So, it’s come to this. The time when we have “The Talk”. No, I kid. Sorry to set anyone back however many years to that time when their parent… Ah. Nevermind.
Today I want to talk to you about something that is in all of our lives, affects us all, and yet most of us actually know very little about. I want to talk to you about love. Love can be one of the most amazing feelings in the world with a plethora of good things that accompany the good feeling. Some of us may spend our entire lives looking for it, some of us spend our entire lives studying it, some of us live a life enjoying the love we have. No matter how you think about it, love has touched your life in some way. It feels good to be loved, it feels good to give love. Love is a very good thing.
Before you can love though, you need to be able to love yourself. There are a wide variety of feelings that I might mention in another post later, but for now, I’ll just say a blanket statement. If you do not love yourself, any feeling that you will have for someone else will not be everything it can be. Love is a very important thing. You can love yourself, you can love your family, friends, pets, world, country, town, and just about anything you can imagine. But you won’t be able to love anything fully or feel deserving of the love you receive if you can’t first love yourself.
Think of it this way: If you can’t love yourself, everything you do has been essentially cut down by a percent number. Lets say 25% for now. (That percent is based on nothing. It is only there for the sake of continuing discussion.) You love your (insert noun here) but there are always things you won’t be willing to do, conversations that won’t happen, fears you have, etc. It can be anything, and it can very simply be that you just aren’t giving your all. You are who you are, and before anyone or anything else can experience the full power of your love, you need to be able to love yourself. Accept who you are, respect who you are, love who you are, and then you can really give your love in its fullest potential where it is deserved.
Once you’ve fully accepted yourself for who you are and you genuinely love yourself, the second step would be to make sure that you can accept someone else’s love. It’s easier said than done, but a necessary step. If you were to simply love someone/something but you couldn’t ever accept that they love you the same way that you love them then there would inevitably be problems at some point. They might be small at first, but such things will always escalate if left untended. Letting someone else love you is a step that must be taken after you have first loved yourself. If you do not love yourself, you won’t be able to let someone love you. Your mind will just turn against you in some sort of fashion similar to, “I don’t love me, how can this person love me?” Don’t do that. You are who you are, you are unique in your own fashion and you are worthy of love. Everyone is worthy of love. So don’t let yourself or anyone else say otherwise.
The third part of this process is to give love. It can feel amazing when you give love. There are so many powerful emotions and they are all very focused.
“It CAN feel amazing.” What do you mean by that?
Well, I mean it can. As in, there is a good chance that it will feel amazing. But, if you give your love where it is not deserved then it will not feel as good. In fact, there are some situations out there where giving your love when it isn’t deserved can be dangerous to your health. A popular celebrity couple comes to mind on that matter, actually. Such good role models. With celebrities being kind enough to show us the dangerous side of what can happen when you give love where it isn’t deserved, the point is made rather clearly. Always make sure that when you are giving your love to someone it is to someone you respect who respects you in return. The ideal situation will be a mutually beneficial relationship. This doesn’t only mean between partners, but in general. For example:
You love nature, you water your plants and enjoy the smell and the sight of them. In return, you are given pleasing and relaxing scenery as well as scents. Maybe this is a weak example, but it makes the point. It is a mutually beneficial relationship.
In a relationship where one person/thing is harming the other, this is obviously unhealthy. This would be a situation where love is not deserved or just plainly shouldn’t be given.
I already know about avoiding bad relationships. What can you teach me about good relationships? About real love?
Well, here’s something that may surprise many of you.
Being in love and allowing love into your life can be very healthy for you, not just emotionally and spiritually, but physically as well!
Being in love can do so many things for you! I’ll just give you a short list to show you some of the wonderful things it can do.
- People in love have been found to have higher life expectancy. (Source)
- They are happier. (Myself,and Source )
- The intense feeling of being in love has similar effects to heavy pain medications. You will actually feel less pain! (Cool Fact: The study of how love affects the brain has created a field in neuroscience to try and create better pain relieving drugs.) (Source)
- Love makes you healthier overall. Various studies have taken into consideration the differences in eating habits and all other variables that happen from person to person. The overall consensus is that Love in its own right makes your body function better. (Source)
- People who are in love are typically more successful in financial ventures.
Don’t let this small list fool you, though. The benefits that love give us are infinite. We have only just begun to study what love does to our body. Everything we are discovering about love and how it effects us has only been good. In life, there is almost always a negative side to everything. With love, this is only partially true. The negative side of love comes when there is a loss, but the emotional feeling of love itself has no negative drawbacks. It can only make you happier and healthier.
But, like I mentioned a moment ago, things happen in life that we cannot control that cause us to no longer be in love, or we lose loved ones as they pass on. There are various reasons for why a loving relationship may end. There have been a number of studies done on what happens when people are not in love or when the object/person of their affection is no longer with them. The negative effects are fairly large in number and vary greatly. But I put together another list to highlight a few of the common problems.
- Serious depression
- Physical Pain (Source)
- Loneliness (Source)
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (Interestingly enough, being in love causes the same chemical release as OCD hence why some people are literally obsessed with their partners [Source] )
- Increased likeliness of heart attack and heart failures (This happens more so during a mourning period) (Source)
- Clogged arteries
- Overall lower life expectancy (Source)
With all of this taken into consideration, it is an obviously good thing to be in love and to give your love. It’s important to love yourself, important to let others love you, and important to make sure you love those that deserve your love. Remember and remember well: You are who you are, you will love who and what you will. Love needs mutual respect, mutual kindness, love needs a mutually beneficial relationship to exist. When you have love, you will not need to ask what love is. You will not need to ask anyone what you feel, you will know. Be passionate. Be who you are. Live, love, and be happy.
Be kind, and do something nice for a stranger today.