But the phrase didn’t stop popping up for me. It felt like I was being forced to keep seeing and hearing the phrase until I understood it. (And I needed to understand it so that I could heal and move on with my life.) Now, I couldn’t tell you how long it took me to finally understand it, but it took a really long time… and then it finally did click. And that’s when I figured out that it’s really just a perspective.
Let’s simplify it down with a few examples, so that you can understand the concept much quicker than it took me to figure it out.
When you buy a new piece of clothing for yourself, you may do it with the intention of replacing something else in your wardrobe or getting for a special occasion, but really, you do it because you care about how you look. And you care about how you look because whether you’ll admit it or not, you do love yourself, and that’s not a bad thing. Self-love is how we and why we set boundaries, but that’s a topic for a different post.
When you do the gardening at home, whether that’s landscaping the whole garden, tidying things up, or planting new seeds, you do it for the love of nature and the beauty it brings. You might not necessarily enjoy doing the work, but you do it because you know that the results will make you happy. Again, something that you love.
Then there are the things you do which you could more obviously say, stem from love. Things like helping out a sibling, parent, child or other family member; Buying a gift for someone close to you; Volunteering your time for a cause or charity that you hold dear; Hanging out with friends…
But what about the things that aren’t so obvious? How can going to work, stem from love? Especially if it’s something that you don’t enjoy? That’s when you need to dig a bit deeper for the answer. Maybe you go to work just for the money; Money that you need so that you can live in a place that you love, have the car that you love, or to go out to places that you love. Or maybe you go to work because you actually love the people there, or the clients or customers. You don’t just stay at a job or workplace that don’t “really” love just because you’re too lazy to leave. There will be something about what you do or where you go, that relates back to love. And remember, there are MANY levels of love. But again, that’s something for another post.
Let’s for a minute, look at something much darker and see how that could stem from love. Because this is the one thing that REALLY had me stumped for a long time and stopped me from being able to let go of everything that is the opposite of love, and it stopped me from being able to really move on after all the bad things that did happen. It’s when someone does you wrong. When someone that you thought loved you, intentionally hurts you over and over again, whether mentally or physically. How could THAT stem from love? How could someone intentionally doing another person harm, stem from love? You could say that they did it because they were trying to make themselves feel better, because of that self-love thing. But in this case, they love themselves so much that they feel above everyone else. But if you felt above everyone else, wouldn’t you just not waste your time and energy making everyone else feel bad? Wouldn’t you just KNOW that you’re better, maybe call it out and tell other people reasons why you’re so fantastic, and leave it at that? It doesn’t make sense to pick on others if you feel so good about yourself, or have so much love for yourself.
So bullying others can’t stem from high self love. But it can stem from low self-love. Something so low that you would feel compelled to make others feel worse than you, just so you can feel better. And the stronger the other person is, the more you have to keep attacking them until they really break and feel worse than you, on a more permanent level. That attitude could stem from wanting to be loved – whether by and for yourself or by others. It’s a pretty sick and twisted way of looking at things, but yeah, I can see how being a complete arse could stem from love.
And that’s when it clicked. That was when all the multi-dimensional pieces fell into place.
I was in a toxic relationship. I stayed because I loved him. I put up with it because I loved him. It continued because I allowed it.
He did it because he didn’t love himself as much as he should have. He did it because he needed and wanted more love, but really, making someone else feel worse is a really dumb way of going about it. He continued to do it because I am a strong person and he loved my strength.
I walked away because I love myself but I didn’t love that life. I walked away because I love my children and will do anything to protect and care for them. I walked away because I love life itself and I wanted to love every single minute of it and see the beauty in everything again.
So I forgave him out of love. (And kinda out of pity.) Not of love for him, because that stopped a long time ago. It was out of love for humanity. I forgave myself out of self love. And I forgave my kids for not speaking up sooner because I love them and I know that they were keeping quiet because they love me and didn’t want to upset me.
And through all that love and forgiveness, I was able to really move on with my life and really see the blessings and love in everyone and everything else in life. When I finally got it, it changed how I viewed everything in my life.
Everything does stem from love and when we finally see and embrace that, life changes. So embrace love – any and all levels of it. Be conscious of how you incorporate love into everything you do, and you’ll probably find all those silver linings that you were looking for.