Monday, May 7, 2012
The Starting Point of All Good Things: LOVE
It was the summer of 2007 and I was camping with Mr. RedFlags in a beautifully lush state park in Oregon. He had retreated to our tent and I was lying on my back, on top of a picnic table, staring at the sky wondering what in the world I should do.
Leave or stay in the relationship.
RedFlags and I had been together over a year at that point; the majority of the relationship spent fighting, mistrusting, questioning, knowing it was the wrong fit for both of us but ignoring our own instincts. That night he had shared yet another story from his past that I just wasn't equipped to handle. His load was too much for me to bear.
So I rested on that splintery wood and prayed to God and the Universe for an answer on how to proceed.
What came to me under the canopy of June starlight was a single word: LOVE.
I thought, "Okay, that's the answer. I have to just love him. Help him. Save him. Try to accept all of these things that my heart keeps instinctively rejecting."
So I made the decision to stay. And it was ugly. And trying to love him didn't rescue either of us from the inevitable fall we had lined up to take.
What I know now was that the word that came to me from some otherworldly instructor that night was right, but my interpretation of it was completely wrong.
It wasn't Mr. RedFlags who I was supposed to love, it was myself.
I'm not here to say that we should abandon the people in our lives during times of struggle or split when we feel uncomfortable. I don't think that's it at all. I do think we should give our love freely, but if we're sacrificing the love we have for ourselves in the process, it's a recipe for disaster.
You can't be happy and love anyone else if you're not madly in love with yourself.
Not a little bit in love, MADLY. You've got to know that you are the #1 most important person ever and that you deserve the best—or else all those little doubts and self-defeating thoughts will catch up with you and wreak havoc on your relationships and your own sense of well-being.
I believe that to get everything you want from this life, you have to start from a place of love.
Want to attract a guy who adores you? Start by adoring yourself. Want to land a job where you're challenged (in a good way) and appreciated daily? Start by knowing what an asset you are. Want to find the perfect dress for that upcoming wedding you have to attend? Focus on how much you'll love wearing it and how excited you are that it fits perfectly.
I'm sure there will be times in my future when I look back up to a night sky and ask for guidance on how to move forward, and I may get an answer like I did back in 2007. Only this time, I'll know the meaning of it may be more than I first think.