“I love you,
Not only for what you are
But for what I am
When I am with you.”
That’s how a poem by Roy Croft begins. And I love that poem because to me it has always represented the best of what love and good relationships can do for us.
When we are with the right person or group, we become better, healthier, kinder, and wiser than we would be alone. We see the best potential in each other—and help it to manifest. We encourage each other to do things that help us grow and are good—for us and for the world. We are a haven of safety for each other.
If we like who we are when we are with someone, that’s a good sign. If we come away ashamed or wishing we hadn’t said or done the things we did, that’s not such a good sign. Then it’s time to look at both the relationship AND the emotions and beliefs it generates in us.
If we didn’t like what happened because the other person encouraged us to do that which is in conflict with our deepest values then it’s time to a) run the other way and b) look at ourselves to see what within us would let us accept a relationship with someone like that.
If the other person acts in ways consistent with our highest values but we don’t like how we acted/reacted then it’s time to look within to see what fears were being triggered and what it tells us about our own sense of self-worth. This may or may not be a good person to continue to have in our lives.
The ideal is a person who acts in ways consistent with our highest values, who encourages us to do so as well, and who treats us with kindness and respect. These are the people to truly cherish for however long they choose to be part of our lives! Even if at some point they leave, they will have enriched our lives in ways we can never repay—except to hope that we were able to do the same for them for as long as we knew them.
Relationships don’t always last forever. Sometimes they end with love on both sides and sometimes they end badly. However they end, we can choose to remember what was good and be grateful for it. The challenge is to go forward trusting that others as wonderful as this person—or perhaps even better—will come into our lives again, though perhaps in a very different form.
I believe in love. I believe that even those of us hurt the most deeply have the capacity to love AND TO LEARN TO LOVE OURSELVES.
That’s the hard one, isn’t it—to love ourselves? Our culture seems to encourage us to believe that our self-worth comes from how others see us. The truth is that no one can love us enough if we don’t love ourselves first. No relationship will be enough if we don’t value who we are.
What if we all loved ourselves and KNEW we were worth loving? What if we all could easily tell anyone who asked what our strengths were and what we liked about ourselves? What if we could see that anything anyone said that was hurtful was a reflection only of the hurt or need within themselves—that even if we made mistakes we are not a mistake? What if we could know that we could be the very best we want to be—IF we find a way to love ourselves?
Each of us is worth loving. Each of us has the ability to choose how we will live our lives. Each of us deserves to surround ourselves with people we love not only for who they are but for who we are when we are with them.
Sending blessings and safe and gentle (((((((hugs)))))),