What does it mean to be loved well? I am not talking about the physical ‘loved well’ that you experience with a lover you are in tune with, although the physical aspect is a big part of being loved well. Instead I am referring to the kind of love that makes you feel ‘beloved’.
It is often said that hurt people hurt people and while I believe it to be true, the same can be said for loved people. Loved people love people.
In a world that seems to be going mad, I think we have forgotten the importance of loving well. We are often so consumed with busyness, with striving, seeking, reaching, comparing, rushing, that we forget to simply love.
We assume people will always be there for us when we are ready or when we need love but the problem with that assumption is people need to feel loved to love. When we forget to love we create a chasm instead of intimacy, closeness and connection and suddenly, or not so suddenly, the people you love are no longer loving you.
The small gesture of making time to talk at the end of the day without distraction, or to call a friend just to say I am thinking about you, or to listen to someone in need, or to sit in silence with someone that is living in chaos can make all the difference in the world to that person.
We don't need to spend money to love, we need to spend much more precious commodities. We need to spend our time, our compassion, our forgiveness, our laughter, our hurts, our dreams, our plans, we need to share ourselves. When we do that we create the opportunity for others to do the same with us, we then together create soft places to fall for each other and to love well.
We cannot expect to be loved well if we can not love well and that love must start with ourselves.
For too many of us we were not loved well in our childhood which makes loving or being loved in adulthood challenging. We repeat learned behaviours such as sabotaging oneself when life gets good, or pushing away love when it gets too close for fear of vulnerability and being hurt or any number of other behaviours that keep us small or stuck.
It is hard work, rising above our raising, examining our beliefs and challenging our comfort zones, but it is necessary and it is OUR responsibility to love ourselves so we can love others. We all too often look externally to heal the internal however that avoidance only serves to make loving even harder, even more elusive.
When we can love ourselves, truly love ourselves, we accept all our flaws, we challenge ourselves to be our best selves and we forgive ourselves. We hold ourselves in compassion, with positive regard, respect and love. Really, isn’t that what we all want from anyone who loves us, acceptance, compassion, forgiveness, respect, love, challenge and positive regard?
At first blush that may look like a lot of work, taking the time to nurture yourself, to make peace with your demons or insecurities, to get intimate with what makes you tick and what you need in life but it is the key to loving and being loved well.
When you love yourself, you set healthy boundaries that serve to protect you from unnecessary drama and chaos even when it comes from those close to us. Sometimes, the most loving thing you can do is say good-bye or I forgive you and move on.
My wish for all of humanity is that we may all love and be loved well, I think if we did there a lot more harmony and peace in the world.