Love is an action word. It goes beyond the words to the doing. It’s the behavior behind the words that make the concept of loving come alive. Think about it. How often have you said something with your words, but your attitude, facial expression, and behavior said something different?
How often has someone said “I love you” to you, but his or her behavior spoke of something really different? When you love people, you treat them in a way that shows you care about, cherish, treasure, respect, and honor them. And charity begins at home.
How easy is it to say you love yourself, you treat your mind, body, and spirit with disrespect, or allow others to do the same. If love is really an action word, how do you express self-love? Some people believe standing in front of the mirror repeating “I love me” is an expression of self-love. Others believe if you we are beautiful, stylish, and wear expensive clothes, you love yourself. Still others buy into the notion that if you live in the right neighborhood, are attached to the right person, send your kids to right school, have the right credentials behind your name, or drive the right car, you show the world how much you love yourself. If that were the case, every rich person would feel good about who he or she is.
I am a firm believer that self-love starts with having the courage to be ourselves, under all conditions – to not compromise who we are in order to be liked by others. How easy it is to live a lie, live as others would have you live, at whatever cost. One of my uncles died young. He was only 43. While he knew he was gay for many years, he never quite came to terms with who he was. He allowed other people to define him. It didn’t work. Now he is dead.
Self-love is having the courage to live our dreams and do what makes us happy in life, so that we don’t wake up one day and say, “I wish I would have…” Self-love is about practicing self-care and making our health a priority. It’s hard to say we love ourselves when we don’t take care of our health, which includes eating properly, exercising, and maintaining emotional balance. When we love ourselves, we are willing to set boundaries and protect them, knowing that “no” is a complete sentence all by itself. When we love ourselves, we are willing to make amends with ourselves and keep them. Self-love is demonstrated in the choices we make in relationships, money management, and careers. Indeed, self-love is very much about the things we do, more than about the things we say.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groups, Google+ Circles. Feel free to subscribe to my newsletter.