I had every intention of doing a series on “love” for the next month. I thought it would be “cute” to do this series leading up to Valentine’s Day. My original thought was that I would do blogs based on creating and improving romantic love, increasing the giving and presence of love in general in your life, food that is “said” to increase libido and attraction, and maybe even a heart healthy piece. (No one ever said I wasn’t corny or dorky.) But as what usually happens when I think I have a plan for writing something, things change and thoughts present themselves to me that just seem too meaningful not to share.
To start with a dear friend (totally unexpectedly) passed away. Way too young and way too healthy, a pure spot of genius and love that this world will never be able to duplicate. If that last sentence didn’t make it clear, let me be blunt. This world lost one of the truest, most highly evolved individuals I can ever imagine having the pleasure of grace my presence, let alone be my friend. You literally could have just brushed by him in a crowded store, and when he looked down on you and gave that giant grin, you would have known without a doubt that you had just had a brush with someone so pure, wise, loving and awesome (in the truest sense of the word) that it had to have been a gift from God to remind you of what we are meant to be. I will never be able to truly describe what it felt like to be in his presence and witness his life, or what it meant to have someone like him be your teacher, companion and friend.
The thing is…no matter how deep the feeling of loss those that knew him have, we know without a shadow of a doubt that he would never, ever for a second want us to be sad or shed a tear for him. He would want us to celebrate his life. And most importantly, he would humbly impart that if he inspired us in any way that resulted in ourselves or our lives being more positive, more loving, to honor him by sharing that with others. Teach that to others. Multiply that lesson and feeling as if it were wild-fire spreading through a dry, untended forest.
While he unconditionally gave love to others, and had an innate ability to make you feel that love, even if you had just literally met him, I believe that the one thing he would say is most important, before all else, is that we must truly, deeply, BLINDLY love ourselves. That he believed fully in doing what we love, living the life that we love unapologetically. I know it sounds like some cliché that has become a part of our psycho-babble norm, but the people who seem to be able to give the most love, the best love, are those that seem to be totally and completely in love with themselves and their lives. I don’t mean to be in love with themselves and their lives in an egocentric way but in a completely joyful way. They feel love for all that they have, all that they are and all that they experience. They do it without analyzing, hesitation or judgements. It is the simplest act of Being.
I can say that there have certainly been times in my life where I’ve thought, “I love myself! I’m not self-deprecating or full of self-pity.” I also can say that it wasn’t until recently that I finally understood WHY it actually is important to have that self-love before you can truly love and give love to others. I can also say that I didn’t really love myself or my life as I should have, and I assure you that I have a long way to go before I reach the level of unconditional love for myself and my life that I do, in fact, deserve. I must remind myself to be as loving, patient and understanding with my Self as I am with others. I also know that when I changed how I loved myself, my love for others changed. The deeper my love for myself has become, the deeper my ability to love others has become.
So why is it so important, necessary even, for us to find true self-love for ourselves and our lives in order to love and give love to others better than we currently are? Because like it our not, our own feelings about ourselves, our lives, our actions and accomplishments create the lens that we view the world and others with. We do not often realize it or notice it, but it doesn’t make it any less true. So ask yourself, if you find it hard to be patient with others, hard to not judge others, hard to deal with others vulnerabilities-how are you dealing with yourself? What is the internal dialog you constantly run saying to yourself?
The other reason to believe that the more/better you love yourself and your life, the more/better you can love others is because like any type of “giving” that we do-it only comes when we feel, subconsciously or not, that we have an “abundance” of something or enough extra that it is safe to give some away. And like material needs, ideas or our time, we only give love when we feel like we have enough to spare. And the quantity and quality of that love is defined by how much and how great the love we feel we already have feels.
It is not selfish to find ways to live your everyday life so that it is the life you love. It is not selfish to give yourself a, “you did good kid!” It is not selfish to say to yourself, “I love you no matter what decisions/actions you have made in the past. I love you no matter how much you have accomplished or acquired. It’s ok to be right where you are.” This is what some one who truly loves us would say. This is what we are taught our God says to us. Are we not to honor the part of God that resides in all of us by acting in his likeness?
Give yourself that love so that you may learn how to more fully and more purely give love to others. No harm can possibly come to your life or this world from all of us learning to give more love and better love.
My dear Yosi, your untimely, premature departure may have given me the greatest inspiration yet to come from you. For I promise, to live every thought, action and word from this day forward filled with love. Because I truly believe, that all lessons that came from you were most simply and purely the act of love filled with the message of spreading and experiencing love.