These words found their way to me - I share them on with you ....
If you seek to be loved, you may be disappointed because you cannot control others. You cannot ask for love because it is not a favor, it is a gift. But if you seek to be love, if you seek to become the gift, you will succeed. So, be a pillar of light, a fountain of love, a source of comfort. Embrace others with your heart. Even if you cannot help, the mere act of loving lightens their burdens, for they find consolation in your concern. When you follow this path, the love you willingly give will be returned to you. You will become loved without seeking it.
But first we need to love ourselves. Can we feed the hungry if we have no food? Can we shelter the homeless if we have no shelter? Can we give money to the needy if we don’t have any? How, then, can we love others, if we don’ t first love ourselves? The cartoonist, author, and speaker Andrew Matthews explains this idea in his own brilliant way:
“People who do not love themselves can adore others, because adoration is making someone else big and ourselves small. They can desire others, because desire comes out of a sense of inner incompleteness, which demands to be filled. But they cannot love others, because love is an affirmation of the living growing being in all of us. If you don't have it, you can't give it.”
So, forgive yourself. Be patient with yourself. When you do so, you will be able to forgive others and be patient with them. When you learn to love yourself, not for who you are but despite who you are, you will be able to treat others in the same manner. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else, but love can be. Learn to be at home with yourself and you soon will be able to be a source of comfort to others.
You have a reason to love yourself. There is a Divine Spark glowing within you. And you are part of the magnificence we call the universe. Yet, don’t become preoccupied with yourself. If all you have in the room of your mind is mirrors, you will only be aware of yourself and your own needs. Replace some of those mirrors with windows so you can discover the world outside and the needs of others. For it is in loving that we unfold, mature, and reach our potential.
What is love? It is care, concern, and compassion for all those we meet because they are our brothers and sisters. When we give our time, devotion, and energy to others, we give the greatest gift of all, ourselves. Love is an idea. Service is how that idea is expressed. Love is a mother kissing her child's wound, a teacher inspiring a student, and a spouse encouraging their mate. It is solace and encouragement, kindness and tenderness. It is a listening ear, a sympathetic heart, a welcoming gaze, and a tender touch. It is unconditional acceptance, for how can you love someone you try to change? Besides being an invaluable gift to others, love is a gift to ourselves because it adds meaning and purpose to our lives.
St. Augustine describes the appearance of love: “It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” Love is also the great healer. It heals conflict, hatred, and injustice and as Martin Luther King Jnr. said, “Darkness can not drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
What about love between couples?