who we were meant to be. Letting go of the external validation was such a big step for me, and not being critical of myself or others was a leap.
Here’s the thing, when we are critical of others, it is simply a reflection of ourselves. What do you see when you are looking in the mirror?
Really look to understand the why’s ….
I am so thankful for the love of family. This is something that has carried me through over the years. For me the definition of family are those that love you unconditionally.
Today I celebrate my parents 40th anniversary, quite a milestone these days. What have I learned about my messy life, and sometimes messy family? We love one another with our whole hearts, and although we may not agree and often have fiery conversations, what you see is what you get. I was reflecting this morning on how we got through all of the difficult times together, and realized it was through our love for one another. Every difficult time allowed us to discover something about each other. Love carried us through.
I am so thankful for the love my parents show to us. My mom is the kind of women that shows strength in all she does, and at times will sacrifice and go without to extend the hand. She is the kind of lady that “what you see is what you get”, and does not sugar coat. I am thankful for this, because I am pretty much the same that way. I have realized honesty is always the best policy and although some people may not like it, but this is who I am . Both of my parents are hugely compassionate, they would do anything for a friend or someone they love. I am so thankful for this, and although I wear my heart on my sleeve, anyone that knows me, knows I would go to battle for them. My dad has a heart of gold, he wants to help and lift up. He likes to focus on the positive and balances my mom’s pessimism at times. He wants to let go of the past, and move forward onto the future. Letting go is something huge – a lot of us carry too much weight…. This holds us back from being all we can be. One of the biggest things I have learnt from my dad is forgiveness. My dad has forgiven always, and immolated this. I have a bit of a problem with forgiving quickly, but I truly believe this is why my dad is always smiling. Although the years show on his face, the lines show happiness. My dad’s strengths can sometimes be my mom’s weaknesses and the opposite is true as well. This is why they balance each other so well.
Love one another.
Love has carried me through the good, the bad and the ugly.
I am thankful for the love that made us strong. I am thankful for love that is unconditional.
Loving yourself is always the biggest step forward. And if you are fortunate enough to find someone to share this life with, likely their strengths are your weaknesses. Remember that we were brought together for a reason. Appreciate all those that have been brought into your life. When I look in my husbands’ eyes, I know he was perfectly made for me.
Love one another as you would love yourself. In the good, the bad, and the ugly, ask yourself if you can show love first. It has ripple effects.
May you be blessed today, who can you show some love to today?