Love Begins at Home
Love begins at home.” – Mother Teresa
Your first lessons in love take place at home. Your parents teach you how to love your siblings and how to love and respect them as parents. The quality of these lessons will be the base of your forming loving friendships and also when love begins to blossom into romantic relationships. The most important love lesson, which also starts at home, is self-love. Without self-love, you will constantly have trouble maintaining loving relationships with others. When learning to love, it starts at home.
Self-love is probably one of the more difficult types of love to develop because in learning how to love, you are learning to care for others. Self-love seems like it should be almost automatic, but many people struggle with it their entire lives.
It is easy enough when you are young, have innate narcissistic tendencies and are in the safety of your home, where the people you live with are a known quantity. But when you get out into the world and encounter people who challenge your self-respect on a regular basis, self-love becomes more difficult. When self-love wanes, so does the ability to love others.
When You Feel Love, You Can Give It
It’s important for parents to establish a loving, confidence-building environment in the home, so that their children, and themselves, can go out into the world with an ability to show empathy for others and share the positive feelings they carry around inside of themselves. If you don’t feel loved, it makes it very hard to create loving relationships with others. Loving others is directly related to loving yourself.
While a loving pattern or bonding is set in childhood, relationships develop later in life where love is the true recognition and connection with another being. When you love something or someone you feel safe and unafraid. This doesn’t mean that life will never be hard or frustrating or simply upsetting. Developing a love of your own life, and that of others, early in life, will make it easier to cope when times get hard.
A big part of being successful at loving yourself and others is learning to be flexible. So you forgot your mother was coming over for lunch. When she arrives, you’re in a t-shirt and shorts with your hair in a messy pile on top of your head, with nothing but expired milk in the refrigerator. So what. It’s your mom, not a fire-breathing dragon. She is the one who taught you how to love, remember?
Offer her a place to sit and something to drink while you throw on something respectable and then tell your mother you thought it would be more fun if you went to try out that new place on the corner for lunch. You both still have a chance to catch up and someone else does the dishes. Problem solved, and everyone is happy.
Face Your Problems
Everyone has problems, and ignoring them usually just ends up turning them from a hassle into a major debacle. You don’t have to take on the world and all of your problems at once, but don’t let them linger too long. Facing your problems and dealing with them as they come up, will help you establish your long-term ability to love yourself and others, because you won’t constantly be worrying about a pile of troubles in the back of your mind. Focus on finding a solution, rather than sweeping a problem under the rug and you will be the better off for it.
Laughing helps everyone relax, and when you are more relaxed, you are more able to give of yourself and show off that great sense of love that you