Romantic love and finding “the one” is what drives most of us on a very deep level. The concept of love is often a confusing and debated subject. Love is not a feeling. It is a way of BEING, a vibration we emanate. We do not get love from another or give it. We share it. The first step in loving well, is respect. We don’t get respect unless we give it to ourselves first. Self-respect is the first step on the path to self-love. Being able to love another is only possible when you know love from the inside of you first. This comes from reaching up for love rather than to something or someone for the feeling of love.
In relating to others, love is about behaving in a loving manner. How can you behave in a loving manner toward someone else, if you haven’t learned how to love and respect yourself, your ideas, cultivate your confidence and have your own thoughts, choices from those ideas and then your own style of behavior? You can’t. You must learn who you are, what you believe and not let another person tell you what to think, feel, believe or how to behave. A community built from strong, self-loving, self-respecting individuals creates a joyful environment in which to live, work and play.
A community built from strong,
self-loving, self-respecting individuals
creates a joyful environment in which to live, work and play.
A recently published 75-year study on what gives human beings lifelong health and happiness showed surprising results. The study which began in 1938 polled the participants, who surprisingly thought like the Millennial’s who were more recently polled, that fame and wealth were what brought health and happiness and made it last. The wisdom of this study is something that most people in their 90’s already know—Good Relationships are what bring us health and happiness.
So, in our quick-fix society, with divorce more than 1 in 2, how do we stay in a marriage or long-term relationship or get along with our parents or siblings to the degree of depth and honesty the study shows us? How do we turn the idea of love as we first learn it from Hollywood or our hormones—romantic love—into a lifelong relationship that has depth and honesty?
The study also showed it’s not whether you have a lot of friends or whether you are in a committed relationship that matters but the QUALITY of the relationships you do have. It is the depth of the relationship and the level of authenticity and honesty in the relationship is what matters most and brings happiness and health. They learned that it is whether you feel this friend/partner is someone you can count on to be there when things get rough, was the undercurrent of a relationship that brings health and happiness. It turns out that memory is protected along with brain health when people in their 80’s have securely attached relationships, even if they love to bicker with each other.
It’s not an easy path but respect is a major factor on the road to success to living the wisdom this study highlights. We cannot love ourselves or others without respect. Respect has gotten lost in our society. Rarely does anyone consider and reflect upon whether their words or behavior are respectful to themselves or others.
Since few people know how to behave with respect toward themselves, I will now list a few of the ways we can be respectful of ourselves.
- Don’t tell someone what to do with their body, take care of your body.
- Don’t tell someone else how to think, instead think for yourself.
- End doing harmful things to our bodies such as drugs, alcohol or foods we know aren’t good for us, and exercise or be active in some way that brings us the joy of the human body in addition to sexual intimacy.
- Set clear boundaries with others. These aren’t meant to create distance but to teach ourselves and others self-responsibility, self-love, self-care.
- Stand up for ourselves when other’s blatantly or maliciously disparage us or tell us what to do.
- Learn about who we are and find work that we enjoy.
- Spend time investing in a joyful activity that teaches us the feeling of limitless hours of self-soothing where time flies by.
- Own our feelings; end the blame game that someone else can MAKE you feel anything good or bad.
- Learn to operate the Mirror of Relationships with a friend in reflective dialogue.
- Communication without blame.
- Respect your time and the time of others.
- Take care of your belongings, or pets; maintain them.
- Take responsibility for your financial needs.
- Clean up after yourself and take care of your clothing, appearance, and body.
- When provided with instructions from an elder or employer, follow through and ask questions if you don’t understand.
- Treat other’s borrowed belongings better than you treat your own.
- If you find yourself telling tales to other, realize you are merely lying to yourself and find out why.
Love is not just a feeling. In the beginning it is the feeling of love that draws us together but once the feeling ends, and it always does, how do we create the deeper love that will bring us this happiness and health for our lifetime? How do we get to celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary or have friends that we met in kindergarten attend our 90th birthday party?
Respect for ourselves first and then others. We must put our oxygen masks on first before those we care for. Respect is love and the above list shows us acts of love toward self. Once you are able to act lovingly toward yourself, without thinking about it, you will act in loving ways toward everyone in your life, professionally or personally.
An example of an act of love toward another might be allowing someone space to be alone or do something that doesn’t include you, if they ask for it, even when you think you want them with you at that moment. A respectfully loving person gives the space to that person even if it is days, weeks or months because you have the power of self-soothing. If you are doing a good job at work, the best job you can and you aren’t getting the income you know the market with bear, then you either ask for that raise or you move on. Some people just stay put in the job because it’s too much trouble to make the change or ask for what they want. These people do not respect themselves and so they will not get respect in return.
In personal relationships, if you are expecting the other to provide more than they actually can, then you are not loving them. We have to learn to view our partners or friends for who they are and acknowledge their needs at different points in life and take care of ourselves during those times when they are unavailable to us because of something they are going through. Behavior such as this is respect and because it is respect it is also love.
Communication is respect and love. Communicating your needs and limitations and accepting the needs and limitations of the other is paramount in strong and lasting relationships. We have to deal with reality of our limits and set boundaries.
Many of my clients are healers either of their families or professionally. We often don’t acknowledge the proper level of consideration (energy or money exchange) when we are the one willing and able to help others. We must create good boundaries such as fair payment for services rendered. If we undercharge or overcharge someone is being dis-respected.
If, in the case of the healer of the family, if we are not taking time for ourselves and are always over focusing on caring for our children or elders and never take time to rest or play to recharge our batteries, illness can result. Good boundaries are important here too. The healers of families must realize they have to model self-respective behavior of adequate rest, play, nutrition, and exercise if those they care for are to learn how to do it for themselves. The Bible says it best in this case, “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime.” If you over do for your family and don’t teach them how to care for themselves, clean a home, do laundry, cook, and eat well, maintain their health in other ways, how will they learn to do it for themselves when you aren’t there anymore?
Respect knows no generation. It does not matter if you are 90 or 9, learning to respect ourselves means that we can respect others, the earth and all its flora, fauna and resources.
Respect is love. Responsibility is love. Even when we don’t feel the feelings of love, there is still the behavior of love which brings us back to the feeling of love. If we take responsibility for ourselves that leads to self-respect and later, we are rewarded with feelings of love toward ourselves for a job well done. Love is shared not given. We must first know how to love ourselves and generate feelings of self-love before we can learn to live in love with others. Whether the goal is a rewarding healing practice or a garden that feeds your family or other’s families, there is no greater love that we can feel than that of self-love born of self-respect.
In case you are wondering, the photo for this blog post is of my maternal grandparents. They were the perfect example to me of a long, 65-year marriage (75 year relationship – they met when they were 14). They respected each other and each other’s space and ideas.
Author: Bethann Vetter
Bethann Vetter is a Holistic Therapist, Medium and Teacher. She uses frequency balancing tools via her Mediumship in Trance skills to locate and provide the frequencies your unique set of imbalances requires. She uses her own subtle energy body technique, Epigenetic Reprogramming to help you clear subconscious level blocks. Frequency Specific Microcurrent is used for specific cellular level healing. Classes are available in active meditation skills such as mediumship and trance healing skills. Trance Healing sessions called QHHT© are also offered. Her frequency balancing ability works similar to the way Edgar Cayce worked. She tunes in to your issues and provides you with the necessary information, substances you might need as well as adjusting your frequency to a higher harmonic level. Her work is done by appointment only at a distance or in her office in Jacksonville Beach, FL.