What is love?

My teacher Ted has taught me that life is the journey of falling in love with oneself. I have so often misconstrued what this means, thinking that if I love myself, I must be too egotistical, or I will automatically think I’m better than, or I’ll stop seeking the counsel of others, amongst many other challenges.

What I have to come to understand, is self-love is more an appreciation of the gifts I have been given and my responsibility to share them with those around me. When I love myself, I can forgive others and I’m not jealous of others, which means I can appreciate both me and you.

Firstly, my question is: do you agree with this notion? How do you define self-love?

Now, when it comes to love toward others and from others, how would you define such love? Does this type of love differ from self-love?

There is a biblical verse that woman was created as a help opposite man. The Talmud explains that if she is a help, man has merited this, however if she is opposite man, then he has not merited it at all.

This leads me to my perspective and definition of love towards others. For most of my life, I thought love was if you agreed with me and if you unconditionally supported me. In truth, that is being a fan– that’s not really love.

Love is when someone close to me is willing to hold up a mirror to me, in order to call me out lovingly when I’m not behaving in a manner that suits my values. Love is when someone is willing to take a risk for my benefit, even though I may get upset with them.

A major caveat is to not offer an opinion unless asked. Make sure you are helping someone help themselves regarding their values– not imposing your values upon them. Perhaps most importantly, make sure they know you love them, and don’t offer an opinion out of spite or anger.

What are your thoughts on what love toward others should look like?

This week, let’s spend time appreciating our gifts and our talents, and let’s begin–or continue–our journey toward self-love.

Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love


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