In honor of Valentines Day I wanted to write about "Love". I did not feel led to write about romance, but about loving the women in our life. We work to form the outside and beauty is often defined by how we look. This topic led to my I looking up quotes on loving yourself and most said, "You cannot love others if you do not love yourself."
Truth or World View?
Wow! What if I never learn to love myself...does this mean I will never love anyone? This seems so backwards. In fact, it was learning to love others that taught me to love myself. I had to learn to appreciate and respect other women in my life to see myself as a woman. I was fortunate to be involved with MOPS for four years when my children were younger. I came into it with the false belief that I didn't need other women in my life and I actually got along better with men. The fact is I never learned how beneficial having a female community was. I am not saying it is easy, but after sticking it out I soon realized that the women in my life became sisters and that we all walk a similar path.
Let's face it, beauty fades.
My husband once said something that released me from the worries of compairing myself to other women. He said, "Hunny, we all look the same eventually." I laughed at it but realized how true what he said was. What makes us beautiful long-term is really who we are internally. For a lot of women our bodies change drastically after having children. I remember being at MOPS and joking with the other ladies about what happened to our bodies after kids. I was secretly grieving and getting it out made me feel so much better. Knowing everyone else was like me made me feel at ease and learning to have a sense of humor helped me to love other things about myself. I am an advocate of being healthy and I am not recommending neglecting your health...not being scared of not looking 18 anymore, though, is so freeing. I had my "Aha" moment and never looked back.
Ever meet another woman who is glowing from the inside out? I am not talking about the supermoms who are perfectly dressed and have a perfect house and the perfect family. I am talking about the women who are inherantly kind and generous. The women who have nothing unkind to say. The women who have a joy that radiates to everyone around them. They have a healthy confidence that is not arrogant but makes you draw near to them.
Those Not Quite There...
Everyone has a story and is trying to figure it all out. I think for the most part everyone is good or started out that way and that they deserve many chances. Love is being a light and an example and not giving up on people. We are all a work in progress.
I hope the idea that we can't love unless we love ourselves is just a world view. It is so freeing to love others and have grace for them which leads to having grace for ourselves. We have to live with ourselves for a long time and after the beauty fades I hope to have a lasting beauty that is a light to others.
"Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." - Philippians 2: 3-4
"A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity." - Proverbs 17:17