Love comes in many forms: Agapé love; love of family, friends and animals; and, romantic love.
It has been said that “love makes the world go around”. In so many ways that is true. Agapé love is what propels us to reach out to others, and to have a care for those who may be less fortunate in any way.
Love of family and friends can get murky sometimes. The fortunate among us, who hail from healthy families, as a rule have healthy and satisfying relationships with their other family members, as well as with their friends. They offer and expect respect from each other, and have set healthy boundaries for themselves.
Those of us who come from dysfunctional backgrounds, and/or have suffered abuse as children, are not so clear on boundaries and respect. Our boundaries have usually been severely compromised by bigger and stronger people, who had no respect for us as human beings.
Love of, and for, animals is something most people relate to well. Animals are usually trusting and loving and they sense very quickly who they can trust and who they need to avoid or push away. As small children we all had these same instincts. Too many of us had it compromised by others.
Romantic love is something we all yearn for. We all want to have a healthy, exciting and loving relationship with a special someone. Emotionally healthy people don’t “settle” for second best, nor should those of us who are beginning the journey towards emotional healthy living.
Each of us deserves to be loved, respected, honored and cherished – even if we have to provide these things for ourselves. In fact, that is where healthy relationships begin: by loving ourselves. There is an old saying that “like attracts like”. In other words, when we are emotionally healthy, we attract other emotionally healthy people. In order to have the healthy relationships we want with others, we need to be healthy ourselves. The good news is that no matter how dysfunctional or abusive was your past you now have the right and the opportunity to learn how to make better choices – for you first. You deserve it.
Fall in love with YOU this Valentine’s Day and begin the new life you are dreaming of. Do something special for yourself, and take a little time to acknowledge your wonderful qualities.
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And, in case you missed my interview on the December 16th airing of “The Book Nook with Sarah Hilton” on Rogers TV, you can view it now at www.sheilastevensongroup.com/media