We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.” Brene Brown
I positively love this quote from Brene. With Valentines day this week, love has been on my mind. Also because I talk about love alot.
Brene’s quote is so complex and yet so simple. It is so true that we don’t truly get to experience a profound love until we love ourselves with all of our weakness and our greatness. It’s hard enough to love those things in ourselves but to allow another to see our weakness and our strengths and give that trust back. Super scary! Having the security in any relationship to be yourself is amazing, freeing and beautiful. No relationship (friend, mate, work, etc.) is perfect, but when we allow others to be themselves, (the awesomeness and the low down and dirty), then and only then does the true bond begin. That freedom in a relationship comes from a secure place and a love of ourselves.
I wish that I had that knowledge years ago… no..no, I wish I had come out of the womb with that info. I was just talking to my son about the seasons in our lives. There are seasons where we are strong and our internal voices are loving and kind. Then there are seasons that I carried guilt and shame like a security blanket. We also have outside influences that inflict guilt and shame on us because they carry it too. These days, I should say most days, I have let go of the guilt and shame and have embraced love for myself. This kind of acceptance of myself changes the landscape of my relationships. In fact it changes everything.
This kind of relationship with myself takes work, takes a conscious effort. For me it is a day by day, moment by moment decision to love me the way that I am, to be open and honest (vulnerable) and to let those around me do the same. Some days I am great and others days I just plain ol suck at it… it is a work in progress. I am a work in progress, those around me are a work in progress.
My hope for you is, if you are in a season of guilt, work to shake that off, work on believing how amazing you are. Realize that you are a work in progress. Then watch how it changes everything including the relationships around you.
If you are in a good season, help those around you feel the love, acceptance and joy that comes from a guilt free relationship.
I mean this from the bottom of my heart…. You are loved.