These are lessons on love for my daughter.
Whether its by a parent, a spouse, a child, a friend, your third grade class – it doesn’t matter by whom, being loved is a desire everyone knows well. Some of us can live with not being liked or loved by those that we give our love to. I am, however, not one of those people. I’ve never been able to handle someone disliking me. My fear of dislike is one of my weaknesses and due to this, I often end up being taken advantage of or hurt.
Everyone is longing to be loved… We work constantly to get others to notice our worth and validate us with their attention. We will even give ourselves to someone with hopes of receiving love in return. But, ironically, people rarely take their focus off themselves so they can meet this need in others.
(“The Love Dare” by Stephen and Alex Kendrick)
My Mom has always told me I inherited one of her not so great traits – that being we are people pleasers. We want to be liked/loved by all, so we try everything to make everyone around us happy. Being a people pleaser makes you stray from being true to your own feelings. In the hopes of never upsetting anyone, you go along with things you disagree with. You allow people to hurt you and never saying anything because you want to avoid confrontation and rejection. You never want to make anyone else upset. We take the pain instead.
As I get older, I’ve become more aware of my faults. I am conscious of my desire to be loved and my desire to make others feel loved and how it can negatively impact my life. Sometimes I am too passionate. I am also wakening up to how I’ve allowed people to manipulate me. Over the years I have accepted blame for things when I really should have stood up for myself. I wouldn’t argue when I should have in order to avoid hurting someone. I’ve stepped back when I should have stepped forward. Since I became a Mother, it’s become more apparent to me than ever that I have to be be conscious of my actions. My role as Mother is also teacher and it must be taken seriously.
In any meaningful relationship, love is the most important ingredient.
Your quality of life is directly tied to the amount of love flowing in you and through you to others..and the absence of love leaves a devastating void. I want my daughter to love others, to love life, and to want to be loved. But I want her to love herself enough to never let anyone take advantage of her. We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please. I want to teach her to have self-respect and integrity – to be strong-willed and know when to fight for her beliefs, but also back down when the time is right. She should be giving, caring, and loving, but not so generous she forgets to love herself.
Love yourself unconditionally my sweet girl. Love God, love yourself, and love your family. Love towards others transforms our behavior for the better and defuses evil intentions like light dispels darkness. But never lose yourself in your desire to love and be loved.