Each year, we are injected with the commercialization of Valentine’s Day. It is a time of chocolates, red roses, diamond rings, balloons, and Victoria’s Secret. It is also a day that celebrates an authentic kind of romantic love, Eros, but this form of love is often overshadowed by the commercialization of Valentine’s Day.
Moreover, the eros type of love is often conveyed as being the only form of authentic love or the only way to receive love. While eros is one of the five authentic forms of love (Phileo ~ brotherly love; Storge ~ the love of community and family; Agape ~ is a mature, a spiritual, and sacrificial form of love; while Philautia ~ is a healthy form of self-love) it is not the only form of love.
Everyone has heard that self-love is the key to living a successful and fulfilled life, but sadly, self-love is not a universally accepted concept. While self-love is an elementary aspect of the human condition, it is not always promoted through the actions of others. Love is often abandoned by the individual in order to feel an altered sense of acceptance and love. Such love is not love, rather a skewed view of reality and is often mired in the negative muck of another.
Real love, unconditional love should never compromise your integrity or the authentic you.
WHAT LOVE IS NOT!
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life, but define yourself.” ~ Harvey Fierstein
Authentic love never accepts the harm or abuse of another. Genuine love rejects hate; it does not discriminate, and is never filled with selfish ambitions or desires. Authentic love is a mutual agreement of self-to-self, self-to-another, and another-to-self. We should never receive anything from another but that with which will help us positively flourish. Moreover, we should never offer anything other than a healthy dose of authentic love.
“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” ~ Lucille Ball
As a person, I have frequently encountered myself feeling discouraged, disgusted, and disenchanted with my person. I have felt the emptiness of abandonment and isolation. I have felt the rejection of another and the subjection of my past mistakes, but when I apply an application of unconditional love; I begin to recognize that I am more than my mistakes, greater than my discouragement; and capable of achieving any aspiration in life.
KEY STEPS TO ACHIEVING SELF-LOVE
- Always strive to forgive, accept, trust and find hope in yourself and in others.
- Always invite others who will love without conditions (I will love you as long as you…)
- Avoid unhealthy relationship (e.g. deny all forms of abuse, hate, and self-serving personalities)
- Always remember, you are more than your mistakes, your failures, your successes or life’s achievements. You are deserving of love and love is life’s liberator.
Authentic love always strives to uplift, forgive, encourage, and develop a person.
May you begin living beyond.
Author: Dr. Asa Don Brown, Ph.D., C.C.C., D.N.C.C.M., F.A.A.E.T.S. Website: www.asadonbrown.com