Love is a word often tossed around by many but not displayed properly. It’s also known or defined as many things. However, one can’t help but wonder what love is, and do we show ourselves the love we deserve? The answer to this question is a hard no. Why is it a no? Glad you asked. We don’t show ourselves the love we need and deserve because we don’t understand what it is. It’s because we don’t know what love is that we lack the art of self-love. So let’s start at the beginning.
Love is an action word with varying attributes that complement each other. A gift given and taken; it’s the process of being selfless, giving to someone or something without expecting anything in return, showing compassion by fulfilling a need.
Love is also the art of being patient and kind. It’s an action that does not display jealousy. It is not self-seeking, arrogant, or full of pride. It doesn’t humiliate others or bring shame upon them. Love forgives. It forgets past transgressions and moves forward with a cleansed spirit ready for reconciliation.
Now thinking about these attributes of love, another question that immediately comes to mind is how many of us show ourselves the love we need daily to exist on a different level each day? For many, this is a difficult question to answer because it reveals the lack of authentic self-love and care they show themselves. So let’s walk through this action called love and see how good you are at loving yourself.
Love is a Gift
Gifts are items we willing give to others to brighten their day or fulfill a need. We often offer the gift of love to others but fail to gift love to ourselves. Yes, love is a selfless action, but you can’t give love to others if you don’t give it to yourself or allow others to show you love.
Patient and Kind
Patience and kindness go hand in hand. Learn to be patient with yourself and the journey you’re on. If you’re not where you think you should begin taking small, carefully crafted steps toward the place you want to be. Slow and steady always wins the race. Come to think of it; when you’re on your journey, there is no race; so there’s no need to rush. Slow down and give yourself the grace you give to others. Be kinder to yourself. Often we fail to show ourselves the consideration we give to others, and I can’t understand why. If we don’t extend common kindness to ourselves, how can we expect others too? Take some time each day to extend patience and understanding to yourself and watch how your love grows for your own good.
Never be jealous of what someone else has or who they are. Jealousy breeds hatred, and where there is hatred, there’s no room for love. Learn to focus on the positive things that are going on in your life and move according to your purpose. If you do this, you won’t have time to focus on others.
Arrogance and Pride
Arrogance and pride can be the same. Sometimes we can be so proud and confident in who we are and what we have that we fail to allow ourselves to receive the love we need from others and ourselves. Never allow yourself to become so consumed with your existence that you miss the opportunity for love.
Always be open to forgive yourself. Many times we forget to let go of circumstances or thoughts from our past or present mistakes, and that hinders our progress. I’ve always wondered why it’s easy to forgive others when they hurt us, but we harbor guilt from self-inflicted indiscretions. This is an unhealthy practice that needs to be addressed and changed. Learn how to forgive yourself. You’ll be surprised at the leave it brings.
Check-in with yourself each day to be sure your heart, mind, and spirit are filled with the love you need to give love to someone else. Ask yourself one of the following questions:
- Did I show kindness to myself and others?
- Was I patient (with others, myself, different circumstances)?
- Am I harboring envious thoughts of someone?
- Have I forgiven myself for past transgressions? Have I forgiven others the way I desire forgiveness?
- Was I envious of someone else?
- Did I allow my pride and arrogance to bring shame to myself or others?
- Did I forgive myself for a mistake I made, past or present?
- Is my pride keeping me from love?
Take a moment to check in with yourself to reflect on one of these characteristics, and learn to love yourself differently, daily. It’s the only way to grow in love with you, and remember to protect your heart and fill it with genuine self-love, for everything you do flows from it.