The greatest love you will ever experience is the love you have for yourself. This life is full of so many experiences that can bring your value and worthiness into question. We are often weighed down by the trials and traumas that catch us by surprise. Life is hard. It is hard to invest all you have in a cause or situation and not get anything in return. It is hard to compromise and bend to the will of others, just to wake up one day and realize that your dream turned into your worst nightmare. It is devastating to receive the biggest slap of reality from the thing that you believed would bring you joy. And most of all, it is crushing to hold onto hope; to believe that the situation would turn for the good just to learn you were the only one fighting.
One of the lessons I learned recently is that real love is personal and seasoned. Our love grows depth and breadth when we receive affirmation from the object/people we love. That’s not to say everything will go right, but seeing the object/person flourish under our love gives us hope that with consistency the outcome will be as sweet as the giving. Seasoned love weathers the hard, endures the harsh, and evolves. It shape shifts and becomes agile without losing its integrity. Weathered love is rooted in faith and hope, and anchored by the Giver of love. Love is reflective of the individual who gives it because we are incapable of giving love that is at war with our character. Simply put, our love is an extension of who we are as an individual.
Our love cannot be compromised by something that is not within our value system. Love is personal and exposes the most truthful intentions of our hearts. If you are faithful, your love is faithful. If someone puts their needs first or seeks instant gratification, they are completely incapable of offering a love that is sacrificial and long suffering.
If you are receiving love that causes you heartache, sadness, or to question your sanity and worth, look at the giver. Someone who is secure and grounded in themselves will offer stable love. A safe place. A refuge from your troubles and an ear that does not get heavy. If you are not thriving with those you are in community with, it may be time to build a new community.
As life beats us down, remember to not let it compromise your integrity. Love is a powerful gift that not everyone will get to experience. And more sadly, many will never know what it is like to love themselves wholeheartedly. We all know someone who would rather put their focus into something (or someone) else instead of confronting the hard truths about themselves. And the longer they avoid, the more they become void. Love is so powerful that it changes with the individual. If you do the soul work, love will work. If you heal, your love will become healing. If you develop patience, your love will be patient. And if you work to live in truth, your love will be truth giving.
Here is your gentle reminder that your value is not predicated on someone seeing it. Someone who is lost cannot find (and cherish) you. Someone who is not brave enough to sit with themselves cannot (and is not worthy) to stand in your truth. Someone who cannot acknowledge that they have hurt you, has not taken the time to heal themselves. Someone seeking the comfort and validation of others cannot support you when you need it most. You are worthy of unrestrained; peaceful; forgiving; un-compromised; grounded; safe and secure love that is whole and intentional. And before you try to give that to anyone else, take the time to give it to yourself first.