A while back, I took the time to figure out what my values are and where I got them from. I tried to discern what those values consist of and how they are connected. I also tried to define them and how I can show them in through my behavior. One of those values is love.
How do I define love for myself?
I wrote that, on the one hand, love means accepting myself and others. It means to be tender and compassionate and to show affection. It also means to understand that we all struggle and to offer support. For me, love means to be tolerant and to embrace equality and diversity. On the other hand, it also means to be a servant to others to help them flourish. Moreover, it means allowing closeness. Love means being passionate.
Love is just the main category, comprising several different terms. Some of them appear already in the definition above, but there are more. For me love is related to generosity, hospitality, friendship, compassion, closeness, humanity, morality, passion, service, gratitude, tenderness and acceptance.
I think that love should always be the answer. Do I manage to make it my answer all the time? No. It can be very difficult. Especially if you are not sure about yourself or insecure. Though, I at least always have the intention do things out of love and compassion. If I am mad at someone else and blame him or her, I make my own day worse and the other person’s day, too. I bet that this is not the end. Who knows who he/she will be angry with because of a foul mood due to our argument. But it can also go the other way around. If I respond with kindness and love, the other person might be sorry, and we can have a good conversation making us both feel better which we can carry on throughout the day interacting with others.
I drew a red line between love and honesty as both values are at risk to contradict each other at times. Especially when I feel the need to belong, I know that I might tell a white lie just to belong and be loved. I also drew three green lines connecting love with security, sustainability, and harmony. This means that they can promote each other. The more love I feel in my life, the more secure I feel. The same is true with harmony and sustainability as a means of taking care of the world.
How can I show this value in my behaviors?
I wrote the following statements:
- I will show tenderness, compassion, and tolerance towards myself and others
- I will strive further to increase the closeness in my relationships and friendships
- I will serve others and be generous
- I will express gratitude for life and other peoples’ efforts and accomplishments
I think I am doing a good job with that. Sure, there is always room for improvement, but it is good to see that I live up to this value. Love is a constant source of energy from me and without it my life would feel empty.
Take care, Stephan