Being a Christian, I feel an indescribable amount of gratitude and peace because I was forgiven of all my sins when I gave my life to Jesus. All of them. Not just the little ones, even the big ones. Jesus found me worthy enough to die on the cross for my sins even though I am far from deserving and He asks only that I forgive others. When I think of forgiveness on such a grand scale and the price that was paid for my slate to be wiped clean, who am I to begrudge forgiveness to anyone else? Sounds pretty cut and dry, right? Pretty simple. And yet...
Let me take a moment to quickly clarify, because I'm sure you're already making a mental list of who shouldn't be forgiven... But he hurt me... But she lied to me... You don't understand, he cheated on me...
Forgiveness is not the same as condoning the act. Forgiveness is not about saying that what they did is okay or minimizing it in any way. Forgiveness, believe it or not is more for our own peace. It doesn't in any way let the other person "off-the-hook", unless you allow that, but more rather it helps you deal with the situation and move forward. In extreme cases, yes, you do still need to forgive but you do not have to remain a victim. Forgiveness is also NOT reconciliation, or tolerance.
"When you forgive, you in no way change the past, but you sure do change the future." Bernard Meltzer
Everyone has been hurt by someone else's words or actions. And you, yourself have hurt others with your words or actions. These wounds if left alone can fester as you think and rethink and rethink the offensive action. Soon, these feelings can turn to anger and bitterness and then even to vengeance.
But when you forgive, maybe not right away, but those hurt, angry feelings will soften and open the door for empathy which might turn into compassion and finally peace. Sometimes it's as easy as letting it go right after it happens and you move straight to peace. But for those other digressions, keep reading.
When you choose NOT to forgive, not only can it affect you physically, but the person that you cannot seem to forgive holds the power over your emotions. So every time someone mentions his name, you are instantly angry again. You feel it all the way down to your core. You can feel your muscles tighten when someone speaks about her. You thrust so much hate in that person's direction that you can't stop to think about your own life! You're so busy hoping, wishing, maybe even planning his demise that you can't find your own happiness. Soon, they encompass most of your thoughts and your dreams. She is keeping you trapped in your past! He is stealing time away from your present and your future!
And guess what? Your anger or bitterness or resentfulness is not affecting that person one single bit. He is moving on with his life. Either forgetting the incident or maybe enjoying the fact that you can't get past it. Or maybe she isn't even aware that she's hurt you. She goes along trying to figure out why you're suddenly so angry all the time. Forgiveness takes away that control that the other person has over your life.
Lewis B. Smedes wrote in his book Forgive and Forget, "When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself." Forgiveness is important, not always easy.
For the sake of this article, I'm going to focus on the forgiveness that needs to happen between couples to keep their relationships strong and moving forward. Forgiveness is a necessity even for the bigger wrongs, but that's a whole separate article! Anytime you open yourself up to love, you open yourself up to get hurt as well. No matter how perfect and wonderful you think your partner is, there is a guarantee of differences. And to me, forgiveness is hardest when the person that hurt you or wronged you doesn't admit or acknowledge when he/she is wrong or express any remorse over hurting you. But if you want the relationship to work, forgiveness is a must. A relationship cannot survive without it. Whether you speak of the incident again or not, it's always there. Building the wall; creating the gap. Judith Orloff, MD says, "Forgiveness is the act of compassionately releasing the desire to punish someone or yourself for an offense. It's a state of grace, nothing you can force or pretend. There are no shortcuts."
- The past is the past and cannot be undone no matter how much you dwell on it.
-When we get angry and resentful toward our partner, we tend to look for flaws instead of lifting each other up. Flaws are easy to find when you're angry.
-You have chosen to love this person, even knowing that they are not perfect.
-You are committed to this relationship.
-It will allow you to live in the present.
-You choose to live in peace and love instead of hurt, blame and pain.
-There is no love without forgiveness and there is no forgiveness without love.
-"Un-forgiveness halts all progress in life. Bitter people don't get better." Christy Lawson of Element Church
-Still need another reason? Because Jesus says so!! In Matthew 18:21-22, it tells us, "How many times do I forgive? Up to Seven?" Jesus said, "Not seven times. Seventy times seven."
- And for those of us Christians that have anger management issues, I have to say I am happy that "God has my back!" I don't need to get revenge because He's gonna take care of things for me. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written, "It's MINE to AVENGE; I will REPAY." says the Lord. (emphasis added.) Romans 12:19
HOW TO FORGIVE:
First let me touch on that I'm attempting to deal with two different kinds of forgiveness here. The first, forgiving something specific- something that's already happened and has been left unresolved. It could be something small like, he forgot about the dinner party so he stayed at work too long making you late. To something more serious like, she cheated on you or lied to you.
-Admit the pain. Acknowledge that it hurt and/or upset you. By denying the pain or pushing it down makes it impossible to heal; allowing resentment to build.
-The Need for Justice. When we have been hurt, our first instinct is to recoil away from the pain. And while we disappear into ourselves, we long for justice. We want the other person to hurt the way we did. Feel how we felt. At the VERY least, understand why it hurts us. If that is where you are, see if your partner will discuss things with you. Openly. Honestly. Keeping in mind that things may get worse before they get better. Be understanding and try not to yell. It's a discussion to try and convey your feelings and how the wrong has hurt you. Take turns talking and don't interrupt. This is a one time offer. When you have come to the end of your discussion, (unless you've made specific plans to touch on it again... ex: This is too much for me. I need some time to think on it. Could we talk again in a few days?), you have to agree to let it go. You can't hold a grudge. You can't bring it up again. You can't use it in your next argument next month. You have to PROMISE yourself and your partner that you won't replay it, relive it, or think on it hoping it will have a different outcome.
-Your partner is only human. That's not an excuse, it's a fact. We all make mistakes. Accept what you can't change. And if the same offense continues to happen, then there are some deeper issues to discuss.
-Reaffirm your relationship. See your partner as valuable and loveable.
-Let It Go. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Hebrews 8:12
Forgiveness is a slow process. Keep forgiving until the matter is settled in your heart. "Forgiveness allows the love to flourish and not be corroded by resentments and complaints." Frederic Luskin from Forgive for Love.
The second type of forgiveness is the forgiving of your partner's traits and habits that you know in advance are just going to irritate you for the rest of your lives together! (And keep in mind, you have some too!!) For example: forgetting to put the top on the toothpaste... every day! Or leaving the car on empty when you have to leave for work early the next day. The moment you become a couple and the rose colored glasses have shifted a bit, problems seem to emerge. No matter who you chose to be the other half of your couple, or how perfect he or she is, their will always be difficulties and discrepancies.
"It's the smaller annoyances or our negative responses to them that kills happiness between partners. The criticism can quickly build into resentment." Frederic Luskin in Forgive for Love.
- Stop the criticizing and complaining. When you spend your time and energy criticizing and complaining about your partner and how they don't measure up to your standards it builds a wall between you. It pushes away the unconditional and non-judgemental love that we are all searching for.
-Faults and All. Your main job as half of this couple is to love your partner no matter what. Faults and all. You love them as they are, not who you want them to be. And when or because you forgive doesn't mean you have to like everything about your mate, it just mean you accept him/her.
-Look for the good. Overlook the annoying. In the mornings before you get out of bed, forgive your partner for all the annoying things he's going to do today and then, don't let them bother you. When there is less anger and resentment, it makes it easier to look for all the good and wonderful things about your partner. So, while you're screwing on the toothpaste lid for the um-teenth time, forgive.
A few questions that were sent in:
Q: Is forgiving and forgetting really possible?
A: Forgiveness? Yes. Forgetting? Probably not. You have no control over the memories that randomly pop into your head or sometimes images appear in your dreams. But the trick is not to let them get a foot hold on your emotions. You need to continue to remind yourself that you have dealt with the memory and you forgave. Then let it go again. Keep forgiving until the memories no longer plague you. You can and will eventually heal, if you let yourself.
Q: What if I am the one who needs forgiveness?
A: A great question. I have come up with these few items that will hopefully help.
- Acknowledge to yourself, honestly, what you have done and who it has affected.
-Admit what you have done and apologize sincerely. Do not make excuses. Don't force the forgiveness. Just accept their response and allow them to hurt. They need to come to their own decision to forgive.
-Do what you can to correct the mistake. If no correction can be made, give your partner some space if they need it.
-Do not judge yourself too harshly. Forgive yourself and strive to be better.
Q: My partner has hurt me so badly. Even if I can forgive, I don't think I want to be with him any more.
A: Forgiveness does not always mean reconciliation. But forgiveness will help you to move forward. You can hold on to that anger to help you create some distance, but eventually you need to forgive, and let it go from YOUR life. And while I do not encourage the thoughts of revenge... but think of it, just this once, your best revenge is to show that the incident did not slow you down or diminish your happiness. Do not give someone else the power over your emotions. We cannot change people. We can only change the way we respond to them.
"You will know that forgiveness has begun when you recall those who hurt you and feel the power to wish them well." Lewis B. Smedes
Intimacy is my personal favorite of all the components of relationships. I am discovering that all the components are necessary for a relationship to grow strong and last, but intimacy is the spark.
It's like the dessert! You have to have your meat and veggies to stay healthy but knowing that there's dessert, just makes everything better.
Intimacy is defined as a close or familiar, loving relationship with another person that comes from experience and time; deeply knowing that person.
My definition of intimacy is simply speaking without words. It's that unspoken language that only comes from opening up to your partner, being vulnerable and allowing him/her to know you. It's when you're bonded with a person so much you've developed cues and looks and touches that mean so much to just your partner and you.
For Jeanny R. it means, "Having an argument before bed time and the touch of your leg with his equals 'I'm sorry', and spooning means 'apology accepted'."
Intimacy is more complex than what you might have originally thought, so here's a breakdown of all that I have found out.
Intellectual Intimacy refers to the meeting of the minds. Sharing your thoughts and ideas; your desires and opinions all with out judgement. You don't always have to agree, but your opinion is your own and respected.
Emotional Intimacy refers to sharing your feelings. This level of intimacy brings about a sense of of security. A feeling that you will always be a part of each other's lives. This is the vulnerability and opening up, risking it all to put your feelings out on the table.
Spiritual Intimacy is the sharing of your belief system. Praying together, worshiping together, believing and submitting obediently in something larger than yourselves.
Physical Intimacy. This level is the one many people think of when they heard the word. However, intimacy is not synonymous with sex. But for those that said sex should be in the top ten of making a relationship last, this, is where it fits in. Physical intimacy is important and vital to a heathy relationship but it's not the "act" that strengthen's the bond. If you work on the other three levels of intimacy before ever getting to the physical aspects, your relationship has a better chance of surviving. Remember, intimacy is about KNOWING. It's not about sleeping together. It's more than sharing our bodies but sharing our whole selves.
When the Bible refers to the sexual act between Adam and Eve, it was written Adam KNEW Eve. It was considered sacred and intimate. But later in the Bible when David commits adultery with Bathsheba, a different word was used. David... lay with her. (2 Samuel 11:1-5) Their intercourse was lustful. He wasn't serious about a future with her. He wanted her, but didn't want to KNOW her.
In my own humble opinion, you will never find intimacy with causal sex. It's what you're looking for, but you won't find it. Some people mistake that rush of oxytocin that comes with having sex as love or intimacy, but it's not the same. Both love and intimacy come with time. The rush of oxytocin is a temporary high. And when you come down off of it, you want to hurry up and find it again. Because it's what we're built for. To seek out love, companionship... intimacy.
Intimacy is that connectedness that we all yearn for. We long for someone to KNOW us. We long to be loved for everything we are. Unconditionally. Completely. We are all looking for the dessert, that makes the entire meal... perfect.
Here are a few helpful tips that might help you increase the intimacy in your relationship. Add one or two here and there until soon it will become an automatic thing, and hopefully your partner will reciprocate.
-Facing your problems together/ Share joys. Work together as a team so neither one of you ever feel abandoned. And on the flip side, share your happy times and good news with your partner so they can join in on your happiness.
-Accept each other unconditionally. Understand that you are not going to always see eye to eye and that you can't always agree but you can still respect your differences.
-Be supportive, but not bossy. No one likes to be told that they're always doing something wrong. So encourage your partner and when they ask for advice, or tips, always offer your expertise. But also be gentle if your advice is not sought after, perhaps all they need is a hand to hold or a quick "You can do it!"
-Look into each other's eyes when speaking quietly or intimately. The eyes are the windows to the soul. Bare your soul to your partner. He/she will know that you are paying attention to only him/her and that you hold a place of importance in his/her life.
-Be present with your partner. Don't multi-task. Pay attention to what he/she is saying. Be in the moment and let him/her know they have your full attention. Don't play on your phone or answer e-mails or watch television when you are scheduled for some one on one time with your mate.
-Be emotionally available. Be empathetic. We all handle crisis in different ways, learn what your partner needs from you and be prepared to give it. Be willing to open up and become vulnerable with him/her.
-Help each other achieve their goals. When you unselfishly stand behind the person you love and can watch them complete their goals it binds you together and also makes precious memories for your future.
-Touch. Hugging, kissing, holding hands helps to keep that regular infusion of oxytocin in your system. Be sensitive to what your partner needs physically, careful not to cross boundaries, and watch your intimacy grow.
-Be appreciative. Make sure your partner knows how much you appreciate the things that they do or say, never take love for granted.
You can see why it's my favorite, right? Knowing you're the most important person to some one can make all the difference in the world. But intimacy can't be rushed. Take your time, enjoy the journey.
Intimacy is something that comes instantly with our children, we work towards it with our friends, but we yearn for it most from our partner...
This is the first entry in the series The Components of A Lasting Relationship. When I put out a survey asking you what the most important aspects of a relationship were, the answers became the topics of this series. They are the top answers that I got back. It was pretty interesting that when over 200 people responded, there were clear cut "winners". There were ten that were continually repeated with "Trust" being the number one answer. But for the sake of the series, these articles are presented in no particular order as all seem to be equally important.
And let me take a quick moment to thank all who send in their opinions and answer all of my questions to make these articles much more personal and while I'm taking a "scientific" approach to love, your viewpoints and comments make it more real and close to home. So thank you.
And without further ado, I offer the first in our series: Commitment
"One of the prerequisites of a healthy relationship is that it is usually necessary to make a commitment in order to reap benefits."
-H. Wallace Goddard, PhD, C.F.L.E.
Professor of Family Life
The dictionary explains commitment as a "pledge or promise" and some of you say that there are "levels" of commitment, but in talking with you and doing my research, the majority of those who responded,when it comes to love relationships, commitment means so much more.
JoAnn O. believes that commitment comes in many levels depending where a couple is in their relationship. "Plenty of relationships have survived without a commitment, but even in non-commital relationships, the lines have to be clear." Meaning that even though the couple may not be destined for the alter, there is a certain level of commitment. For example, "I will date other people but I will only have sex with you." "I only want to date you." These kinds of commitments are usually found in the beginnings of the dating process and as a couple grows closer the commitment intensifies. But the couple needs to be honest as to the boundaries of your relationship and what each one of you are looking for.
Once you have the faintest idea that the person you are with could be "the One" wanting a commitment is a natural process that occurs on its own. Feelings increase, possessiveness and maybe even a little "healthy jealousy" sneaks in and before you know it, you can't stand the thought of spending time with anyone else.
"To me," Laura G. says, "commitment means that you are in it until the end. You can't just leave when things get rough. You choose to stick it out no matter what."
"Commitment starts as a promise," Heather C. offered, "But it's more than words. It has to be attitude too. People can be in a committed relationship for years because they feel that they HAVE to stay in it, so I think commitment is also about wanting to stay in that relationship. It's the attitude that you don't HAVE to but you WANT to."
Some make the difference between promise and commitment by saying that a promise is an individual thing. "I promise to take you to the concert." or "I promise to stop at the grocery store after work." But a commitment is an on-going event. "I commit to the effort to quit smoking." I commit that you are the only one I want in my life." "I commit that this puppy is a part of our family for its life." Commitment is more, deeper, consistent. It's a mind set that despite the problems or trials that may come in front of you, you won't give up on what you have committed.
Commitment needs to approached by both action and emotion. Action is, of course the doing. Taking the necessary steps to always keep your commitment a priority but then there is the emotional aspect. The feeling that what you have committed to is worthwhile. That it is something, or in our case, someone that is worth all the effort and sacrifice to make your world a better place.
On that same note, if the person you're dating has a difficult time keeping minor promises, the odds are pretty high that he/she will have a tough time with commitment as well.
Jennifer L. says, "Without commitment you have a loveless (relationship). Why would you stay together? Relationships can't survive without it."
A relationship that is built on an unclear foundation where one or both partners are not honest about their level of commitment will most likely be unable to sustain for a long period of time. Our minds and hearts need that sound foundation that in turn creates trust that futures are built on. Commitment provides a safe and secure environment so that couples can grow together in confidence knowing that their partner is always going to be there.
Couples state that this kind of foundation is rarely found in "singles" relationships because the "exit" door is always within reach. Married couples are more likely to "lock" the exit door or remove it as an option all together.
"Call me old fashioned," Larry R. explains, "but I believe you have to be married to be in a committed relationship. You're committing yourself to God and spouse."
Commitment is an investment. Commitment is a learned skill that needs to be practiced daily and refined as you grow together and separately. It will change and strengthen as the relationship grows.
Commitment is a choice. It says that in spite of all the other choices, options and opportunities that may present themselves, "I choose you."
"I think commitment shouldn't seem like it takes much effort. It should be something you want to work for. If it does feel like an effort, and the other person isn't responding, they probably aren't committed." Ryan C. added.
Nurturing Commitment With Your Partner
- Make the Relationship a Priority
Find common interests and build on them together. Take time out of each and every day to greet each other physically and personally. Make eye contact and heart contact.
- Connect During Conversation
Take a few moments every day to have some kind of verbal connection. Keep it up-beat, happy, inquisitive.
-Make Decisions Together
Get into the habit of realizing that you are no longer alone. You are part of a team and any decision that would affect your team mate should be discussed with him/her. You build trust and confidence when you plan future events, purchases and learn to compromise.
-Keep the Relationship Moving Forward
Be willing to try new things together. Create new memories, sign up for classes, revive conversation, find new ways to connect.
-Stay Focused on Your Partner's Strengths
Let your partner know all the things that you love and admire about him/her!
- Safe-Guard the Relationship
Limit outside intrusions. Don't put yourself in compromising positions. Never give your partner reason to doubt.
Commitment is a decision. The couples that choose to commit to each other are more likely to find the lasting rewards of deeper intimacy, trust, and loving companionship rather than by those who invest only half-heartedly.
Invest. Choose. Decide. Commit.
Many people are discouraged on this wonderful holiday of love if they do not have their very own Valentine's Day Sweetheart. What a waste of a perfectly good holiday!! I am all about the romance and the flowers and the being in love too, but should circumstances prevail that I do not have a special someone (or worse, a special someone that doesn't participate!!), it is absolutely no reason to sit at home and be depressed about what I don't have! If you do not have a sweetheart to celebrate this holiday with, then it was not meant to be at this moment. Because you are exactly where you need to be at this moment in your life. Perhaps you were meant to show love to others to keep them from despair? When you love yourself, you are confident and prepared to go out and show love to others. Do you love yourself? Are you aware of your self worth? No? Read on, perhaps we can remedy that!
People sadly buy into the misconception that if you have someone in your life, then you must be worthwhile and of course the opposite if you do NOT have a special someone. I'm here to tell you that it is just not so. No wonder there are so many sad singles on February 14th!! You are perfectly "whole" without someone beside you. Loving yourself is the first-step. The truth is that when you love yourself- only then can you love others and others can truly love you.
When you discover your self- worth and your inner and outer beauty you begin to radiate with self-confidence, and the opinions of the masses just don't apply to you any more!
So on this day that is totally dedicated to love, we will reflect inward so we can share the love we find deep inside of ourselves. Here are five helpful hints to begin the realization process of how wonderful you really are!
"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance." - Oscar Wilde
1. Don't Be So Hard On Yourself!!
We are our own worst critics and I am equally guilty of this myself.
Making Mistakes. Every single person makes mistakes. It's part of being human. The trick is learning what you can from them wherever you can and don't beat yourself up about it. Yes, take responsibility. Yes, fix what you can. Yes, apologize when necessary but then forgive yourself and move on!
Acknowledge your best effort. We can't always be the best, finish first, or snag every promotion. Sometimes giving our very best doesn't win us the trophy, but that is no reason to hang our head. Give yourself credit for putting in the time and the effort and again, learn ways how you could do better next time. (there's always room for improvement!) Celebrate your accomplishments even though things don't always go as successfully as you would have hoped.
2. Love and Respect The One Looking Back From the Mirror
Nope. You're not perfect. Let's get that out of the way right now. But you're not supposed to be. No one is. Can you imagine the pressure of being perfect everyday? (I love my yoga pants a little too much for that kind of responsibility! lol) So, accept that you have flaws and love yourself anyway! When you look at yourself in the mirror focus on those things that you really like about yourself. Your eyes? The shape of your lips? That wonderful curve in the small of your back? Find something and love on it. Let it bring a smile to those awesome lips!
Are you trying to lose weight? (And who isn't still so close to the New Year! haha) Be sure you are able to measure your successes in some way. Inches, pounds, pant sizes. If you don't chart your progress your just going along without purpose. Acknowledge your achievements and if your methods aren't working, analyze your situation, switch things up and try something new! (That being said, make sure you give yourself ample time for a test period. Remember, things don't work overnight.) Another benefit of loving yourself is that it automatically makes you want to take care of your body. For you. Not for the approval of any one else, but because you like the way you feel and look.
