Love makes the world go around. It puts a lift in our step, makes our heart skip a beat, provides an abundance of joy, confidence, security, desire, pride and puts purpose to our lives. Oh, but love is a contrary emotion. It also has the ability to break our hearts, cause us concern, leave us feeling lonely and scared and sometimes tricks us into loving the wrong people--thereby making it the perfect ingredient to help us develop. For love allows us to learn and grow from its very low, lows and rewards our progress with tremendous celebration during its very high, highs.
The reach of love is inescapable. It is apparent in each choice we make--the people we invite into our lives and invest our emotions in, the work we do, the causes we support, the tone of our conversation, and the spirit we bring to all relationships and situations. Therefore, it is also a great barometer for letting us know if we are being authentic with our choices or simply following the wishes of others in the pursuit of false love.
Love can also simply elude us or appear to be cruel at times. The pain of disappointment and loss can cause us to feel betrayed or unworthy of love. When those times arise, it is important to take a step back and lovingly remember that everything happens for a reason. No one walks through life untouched by disappointment or pain. These difficult times help us build character and an appreciation for the love we have known or clarity about the love that is right for us. They also provide an opportunity, if we are willing, to become stronger and open to greater love in the future.
Healing and growth come when we recognize the importance of loving ourselves. When we remember to love and respect our unique journey, we don’t compare ourselves to anyone else. The grass does not appear greener on the other side and we understand that true beauty is in the eye of the beholder and not in the opinion of another. By adapting this mind-set, we are able to shut out all the noise around us telling us who we are or how to be, and we are able to listen to our own voice and confidently follow it to a place that has been designed to bring the joy our heart honestly desires.
When we love ourselves, we achieve a higher level of consciousness, which allows us to more easily recognize people and situations that do not serve us. This awareness provides the confidence and desire necessary to gracefully remove ourselves from such situations and wish those who do not serve us all our best as they continue on their journey without us. When obstacles are removed from our path, we are able to develop an aura of joy and light that invites people and situations that do serve us, which is just the beginning of a new more loving approach to life.
Knowing that we are purposefully being true to ourselves brings recognition of gratitude for the many blessings we already have and makes our hearts even more filled with joy and love. Loving ourselves will not insulate us from pain, but it helps us more easily move through the pain because we understand that this too shall pass. We may have some battle scars, but we know our hearts will heal in preparation for our best days, which are always ahead of us.
Reprinted with permission from Renee Gatz
Renee’ Gatz has been an executive in the
ﬁnancial services industry for 15 years
where she has held a variety of marketing
and communications roles. Renee’ is a
graduate of St. Peter's College in Jersey
City, NJ where she earned a Bachelor of
Science degree in Business Management while attending school
in the evening and working full time. She lives in Woodbridge,
NJ not far from her childhood home.