Over a decade ago I worked at a wellness center in San Diego and coined the phrase “well-full-ness.” And, with clients I frequently
teach people your well must be full of love before you have love to give to others. Knowing this I then started to dive into more specifically what in the world does it really mean to love yourself? And, how do you distinguish between loving yourself and living in a selfish way that is really only feeding your egotistical tendencies.
Actually, the more I have learned to love myself the simpler the answer gets. The more I truly love myself, the more I know what love is and the more I am able to love others. That is why in my book Attracting Real Love and my upcoming book How NOT to Love Yourself I focus so much on getting really clear about love.
In my Youtube videos (www.youtube.com/doctorlisalove) I discuss some of the myths of love like love is blind, love hurts, and love ends. In my articles and books I also talk about how love expands love. When you love someone you teach them how to love themselves and others more inteilligently and compassionately. That is why getting “well-full” with love means learning some of the following:
1) Love is Paradox. Love is capable of seeing both sides of something. It is a holistic view. It takes the time to look at the whole picture, see both points of view, and attempts to come to an inclusive view that brings about a larger picture. This doesn’t happen when people are invested in winning and losing, which leads to point two.
2) Love is Compassionate. In compassionate communication we are taught that most people adopt two options in communication. Option one. I’m right and you are wrong. That means there has to be winners and losers. So, either you win and I lose, or I win and you lose. So, if I want to win I will fail to consider your point of view or have empathy for you. Or, if I want to
lose I will consider your needs and point of view, and invalidate my own. This is not love. It’s abuse and victimhood. Option two. There are no winners and losers. No one is right and wrong. There are two people attempting to understand each other and have compassion for themselves and the other person. Calmly and lovingly they consider each other’s needs and wants and through dialogue work to find peaceful ways to help both people find what makes them happy. In my work as a relationship and love counselor time and again I see how people who can choose option two create magic and miracles together. Sadly, those invested in option one end up in eternal war. Or, the person who is trying to be compassionate has to walk away from the person invested in
the right/wrong blame game, until that person has suffered enough that they are willing to surrender blame/abuse/rightness and try a more loving approach.
3) Love Sees the Light & the Shadow. When we are invested in the win/lose game we typically don’t want to see the shadow in ourselves, or point out the shadow in others. In fact, we naively believe that seeing the shadow is someone not loving. But, love is inclusive, not exclusive. And, sometimes the most loving thing you can do is throw the light on the shadow, because only then
can you bring it into more light. So, love doesn’t pretend the shadow in yourself and others doesn’t exist. Love is not blind. It has 20/20 vision and that includes shadow and the light. In the light love attempts to include, reveal, understand, and heal what is going on in ourselves and others. It moves through shame and guilt by bringing about compassion and healing. And, it does so in a way where others don’t just let themselves off the hook for ignorant and hurtful behaviors, but work to change those behaviors to become more loving people.
Only when we can start to create a world where people have enough love to do the above can we move to the deeper aspects of real love, which goes beyond confusing love with abuse, neediness, codependency, lust, pleasure, addiction and pain. And, it is to that quest I continue to dedicate my life. I hope you will join me.?
Love and blessings to you!
Copyright 2011 by Dr. Lisa Love. All rights reserved.
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