This is probably the most difficult of the 4 daily motivational mantras that I have found to implement in my life. Over a big portion of my life I’ve carried a ton of baggage along with me. Only within the last few years have I made the intentional effort through individual counseling and personal development to begin to heal wounds that I have carried around with me for decades. Truth be told a lot of that baggage has inhibited me from genuinely loving others and myself.
In fact working through therapy to love myself has been one of the toughest things that I have tried to do as an adult. For anyone that knows me, they might find this hard to believe, but I have held an incredibly negative point of view towards myself since childhood. That negative self-view caused me to do a lot of harm to myself over the last couple of decades, and I virtually severed myself from any meaningful relationships in my life.
Only through the grace of God have I been able in the last few years to tackle this head on and make progress. With a loving and supportive wife, faith in God and a personal will that wanted to change, I’ve really began to make strides personally. This blog has talked a lot about the finance side of things, but personally I have also only began to grow in love for myself and others, and it feels absolutely amazing.
I have spent a ton of time chasing after the future. One day I will get my act together. One day I will have a wife that loves me and makes everything better. One day I will care for others. One day I will forgive myself for my past misdeeds. Between you and me, one day will steal your entire life. For decades I chased after one day. It has been in the last few years that I have begun to put the healing touches on my baggage. And it’s kind of fitting, even when I first started to put the effort towards recovery I immediately felt compelled to love others. Whether it was serving through my time, offering my talents or through meaningful acts of giving, I started to really come alive and be the person God meant for me to become once I started loving myself and others.
The steps of progress, though not as fast as I would like at times, have been incredibly profound. I am more intentional on erasing my negative self-image, sharing my emotions and feelings with my wife, reaching out to others for meaningful friendships and putting healing touches on fractured relationships.
This might be a long detour to get to the point, but for me at this point in time loving generously is about stripping away all of my hurts and hang ups and embracing life for what it is right at this moment. My therapist put it this way, “The person you are today is greater than the person you want to become because the you now is real.” That has really stuck with me.
Since being more intentional with bringing healing and peace to my own life it has really opened me up to the world. I feel a lot more aware of the needs of others and asking myself how I can serve those needs in meaningful ways. I’m also learning to love and embrace exactly where I am today. Lying on our couch last week I felt an incredible feeling of peace come over me as my wife was cuddled up next to me. I’ll share with you, loosely paraphrased, what I told her:
“This is enough for me. I am absolutely thrilled and loving where we are in life right this moment. If our mutual funds never return another penny, if I were to never advance in my career, if we were to stay exactly where we are, having this life, you as my wife and the love we share, is all I ever need in life.”
I firmly believe that the contentment I find in life at this moment derives from the actions that I have taken over the last few years to love others, myself and God generously.