L For Love
L For Love
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”, said Buddha
Why do you think he had to remind people that? Because he knew that most people don’t really have any love or affection for themselves. If anything, most people feel afflicted and nauseated by themselves. Did you know that unless you are able to love yourself you will never ever be able to love someone else wholly? This is because you cannot offer someone what you don’t have. You can only give someone what you own one hundred percent.
There is a reason why Jesus told His disciples this; “Love your neighbors as you love yourself”. He knew that unless you love yourself first, you could never be able to love someone else effectively and genuinely. Loving someone else deeply and selflessly has to start with you loving you.
When I say love I need to be clear about something; I am not referring to sex. When I talk about love I am not talking about the worldly view of love. You know nowadays people have it twisted and thinking that having sex is a akin to love. No way! Those two are not relatives at all. You will hear some guys manipulating women [even women nowadays do the same to men] and telling them unless they have sex with them then they don’t really love them. That’s just so juvenile really.
I’ll talk about sex another day but for today, let me just talk about Love as 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8 says, but in this case I will be focusing on loving YOU. Before I do, let me bring this into context by sharing this quote by Lucille Ball. She said, “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”
Truly speaking, it can’t get any realer than this. You will only ever achieve anything in this world if you don’t love yourself enough to let yourself step out boldly. Not loving yourself will always hold you back. So how do you love yourself?
Let’s look at the hints given to us in the passage of scripture I mentioned above.
Love is patient – meaning it is able to accept or tolerate delays, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious. Have you been trying to do something for months but you are not getting it right? Have you been getting angry with yourself for not getting it right? Be patient with yourself. Give yourself time and as you do, you will eventually be able to do what you couldn’t do. Remember, even a human child does not walk on the same day it is born. Growth is a process. Be patient with yourself as you grow.
Love is kind – meaning having or showing a friendly, generous, and considerate nature. When was the last time you were considerate to yourself? When was the last time you were generous with yourself by appreciating the little things that you have managed to do this far? When was the last time you showed kindness to yourself in any way? If you cannot show yourself kindness, you cannot be kind to others genuinely. Kindness is one way you can show you love.
It does not envy – envy is defined as a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck. You know what brings about envy? Comparison. Stop comparing yourself to other people. There will always be someone cuter than you are. There will always be someone with broader shoulders than yours dude. There will always be someone with a better endowed wife than yours. Stop comparing yourself with others or what they have, and you will never be envious of anyone. Envy breeds jealously. If you want to know what jealousy can do, ask Cain the brother of Abel.
It does not boast, it is not proud – meaning it does not talk with excessive pride and self-satisfaction. Be humble. Be modest. Yes you may have done better than everyone else but you know something, it is best for your actions to speak for you than your words. You know why? Because when you brag so much, your good actions and achievements are drowned in your boastful words. Love yourself enough to be humble and modest.
It does not dishonor others – meaning it does not put others to shame. If this is the case, then why do you like putting yourself to shame? Why do you like doing things that dishonor you? When one does not love themselves, they always do things that are a disgrace to themselves.
Love is not self-seeking – meaning love does not put concern for one's own welfare and interests before those of others. In whatever you do, if you are only doing it for you then you definitely are self-centered and self-focused. When you love yourself, you will be ready and willing to share what you know, your experiences, your blessings, etc, with others. This is because you are comfortable in your own skin and you know yourself well enough to appreciate the fact that when you give to others, you don't lose anything but instead you open an opportunity to attract more and become better yourself.
It is not easily angered and it keeps no record of wrongs – let’s talk about this for a few minutes. Are you still angry with yourself because of that affair you had with that guy when you knew shouldn’t have? Are you still mad at yourself for going through with that abortion when he realized you were pregnant with his child, yet you are married to someone else? Are you still keeping a record of all the things that have been said to you and all the labels you have been given over the last 200 years of your life? Come on! That’s a lot of baggage you are carrying my friend. You know what? You need to let go of all that stuff so that you can be free to move swiftly towards your destiny. Carrying all that unnecessary baggage will only continue slowing you down. Stop keeping a record of wrongs and start keeping a gratitude log.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth – this reminds me of when you have a tooth removed. Every time your tongue will want to keep going to that hurting part even though you know very well that it will hurt you when you touch it. Stop delighting in evil actions and activities. Focus on doing things that are truthful. Stay in the company of people who are truthful. Avoid the company of evildoers. One of the things about loving yourself is being so in love with yourself that you stay away from anything that taints that love.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres – Ooooh! Where do I start with this one?
Protects. When you love yourself, you will be ready to walk away from things and people that make you bitter instead of making you better. You need to walk away from that abusive relationship girlfriend. You need to walk away from that retrogressive job where you know for sure the only reason you are there is because you are your boss’ side dish, and you get some good perks by being his booty call whenever he needs you. What will happen the day he upgrades you with a newer model?
Trust. You need to trust yourself enough to know that you have what it takes inside of you to become the best version of you there can ever be. Trust that you don’t have to copy someone else to be successful, but you can be you, doing you and being you fully and make it big in life. Like Shannon L. Alder said, “One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” Remember, only you can be you effectively and effortlessly. Being someone else is a struggle you don't want to go through.
Hope. You will never be able to make strides in life without hope. Hope that even if today you didn’t achieve what you wanted to, then tomorrow you will. Hope that even though your today is small, your tomorrow will be better and greater. Hope is what will keep you going.
Perseveres. I realized a long time ago that without self-love, you cannot persevere when trials come – and they will come. When you love you, you will know that even though you might be going through a challenge now, that does not mean that you are a loser or a failure. Failing today does not mean failing at life. Perseverance is what will allow you to fail your way to success.
Love never fails – when you love yourself, you will never fail yourself. It's that simple really.
I think I have said enough. But just in case I have not inspired you enough to start loving yourself then maybe this last quote by Oscar Wilde will do the trick: “To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance”.
Start having a life long romance with yourself today. Love You and you will be able to love others. To listen to my podcast on L For Love, please click here.
Be ignited. Be inspired. Be influenced. Become the best version of yourself by loving yourself all the way!