So, it’s Friday night. People are out turning up. I’m chilling in my bed in my happy place, surrounded by books. And I’m thinking about love.
All you need is love.
Love is the cure.
Love one another.
Love, love, love.
This year, I have contemplated the above statements about love and what they truly mean. I have tried to understand them, because I honestly couldn’t fully “get” what they meant before.
I was taught at a young age “to love others.” And while that is important, I have realized that I cannot give love to others, unless I am full of love to give.
Maya Angelou once said, “I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me, ‘I love you.’ … There is an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.”
Because seriously. If I am offering you my time, love, and attention, while not giving any to myself–I CANNOT TRULY BE LOVING. I am only being nice. Nice and loving are two different things.
For years, I wanted to be nice. My intention was to be nice, because I thought that’s what GOOD PEOPLE DO, right? But the problem with doing things just to be nice, is that people will KEEP asking you to do nice things, since you’re soooooooo damn nice. And then you’re exhausted. And you start to feel upset. And you don’t know WHY you’re upset and you may even take it out on other people–because that frustrational energy has to go SOMEWHERE. It either comes out in your emotions or in your health. It doesn’t just disappear.
People pleasing is hard on the body.
But because I excelled at screwing up my life, I didn’t stop at people pleasing. No, no, that wasn’t enough. I also used to do “loving” things in fear, instead of in love, while I TRICKED MYSELF INTO THINKING I WAS being loving.
When we do “loving” things from a place of fear–that’s not love. That’s trying to control the outcome of something.
For example, I would try to be the “perfect girlfriend” and do all these “nice things” for a guy I was dating, in hopes that he would still want to continue dating me. Eww. Now I read that, and I’m like, “Damn, that was me?” Yes, Emily; yes it was.
Because that crap NEVER worked. When you do things in love, YOU ARE NOT ATTACHED TO THE OUTCOME. You are not giving love in order to receive. You are not expecting the other person to return the favor. Because it’s not a favor. It’s love.
And THAT’S why love wins. That’s why real love is a courageous act. It is a verb. It is brave. It is noble. It is living out your value systems. It is being truthful about who you are and accepting responsibility for screwing up.
But ain’t no way that I can dish that kind of love out, if I don’t practice loving myself first.
My two rules: love myself. Love others.
Love wins. ❤️
And to quote one of my favorite yogis: