Who Do You Love The Most?

It’s fitting for this topic that I begin at the.. well.. beginning. Self love is the root of so many virtues. And by self love, I don’t mean narcissism, or pride, or arrogance.

Then, what is love? (baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more It is such a loosely used term that it loses its sacredness as it’s tossed around and mistreated. It is: the complete acceptance, appreciation, and respect of one’s mind and soul. Body, too, but I’ll discuss that in another article.

So, who do you love the most? Is it your friends? Your dog? Your boyfriend? Your company? Your mother?

Or.. is it you? Do you love you? Do you value you? Do you respect you? Be honest with yourself, and answer these questions to assess where you’re at with your self love. This is by no means an easy evaluation, because to be honest with yourself, you must – you guessed it – love and respect yourself.

In order to ever truly love someone else, and have a successful, healthy relationship, you must first truly and fully love you.

Know Thyself

self love

You cannot truly embrace what you cannot identify.

There is only one thing that you will have your entire physical life, and that’s yourself. Therefore, the best investment that you can make is in yourself! Invest in your education, invest in your health and fitness, invest in your skill sets. By constantly striving to be your best, you will learn so much about yourself! And not only that, but you will grow.

Here’s something that I only within the past 6 months started doing, and THANK GOD I finally did. Stop living for other people! First and foremost, live for YOU. & I’m definitely not saying to be selfish and unrelentingly set in your ways.

Don’t let other people, especially adults older than you who think they know the magical secret to life and happiness, dictate what they think you should do with YOUR life. They are not the ones who have to live your life, YOU ARE!

You are beautiful, you have gifts, and you have a purpose! One of my favorite quotes from Einstein is, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Here’s something I didn’t myself believe for most of my life: not everyone who is intelligent is meant to be in a STEM career! Like Einstein proposed: everyone is a genius, but not everyone is the same TYPE of genius.

One of the best things that I ever did to better get to know and understand myself is take the Myers-Briggs 16 personality assessment. And yes, I know, not all 7 billion of us can fit into 16 types, but it’s soooooo useful to have a fairly specific idea.

Take the MBTI personality test here. This test helped me to identify why I always felt so out of place among other intellectuals in the field of engineering. It then helped me to recognize, harness, and USE my strengths to be successful, happy, and content with myself. Comment below your results!

Kindness and purpose will inevitably flow from you to grace others when you know yourself and use your gifts.

Love Thyself

self love

If you truly loved yourself, you would never hurt another.

Someone who loves themselves is already full of love. They don’t need someone else to give it to them (though it would be nice). They aren’t starved for validation, affection, or kindness. Those things already fill someone who loves themselves up to the brim.

Therefore, anyone who truly loves themselves will never stay in a toxic relationship. They respect themselves and acknowledge their worth more than their need for love from someone else.

I cannot tell you how many young people I’ve counseled who are down in the dumps over someone who doesn’t value, respect, or love them. They don’t return calls, make effort in the pseudo-relationship, don’t want to define any boundaries, etc.

If you find yourself in such a situation, let me ask you:

  1. Is the pain you’re letting someone else put you through worth your addiction to this person?
  2. Why are you holding on? Are you holding out, dreaming of a perfect future with this person? Or, are you reminiscing of your perfect past? If so, are you even happy NOW? If not, why are you staying with someone who is emotionally tormenting you?
  3. What are you gaining from this pseudo-relationship? Is it anything positive?
  4. Do you know your worth? Are you worth more than the way that this person is treating you?
  5. Who do you love the most? Is it you? Or is it the illusion of someone that may one day love you, but currently doesn’t, and possibly never will?

If this is you, you need this book. It’s called The Mastery of Love, and it has given me so much insight about loving myself and perspective about others. Don’t believe just me: it’s on Oprah’s book list! Click here to see one of the top 5 books that has shaped my life. You’ll be so happy that you read this, I promise. It’s a game changer.

We must practice loving ourselves by respecting our time, bodies, and emotions. This is not an easy task, which is why I’ve labeled it as a “practice”. You must strive everyday to love yourself, and when you do, your life will inevitably become more positive, spirit-filled, and happy.

Love Others

You cannot give what you don’t have for yourself. But when you do have something, in abundance, you can share it with others. Such is love.

In such a consumer-driven culture, we live under the delusion that receiving and taking will make us content. This is not even close to the truth. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Giving is what makes us happy.

Think of a time when you felt needed, participating in a task that you were a perfect fit for. Perhaps it was during a sports game, or during a group project.

How amazing did it feel to have purpose? To feel like you were a great fit, and therefore could contribute in a way that benefited -not just yourself- others?

Once you know and accept yourself, and you love yourself, you can take that fullness and share it with others. Lighting up someone’s world with the kindness, purpose, and pure love that you have yourself harnessed… this is life’s greatest gift. This is how you become happy.

So that’s all the idea strings I have floating around in my head for now on this topic.

When you know yourself, you can love yourself, and then you can love others.

Will be posting soon (per the request of many) on romantic-style relationships, particularly pertaining to their new context within a society that’s taken such sudden leaps of growth in the way we communicate.

Aka, Millennials and dating: a present day tragedy.

Stay tuned, and comment below what self love means to you!

Until next time, lovely, stay WILD!

Originally published at www.blissful-bohemian.com