I've mentioned that this blog, for me, is about my overall health. It's not just about the weight. I want to talk about something very important to me today: LOVE. Next week is Valentine's Day, and everyone is talking about candy, chocolates, and we're inundated with jewelry ads. That, my friends, is not love. That is commercialism and materialistic. A hug from my husband means more to me than a necklace ever could. (Not that I don't appreciate jewelry, Babe - I totally do. In fact, I can give you a list of things I think are lovely if you want it...) Those things just don't equal LOVE.
I'm not going to beat anything over anyone's head, but I do want to say that the best example of love is one that can never be matched on earth. Ever. John 3:16 tells us about the love that God has for us - so much that he gave His Son as a sacrifice for our shortcomings. He gave that for no other reason than love. He loved me. He loved you. He still does. If you want to know more about that or what it means to me, let me know. I would love to share with you about what God has done and is doing in my life.
The love that we have - that imperfect attempt at love - is still important to share, but don't think that gifts are the way to show it. My journey to better health is involving loving myself. I'm not good at that part of it, but until I really look at what makes me so valuable to God and love those things about myself, I can't truly love anyone else. I do try, though. I try to show love to people around me all the time. I show love to the retired Navy Captain that wants information on a room and feels the need to relive the old days when he was stationed here in the 1960's by listening for a few minutes. I show love to the stressed lady checking me out at Wal Mart by smiling and wishing her a good day. I try to show love when I feel frustrated and angry, too - but it's not as easy.
Now I'm going to sound selfish for a minute. If it offends you, sorry. I also need to receive love. Not in the pretty packaged ways, but in the genuine ways: kind words, a smile, a hug. It is exhausting to encounter people in my every day life who seem to enjoy arguing, negativity, and condescension - not to even mention drama. I am one of those people who always try to internalize things - to figure out how to make something my fault. Here's what I'm working on in striving for better health: speaking up when I am hurt. Not accepting someone else's guilt trip, judgement, or criticism. Not blaming myself for every relationship that I encounter that is hurtful to me. I'm not kidding myself or saying I'm perfect. I certainly do contribute to relationships where I end up feeling hurt, and sometimes it is my shortcoming that causes the instability in the relationship.
I know I am not the only person on the planet that feels this way. Hopefully others learn things from the hard lessons I'm learning. Human love is not perfect, but it is important. It's important to give it and receive it. It's important to WANT to give it and receive it - not do it begrudgingly. I feel like as I grow, many of my current relationships might not make it. The people involved in a relationship have to grow together, or it can't be sustained. I've experienced this in so many ways in my life.
So here it is: love me. Show me love. I will return it. Music and love are the 2 biggest gifts I feel that God has blessed me with. My husband, my children, my friends, my family - all those things are gifts of love from God. We all just need more love. I am making a vow to love myself - my faults, my weaknesses, my strengths, my journey.
Please take this challenge: Show love to yourself each day. Don't let others bring you down. Don't let situations in your life - stressful situations that are beyond your control - rob you of your love. The more you allow yourself to be loved, the more you can love those around you.
Love, my friends, is a crucial part of me being successful on this journey.