Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Love

“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)))))),
April_optimist

10 comments:

Marj aka Thriver said...

This is wonderful! Thanks for writing this. I'm so glad I can include it Friday in the blog carnival.

Much love comin' your way!

Kahless said...

I really enjoyed reading this post; I found myself nodding in agreement whilst reading it.
A great relationship I think is when two people are together they bring out the best in eachother.

keepers said...

excellent!!! we agree 110%, no doubt about it! we are glad this will be in the carnival also.

peace and blessings

keepers

jumpinginpuddles said...

oh man did you wroite this with us in mind thats so spooky once again youve said all we want to say thats bizarre

Enola said...

I really like that poem.

Karma said...

Great post. I hope that I learn how to put those words into practice!

gypsy-heart said...

So heart felt and beautifully written C.
Thank you so much for sharing your sweet soul with us.

Marj aka Thriver said...

THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE is now up at my blog. Won't you go for a ride? Thanks for participating this month!

cerebralmum said...

I believe in love too. I don't think I believe that there is a person to love me in the sense of a traditional relationship any more, but you describe what it is like, and what it should be like beautifully.

Loving yourself is the hardest part. If you can do that, everything else is icing.

April_optimist said...

Marj, Glad you like it. Will try to check out the blog carnival as soon as I can. Been a bit hectic around here the last few days...

Kahless, Yes, that is a great relationship.

Keepers, Thanks!

JIP, Glad it resonates with you.

Enola, Thanks!

Karma, I hope you can do. You deserve real love in your life and friends you can truly be happy to be with.

Gypsy-heart, Thank you!

Cerebralmum, The more we can love ourselves the more likely, I think, we are to find someone who loves us. Welcome!