Unconditional Love & The Importance of Showing Up for Yourself
This past Sunday, I had a talk with my pastor about unconditional love. He displayed a quote on the projector that resonated loudly with me.
The quote came from G.K. Chesterston, saying, “The very fury with which people go on seeking pleasure/love is proof that they have not found it.”
We had a conversation about the concept of being addicted to love. I can guarantee that we all know someone constantly striving for the adoration of another. Perhaps we can identify times in our lives where all that mattered was the next job, the next salary bump, or the next apartment, constantly striving to get more, and always needing more to be happy. I realized that a lot of us struggle with unconditional love because we don’t give it to ourselves.
How many of us actually love and accept ourselves fully? How many of us can accept the ugly parts of ourselves and know that we are still loveable?
In my opinion, we don’t think about our needs, wants and desires enough. Selfishness needs to be re-examined. Many people will tell you that being selfish is a bad thing. As I navigate a new decade of life, I have realized that this new chapter is precisely about being selfish. Being selfish with time, energy, and not feeling apologetic about it. Take a moment to really think about this idea. If you are constantly putting yourself on the back burner for the benefit of everyone else, how does that help you evolve? If you spend so much time taking care of your partner, your friends, or your family, who takes care of you?
Empaths struggle with this concept. The definition of empathy is as follows:
“Empathy is the capacity to understand or feel what another person is experiencing from within their frame of reference, that is, the capacity to place oneself in another’s position.” It sounds like an amazing quality, and it is a great quality to possess. However, being empathetic 100% of the time leaves one susceptible to takers. By takers, I mean those who use you to their benefit and leave you depleted. Again, this could be a lover, a friend or a family member. It’s important to recognize that you are important too, and deserve relationships that will pour into you. You deserve to give that to yourself, that is how you show up for yourself.
Cultivate relationships that are mutually beneficial. Surround yourself by givers, so that you never feel empty. As you navigate this journey, remember that if you cannot love yourself fully, you can never give or receive love in its fullness.