Monday, February 28, 2011

The Greatest Love of All

Every Monday in February, we are focusing on some aspect of love. After all, as the song says, Love is a many splendored thing!
Whether you are listening to the George Benson original or the Whitney Houston remake, you know the song, The Greatest Love of All. If you listen to the words, you know that learning to love yourself , it is the greatest love of all.
Society would have us to think otherwise. Loving your partner, your kids, your career, your family, all seem to come before loving yourself and you can make an argument for any of those loves. However, think about it this way.
Those who don't love themselves often find themselves in relationships with partners who don't love them and give them the love and respect they deserve.
Parents who don't love themselves find themselves giving everything to their children to a point where they cease to have an identity separate from their kids. They also give and give and give until there is nothing left to give or to a point where they even begin to resent their children. Ironically, the kids suffer.
Those who love their careers, work themselves into sickness and sometimes even out of a job only to realize that all work, all the time didn't give nearly as much to them as they gave to it.
Loving yourself isn't synonymous with selfishness. Loving yourself means that you take care of yourself: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It means that you recognize that your needs have value, and that your needs are a priority. If you are physically ill or emotionally spent or spiritually bankrupt, then you are no benefit to anyone.
Loving yourself means that you set boundaries and standards for yourself. There are certain behaviors that you will not stand for or tolerate. Loving yourself means expecting others to respond to your needs and your requirements as you respond to theirs.
Loving yourself is the key to having loving and reciprocal relationships with others. learning to love yourself is indeed the greatest love of all.

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