...And the Greatest is Love
As I sit here soaking in this last week from being out of the country, I am noticing all of the gratitude that I have been blessed to receive along this journey of life.
For those of you that are slowly learning of my story, just like anyone else, I have faced some major adversity in this short life of 28 years so far. Before learning how to balance the Beast within the Beauty, I did so much chasing. I chased after love, chased after happiness, success, friendships, expectations, etc. I was a chaser.
The problem with being a chaser is that you never end up landing satisfaction and you always end up finding something else to chase...well at least in my experience anyway. I would seek validation in others. I saw how others saw or claimed to see happiness, success, and love and because of this, I never truly understood what any of that meant to me or why I wanted it.
Throughout finding myself, I began to finally grasp the definition of these words and what they meant to me....which leads to this subject. Love.
With having the best relationship I've ever had with my faith thus far, the bible verse that keeps repeating in mind today is (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a).
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
Rewind just even five years ago, I was just about the complete opposite to every single part of this verse.
What is it or what does it mean for you?
With this bible verse in mind, I see love as such a broadly explained word, yet so simplistic.
Whether it would be towards a person, things, creatures, experiences, it is there. Even in the worst of situations, if you look hard enough, you will find it.
Everyone desires to be loved, give love, feel love. Many allow pride, brokenness, anger and jealousy to block this feeling though.
So to continue...
While being away on my trip, I had packed what ended up being way too much stuff for the adventure.
Many items I had brought with me on this trip, I never even took out of my luggage. This made me realize something. I have been so caught up and distracted by so many things that at the end of the day, mean nothing. We do this so much with our emotions as well. We carry around unnecessary expectations, guilt, shame, and pride. If I were to die today, none of those things I had been stressing about would even matter.
So this leads to my next thoughts...
Upset with how someone treated you? Did you express it or is it bad enough to hold a grudge toward? Was that their intention behind it? Was it as bad as you are making it to be? Did you do something that could have caused them to act that way? Did you show love or compassion toward that individual or did you treat them with the same emotions you just took on?
Worried about the future? Why stress over something that hasn't even happened yet? Have a goal in mind but don't limit yourself to the opportunity that could be opening up along the way.
Feeling alone or not good enough? When is the last time that you showed love and appreciation to yourself and all that it has been through? Why must you need someone else to validate your worth? Plus, do you realize that you have a loving God that is always with you? When will you allow yourself to receive that love or give that love to Him? Have you thanked Him for what you have right now and the experiences He helped carry you through?
Things always have a way of working themselves out. Just. Let. It. Happen.
Embrace the moments for what it has brought you. If it was painful, seek gratitude in the lesson. If it brought you fear, be excited for the courage you just established.
Look around you right now....What are some things in clear sight that you love?
For me, my peaceful dog sleeping...cuddled up next to me.
A warm, comfortable bed for me to rest in.
The sun beaming through the window as it nourishes my soul...filling me with peace, nourishment, and delight.
A closet and dressers full of more clothes and shoes than I really ever would even need.
My laptop...so I can connect with so many of you right at my fingertips.
A roof, walls, and floor to keep me safe, warm and protected.
Love is all around us. I love the people that have been placed into my life....every single person. I love the beauty that lies within the environment...every single color, shape, and smell. I love the support of those around me who love me and teach me about myself, God, how they love, and how they need to be loved.
I love the heart that I have been given....to help spread the word that God has entrusted me to pour into others.
I love that people see things different from me. I love that people carry different knowledge than me, act different than me.
Write these things down for you. I challenge you to pick out one item in plain sight right now that you dislike, and keep staring at it until you can find a way to love it. Did that thing teach you something? Were you able to purchase it? Was it a gift that someone gave you? Find the love within that item. Appreciate it.
One other area of love that comes to mind as I'm pouring out my thoughts to you all is the love of a significant other.
Remember how I mentioned I was a chaser? Yup. This was the number one area I used to chase. While away, I also had spent much time thinking about this situation as well. I've always managed to throw a pity party for the fact that I was single and didn't have someone to come home to.
Although I still don't, I see it very differently now. I love the experiences with the few men I had an opportunity to have an intimate relationship with. I love that they taught me more about myself, what I need and don't need from my person someday. They taught me how to forgive....despite the hurt they had brought to me or I to them. Above all, they taught me how to keep my heart open to anyone that comes my way, rather than blocking out love and keeping up a wall which disconnected me from truly being able to give and show love.
Throughout all of these lessons, I've learned to stop chasing. Love others and watch love come to you. Love what you have and watch more come your way. Learn what makes you truly happy and watch more of that happiness come to you. Learn what matters to you, and watch success take on a new meaning. The final thing I've noticed, the more love I begin to notice, the less I feel the need of material things.
I know this blog has been a little bit of everywhere, but I just really want to drive home the fact that love is everywhere, in everything and in every experience. I really hope this even helps one person learn to see love differently...to allow themselves to heal enough to not pack unnecessary luggage with them for the days moving forward.
To close out, I leave you all with the tune that seems to keep playing through my mind on repeat while I've been typing this entire message:
In the words of Alan Jackson, "Faith, hope and love are a few things He gave us....and the greatest is Love."
Go give your love today....receive love today. Show God some love today.
With much LOVE and Gratitude,
*If you'd like the opportunity to chat more about this, feel free to click the link below to book your free session.
God bless you!