Give love and forgiveness this holiday season
Give love and forgiveness this holiday season
The ability to love others begins with the ability to love yourself. Dealing with the painful *ish that life serves you can present challenge after challenge but you must remain connected to the love that is within yourself. Spreading love like wildflowers is great but what happens when the smoke of residual love starts shooting from your life like a car choking on fumes? You can not give someone something that you do not have.
For a long time, I walked around life tip-toeing on the issue of loving myself. I was an orphan and everything that I did was through the eyes of a hurt little girl who lost both parents. The light in my eyes turned dim and I felt as though I had to be all things to all people to make it in the world. In the process of being all things to all people, I realized that at the end of the day, I would always come up short and feel bankrupt -emotionally, spiritually, and financially.
The ones that I thought I could depend on disappointed me everytime and I learned the language of compensation, making the whole world pay for their mistake and my ultimate shortage of feeling causing me to have a conditional love for myself.
I’ll say it again…….You can not give someone what you do not have. You can’t dish out heaps of love to other when you are struggling to love yourself. Love is a word that is fickle and must endure through many situations to stand the test of time. Love has always been the foundation of what we do and who we are; but many have lost the connection to love due to the presence of pain.
Pain can cause the sensititvity of love to be hard as rocks and unable to translate into any hope for the future. Love is a powerful emotion. For you to love others, you must connect with the love you have for yourself. It has always been there, yet many people are disconnected from loving yourself due to layers of fat, addictive habits, abused relationships, words that scar, and situations that don’t have a silver lining.
Love is love and is so strong it can melt the hearts of the hurt with one encounter, turning the conditional into unconditional.
Think about the following question?
What parts of your authentic self did you have to hide or camouflage in your childhood?
At the heart of each of us is an authentic self that is waiting to love and be loved. Getting to the heart of the issues that consume us and stop us from moving forward in life is essential for us to keep the progression strong for loving ourselves. Getting to the heart of the issues that are consuming us is the only way to ensure that we will not slip out of like with ourselves and enter into a state of perpetual blaming and self-infliction leading to a a cycle of abuse. There is no need to hide those sections of yourself that make you who you are because they are deeply rooted and must surface for the essenceof you to be expressed.
God has placed an authentic expression in each of us. He wants us to love ourselves on purpose so that we are free to love others unconditionally.
Gheesh……..I really enjoyed writing this piece and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Please feel free to share your story of loving on purpose in the comment section below.
Bargaining is a postponement of the inevitable situation that the person is facing. The stage is brief yet potent as it attempts to create a system of rewards for behavior in exchange for longer life or time to settle differences or spend time with loved ones. Through the process of this stage, a person seeks to enter into a trance state of mind, absent from the pain of their illness or the shopping cart filled with prescription medications that they must take on a daily basis.
Depression is the process of acceptance in the realization that the bargaining will no longer suffice and a person’s reality must prevail (Kubler-Ross, 1997). In this mindset, anger is turned inward and the person makes a decision to remove themselves from the participatory factor of their life.
Acceptance is a state of looking to what is ahead in expectation that it is better than the trials or issues they are currently facing. It is a peace that surpassed all of the understanding that they hold and in some cases an inner knowing that all will be well.
My mother, Talmer Joyce Solomon experienced these stages of a regular basis as she courageously faced her battle with advanced stage cancer. The news came at a time inconvenient for our family of course, having just loss a cousin to murder and a grandfather to illness. Having just lost my father to a massive heart attack 1 month before, my mother confidently planned my 21st birthday party at my aunt’s house. Not really in a mood to celebrate, our family collectively mustard courage to do so. At this stage, my mother was quite frail and had begun to weaken yet she still attended and actively participated in my birthday festivities.
From the planning of my sister-in-law’s bridal shower, preaching at her church, to attending my birthday party, my mother did not have to cut deals with God because she was a woman of faith and I believe, bargain, or no bargain, she was blessed with “stronger” days than “weaker” days so that she could enjoy her children and assist us in our grief from my dad’s death. I believe that her seeing us laughing and carrying on gave her a peace in knowing that we could continue to function with time and have parties to celebrate our birthdays with the absence of her and our father.
The bargaining and depression stage for my mother was short-lived because while at my party, her breathing began to slow and she grew tired quicker so she needed to lie down and rest. I remember leaving my party and going home with my mom and laying down next to her on the bed listening to her breath with great effort. It was apparent that her lungs were filling with fluids but she did not complain. I remember just laying next to her as she slept asking God to heal her.
The acceptance for my mom came in the form of asking God for “divine healing”. Although I was at an age to understand what this meant and not being able to speak for my siblings, I believe that my mother had accepted that the doctors could do all that they could having accepted that long life with no hurt, for her, meant relocation to a space that was out of this world. So far away and unable to call collect, I eventually accepted her desire and supported her decision to make preparations to join my father, her husband in heaven. Her acceptance was letting us go and as was ours to let her go. With much courage as acceptance requires, we let go (Kubler- Ross, 1997).
Kubler-Ross, E. (1997). On death and dying. New York: Scribner.