Love the things you can't change. There are just some parts of our body that we can't really do anything about. (Well, I suppose if you have enough money, you could do just about anything. But I've never had to worry about that so...) I personally, hate my feet but I also hated having to cover them up constantly for fear of what other people would say about them. Now, I'm barefoot 90% of the time and couldn't be happier. They're the feet I was given. They serve the purpose they were made for, and I'd be pretty miserable without them. (They're still ugly though...) Fix what you can, if you think you need to- love and accept what you can't.
You are unique. There is only one you. We all have different reasons for being here on this earth, at this time. Our past helps shape us, and the present lets us choose who we want to be in our future.
"My imperfections and failures are as much a blessing from God as my successes and talents and I lay them both at His feet." - Mahatma Gandhi
3. Be Honest With Yourself
Know your true self. Your strengths, your weaknesses. There will be times in your life that you might feel the need to compromise who you are to attempt to "fit in" or to make someone "like" you. Trust me. You can only keep up with that facade for a short while. When you supress your true self for any length of time, you do more damage in the long run. What was once artificial feelings of love and acceptance, turn to emptiness and self- doubt. I'm not saying not to try new things or expand your horizon. And on the other end of extremes, I'm not suggesting you be so rigid on your likes and dislikes that you don't bend a little. Bottom line- be who you really are. You don't have to pretend to like football because he does. You don't have to go to the ballet because she loves it. You don't have to sign up for yoga just because the rest of the office takes classes.
The real you will eventually come shining through (or break through the restraints!) anyway - so, let people fall in love with the real you from the very beginning.
"The more you love your decisions, the less you need others to love them."
4. Nurture Your Tomorrows
Sometimes, even as much as we want it, we don't have someone else to love us and encourage us or lift us when we're down. That's why loving yourself is so important. It's nice to have someone to lean on but when that's not possible in this season of our life, we have to lean on our own strengths. So make sure you're investing in yourself.
Do something that makes you happy every. single. day. Yes, you can. It's not that hard or expensive. A sweet treat? A favorite song? Watch a favorite movie or sitcom? Dine at your favorite restaurant? Read a favorite blog? Experiment with a new eye-shadow? Go ahead. Make a list. Then work through them. It's fun, you'll thank me later. And what a happy boost you'll get!
Invest in your dreams. As you know, I'm a big advocate of chasing down and reaching your dreams. So this post would be remiss if I didn't make mention of it somewhere! Seems to fit right here! Do something, even if its something small, every day or every week to get you closer to your dream. Not sure what your dreams are? Take an afternoon to brainstorm and write them down. (I'm a big advocate of lists too! lol)
Do things, read things, listen to things that inspire you. Surround yourself with positive things. The walls of my office and bedroom are covered with inspirational quotes and pictures of family and friends and of course my goal lists! The world tries so hard to bring us down. There is already so much negativity trying to get your attention. Let that bad stuff and worry roll of you and focus on the positives! Be inspired!!
5. Being Your Best Self
By following the advice in this blog, I believe you'll realize how wonderful you are. And when that happens, you'll be amazed at the changes that come from inside you AND the world around you! Self-confidence is a beautiful thing. (disclaimer: I should mention that although I try to follow my own advice - I do fall short at times as well. There are moments that I am shy and introverted and just don't want to talk to people or be happy and positive all the time and I get discouraged too, when I don't reach my goals or gain extra weight. But it's okay. Because that's a part of who I am and I'm good with that!)
The more you love yourself the less likely you'll be able to tolerate rude behavior from others. You set the standard of how you want to be treated. I promise you, they will follow your lead as long as you believe in yourself.
And when the time comes and you meet someone you're willing to accept into your world to love, by loving yourself already will only enhance the relationship. You will know who you are and who you want to share your time with. You'll be able to devote yourself to loving him/her without fear because you've been on your own once and you can do it again if need be.
And finally, perhaps most importantly, when you reach this level of self- love, you are more willing and open to loving others. Not for what you might get in return, but for the sake of loving, And that, my friends, is a feeling I cannot even put into words. When you figure out that love is the base of all things, the world just seems a little bit brighter, despite what the news reporters might say.
"If you would be loved, love and be lovable." - Benjamin Franklin
I realize that there is a lot of information crammed into a short little blog-post, but take bites of it when you can and come back for seconds when you're ready...
You are all kinds of wonderful. Are you aware of that? Take time to get to know yourself and love will soon follow.
"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world." -Lucille Ball