The Greatest Love of All

19 02 2010

One of my favorite songs about love is Whitney Houston’s version of “The Greatest Love of All,” and one of the verses that I always play over and over in my head is the one that says… “Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.” As a matter of fact, the whole song really speaks to the importance of loving yourself first!!  If you really think about it love starts with YOU!  Because how can you love anything or anyone else if you do not love yourself first?  How do you know that you love something outside of you if you do not love yourself first?

To love YOU starts with making a decision, to be happy and content with who you are, not who you are not.  When you make the decision to love yourself, you really are saying that YOU alone are responsible for what you experience in your life and in so doing you allow yourself to shine from living in your full potential.  For when you accept personal responsibility for your life, you realize that you alone hold the key to your own happiness and you do not allow your life to be defined by things that happen to try to steal your joy i.e., other people, circumstances or situations. Yes things happen in life and these things, if we allow them to, will steal your remote and just like a remote control does for a TV a feeling, other person, place or thing now controls your life.  So how do focus on this Greatest Love Of All?  How do you focus on loving YOU first? Here are a four areas to focus on in order to grow in love with YOU.

  1. Focus on the Good. Think about what you are good at and love yourself for that instead of focusing on what you are not! When you focus on the positive aspects of yourself, it is easier to fall in love with you. It is like watering a seed and watching it grow. So focus on the good!!  Water that love seed! You can do this by posting positive affirmations about yourself.  Take out a sheet of paper and write all of the things you like about you.  What are you good at?  What do you do well?  If you are having a hard time doing this, call or email a friend or two and ask them to add to this list.  This list will help you build yourself up and something you can continue to look at as this becomes a love letter to YOU and helps you focus on “The Greatest Love of All.”
  2. Let Go of Being Perfect.  Accept your flaws and the fact that you are imperfect.  NO ONE WILL EVER BE PERFECT!!!  If you were to ask Oprah, I am sure she can tell you some things she does not like about herself…Beyonce too.  And since you are not a perfect person, you WILL make mistakes.  The important thing about mistakes is that you learn the lessons life teaches each of us through mistakes so do like Donnie McClurkin says “We Fall Down But We Get Up”  get yourself up, dust yourself off and keep it moving.  There is nothing worse than allowing yourself to stay stuck over a mistake.   This also includes letting go of the past.  If you have made mistakes in the past, forgive yourself and move on.  Or if  you are carrying around baggage from a past relationship, childhood trauma etc…. do what you need to, find a trusted friend to talk to, seek counseling, do whatever it takes so you can move on from it and be free to love.
  3. Get to Know Yourself.  This may require spending some time with just YOU.  I remember going out to a restaurant for the first time by myself.  I called this taken myself out on a date.  Well spending time with Nicole allowed me to know Nicole. It was weird at first but it allowed me to REALLY get to know me by spending time with me, I still have what I call Nicole time every day.   Because if you don’t know what you like and don’t like, how will you know what you are and are not willing to accept?  How will you know what you want and don’t want? The first step in loving yourself is to acknowledge and recognize your own feelings. If you are happy, begin to learn how to recognize it and what is making you feel this way. If you are sad, begin to learn how to recognize it and what is making you feel this way. When you acknowledge your feelings, you don’t try to act like they are not there, instead recognizing what you feel will become a road map about your likes and dislikes, things that make you happy and make you sad, your desires and fears, etc…
  4. Get to Know God. There is a saying… “God Don’t Make no Junk!” and if this is indeed true, when we don’t love ourselves, are we are in essence saying that something God created is junk?, Is trash? Is a waste?  If we go further to another saying “God does not make mistakes” then who you are, how you are, etc… is not a mistake.  When you spend time getting to know who God is, your focus begins to shift on to what He made you to be and not what He did not make you to be. You grow as you get to know Him, who He is, what He has done and by expressing gratitude for the talents and gifts that He uniquely has given to YOU. Of course NO ONE is perfect but what you are talented at and good at is a gift and that should be our focus.

This week take a moment to reflect on how you can strengthen your own love walk with you. Think about in what way’s you can begin to focus on “The Greatest Love of All”  – LOVING YOU!?

 

 “The Greatest Love of All” Lyrics

 I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fulfill my needs
A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

[Chorus:]
I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all

I believe the children are our future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children’s laughter remind us how we used to be

[Chorus]
And if by chance, that special place
That you’ve been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love! 

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3 responses

19 02 2010
Raimi Ross

I honestly think I needed to read this. Too often I’m giving and loving of others and I end up disappointed. What I’ve realized is, I can’t expect anyone to return any love to me or meet my expectations if those needs are not clearly defined for and by myself.

19 02 2010
montrese

Great message! Reading your messages is similar to listening to a good church sermon in which the minister seems to be speaking directly to me. Your messages coupled with Pandora Radio (www.pandora.com) tuned to the gospel station, and I’m having church. Amen. 😉 Thank you for your words of wisdom. I’m listening and responding affirmatively.

21 02 2010
JC Conrad-Ellis

So true. We’re twins separated at birth, you were wearing pink and I red. I always say that as much as I love my husband, I love myself more. If I don’t love me, no one else will love me. It sounds a tad egocentric and self centered to some, but it’s worked for me. As I grow wiser each year, I have learned to embrace all that is right about me instead of focussing on the “wrong.” I fully understand the adage: “If I knew then, what I know now…” With this attitude 20 years ago, I would have been a scorched hot mess as opposed to the burnt hot mess that I am now. :>) But, when you know better, you do better. Each day is a gift and I’ve decided to choose to celebrate my fabulousness and Delete/Ignore/Unfriend folks who only want to fan flaws in my face. Bye, bye c ‘ya!

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