Here we are…February.. .we’ve already reached the second month in our 2019. Traditionally, by the beginning of this month, in the supermarkets, on social media and in all of the various kinds of marketing our eyes glaze over. We have well and truly been saturated with ideas of the perfect gifts to give and the most romantic ways to indulge the lover in our life, to show how deep our affection is for them and to win their hearts forever!
I love that this is a time where there is such a focus on loving those in our lives well. I think about it more as a reminder to check in on how well I’m loving those in my world every day. Both in my professional space and in my personal world. I also observe the pressure and the sadness that settles in for those who don’t find themselves in the ideal, loving relationship scenario. Or for those who find themselves without that special someone to pour out their affection on.
But perhaps the biggest tragedy in all of this is another kind of scenario that many find themselves in. Some of these people are in a relationship, some are not. They’re looking for something, a gift that will ultimately change the trajectory of their life, but often they’re unable to pinpoint exactly what that mysterious gift is…hoping that someone might one day hand it to them neatly packaged, tied up with a gold bow, which in turn would give them that sense of worth, that feeling of being inextricably valued just as they are in this very moment.
It has been the cause of my very curious research in the last decade wondering, observing and conversing with individuals about what one of the key ingredients is to finding “true love”. My conclusion is that one of the most important key components is “self-compassion”, coupled with vulnerability.
In the words of the greatest man to ever have walked the planet.
“Love each other as you love yourself.”
Simple, yet profound.
True love begins with learning to love YOU – as you are – perfectly, imperfect! Acknowledging your inadequacies, your fears, your mistakes, your pain and your past (we ALL have them). All the while being committed to personal growth and change – which is a life-long journey. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable – to be deeply seen, and to love with your whole heart.
Now, you may be thinking at this point…”But Glenda you have no idea about my story. If you were me and endured all I’ve endured, you’d have a hard time loving yourself too!”
And you’re right. I don’t know your story. But what I do know is that through all of life’s most challenging circumstances it IS possible to learn to truly know, accept and love who you are…even in the darkest of moments. It will be a process, a journey that takes some time and requires some assistance along the way. Regardless, I can tell you that it WILL be worth it. Learning to LOVE YOU is the secret ingredient to finding “true love”.
Brené Brown says it like this:
“…Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky, but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on LOVE, belonging and joy – the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.”
LOVING YOU…whatever stage of the process you may be, allowing yourself to be vulnerable (which is never “weakness”, but undeniable strength), to know yourself and allow yourself to be known, results in reaching a place where you will begin to truly, authentically love others as you allow them to love you especially in the most vulnerable of places.