I love to people watch. There’s so much you can learn from people just by watching, paying attention to their gestures, facial expressions, tone, interactions with others…. I notice the guy who waits to hold the door open for the women behind him. And how his jaw tenses when they don’t acknowledge his subtle, yet polite, gesture. I take note of the lady sitting in the car next to me having a heated discussion with either her man or her kids. And my heart goes out to her because I see the look of pain and frustration on her face. I can’t help but wonder if the person on the opposite end could see her face perhaps that would put an end to the argument. However, I’ve realized that, sometimes, even when people know they’re hurting another person they simply don’t/can’t/won’t change their behavior.
The hook to Drake’s new song, “Marvin’s Room”, conveys the exact mood that I wanted to create in this post. What prevents us from loving others in a way that makes them feel good? And the answer comes back to one simple concept. Simple in terms only as it seems that so many of us have yet to internalize what the concept actually means. Self-love. When you have love for one’s self there is no desire or want to see another person in pain. About a month ago, my feelings were hurt from an experience I never thought I’d have. Someone spoke to me in a way that I interpreted as mean and insensitive. I could have been that lady in the car, frustrated and in pain because someone I loved wasn’t listening to me and in fact, was throwing me away as if I never mattered to them all. It was far too easy I said to myself. Their feelings couldn’t have been true because we wouldn’t be here if they were. There’s no way this is love. It took me a couple of days to move from that hurtful place back into my heart space, but when I did I realized that this person is my mirror. And I had to ask myself, how do I show others that I love and care about them? But the real trick was to ask myself this question about the people I know aren’t leaving.
It’s funny that we often neglect to behave lovingly towards people who we know aren’t going anywhere. Our children, our parents, and other family members often don’t get the opportunity to see how loving we can be. No, we reserve that for people who can either accept or reject our loving at their whim and according to their own set of beliefs about love. I’m just sayin…you can do better.
This is the “T”. When we love ourselves, when we act lovingly towards ourselves we don’t reserve a special kind of loving for any one person. We don’t wait for a significant other to go own a beach vacation, have a candlelit dinner or enjoy flowers and champagne. When we are masters at the art of loving ourselves, it doesn’t matter when someone rejects our loving because our love for self is more than enough and we know that there are plenty of people who want to be loved. Loving ourselves means that there are no broken hearts, just lessons. It means that we aren’t saving our love because it’s overflowing and, therefore, cannot be contained. Our hearts aren’t hardened with resentment and lack of forgiveness. Those emotions are fleeting ideals that our self-love obliterates.
So I told myself that I will do better. I will love those in my space better. I will love myself better. I will focus on being in a relationship with God and self. I can definitely do better than what I’ve done in the past. I’m not saving my love for any one person in particular, I’m sharing it with everyone in general. And when it’s time for me to take that leap again, I’ll know that I’m going to do better because I already have. Smooches!