Teach Me How to Love

" To choose the action of love is powerful. To choose to love thyself is an unbreakable force." - Jo Morrison 

"Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home." -Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Hello lovelies. Welcome back. 

Lately the thought of love has been on my mind.

We live in a world where the word love is thrown around so lightly, when the word love has such a heavy meaning. There are quotes plastered all over the aisle of Home Goods, in coffee shops, and tattooed on our bodies. But do we really understand what it means to love? Is love an emotion or a choice?

How do we learn to love ourselves unconditionally?

Well lets have a look at the definition of love : Love: an intense feeling of deep affection. Lets take this a little further. Intense: an extreme force, degree, or strength. Last but not least, let's look at the definition of Affection: a gentle feeling of fondness or liking.

So we can define Love as an extreme feeling of deep fondness or liking.
Now that we have a definition, lets address question number uno. 

Do we understand what it means to love? 

Loving isn't based off of our emotions. To love, we must be selfless. We must see the good in others always. To love someone is not as easy as just loving them while they're on your good side. Real  love is unconditional. It knows no wrong. Love is patient, kind, does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on it's own way; it is not irritable or resentful. It does not rejoice at wrongdoing; but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) That is what it means to love, unpacked, raw, and unedited. 

I bet you're second guessing using that word so frequently huh?

Now that we have unpacked the depth of what it really means to love, let's jump right into question number two. 

Is love an emotion or a choice ? 

I mentioned before that love is unconditional, at least real love is. But what does the word unconditional really mean? I'm glad you asked. 
Unconditional: wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unquestioning
From that definition alone, I'm sure that the answer to this question is already becoming apparent and.. 

This is getting deeper and deeper by the minute. 

To be able to love unconditionally, we have to be able to get over and passed our feelings. Love is not an emotion, it is an action. You have to actively love wholeheartedly. If love was an emotion, we would fall in and out of love on a daily bases. To truly love, we have to make the decision to do so daily. 

So dear children, let us not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions
- 1 John 3;18 

This verse clearly sums up and answers our question. We have to choose to love. Love is not 
an emotion. 

Let's take a moment of silence to let all that we have just learned marinate...

The question is how do we apply this to ourselves? The opening quote is one that I love. "Find the love you seek by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home."

We can not begin to love others unconditionally, if we do not love ourselves. We all have flaws, insecurities, and thoughts that cause us to doubt ourselves. But there is hope. Let's remind ourselves of what the word unconditional means.

Unconditional: wholehearted, unqualified, unreserved, unlimited, unrestricted, unquestioning

 My favorite words from the definition of unconditional are unrestricted, wholehearted, and unquestioning.  Although we all have these insecurities that may make us feel unworthy of even our own love, there is a choice to be made. We have to choose to love ourselves first and foremost...

Wholeheartedly : free from all reserve and hesitation, completely and sincerely devoted.

You have to be devoted to loving yourself. Devoted to seeing the good in YOU. Without hesitation, don't you deserve that? (And if a no is sneaking into your mind, find the nearest mirror, and no matter how long it takes, tell yourself that you do.)

Unrestricted: not Limited, or restricted.

You have to practice loving yourself to infinity and beyond. There is cap on how much love you should have for yourself. Let's make it a daily habit to tell ourselves that we love ourselves with our whole being. As we begin to speak these things to ourselves, and out loud, those insecurities have no choice but to bow down.

Unquestioning: accepting something without dissent or doubt.

Accept yourself. Truly accept who you are. Stop doubting that you are amazing. Stop doubting that there is a specific purpose for your life. See the things that others may see as flaws, as beautiful accents that make you who you are. Speak to those things that contribute to your doubt. Have the confidence to work towards being a better you. Accept yourself. With no doubt.

Now I am aware that some of the reasons that we find it hard to love ourselves are caused by events that may have taken place, or just years of telling yourself that you do not deserve to be loved. These factors may make it easy to think "Easier said than done."

But we have to start somewhere. 

Let's make a promise today, right now, to start uplifting ourselves. Find one thing that you love about you and focus on that. Highlight it. As you begin to focus on that gem, other beautiful things within you will begin to arise.We are also going to take control of our thoughts. We will find a mirror daily and tell ourselves..

I love you, unconditionally, wholeheartedly, and unquestioningly.

As you begin to love on yourself, love for others will exude from your every being. Love is a choice. Choosing the action of love is powerful, but choosing to love yourself is an unbreakable force. OU my friend, are worthy of love.



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