Funny how sometimes it is one of those old songs that bring you to a different space. Who knows why, but I was sitting here thinking about what to write about and all of a sudden I found myself humming an old Beatles song, All you need is love.” When you stop for a moment and think about it, isn’t that what we all seek in life, to be loved and understood. The Beatles sang that to us decades ago. This should not be such a difficult thing. After all, God is love and we were created in the image of love, by love, so we are love. So if we are love and others are love, then you would think that it would be so easy for us to love one another unconditionally.
Sometimes, though we get the L words confused. We confuse love, which is what we need, with like and lust. Sometimes we confuse liking someone or having someone like us for love because we want someone to love us. We think if someone loves us, then we have value. Sometimes we hook up with somebody in lust and call it love. We confuse being lusted after with being loved by. Lust and love are not the same thing. Like is like and lust is lust, but neither one of them is love. Neither of those emotions can tell us what so many of us desperately need to know and give to ourselves.
Most of us have gone through, or perhaps are still going through a time in our lives when we look at ourselves in the mirror and we hear a voice that tells us “you’re not worth it.” “You are so ugly,” “you are so fat,” “you are ______.” This voice tells you that no one could ever love you. The voice tells you that they might like you, but once they get to know you they will see the truth about who you really are and then they will dump you like a hot potato one more time. If it sounds like I have been there, well I have.
We meet someone who is living in the same state of fear that we are, thinking that once we see the real them, we are going to kick them to the curb just like we think they are going to do to us. Some of us have hooked up with people I like to call makeover kings and queens. You know what I mean, they are the last to work on themselves but the first to point out how you would be so wonderful if only you would do X or Y or Z. Some of us hook up with people that we know are not going to be any good for us, but we are so hungry for love we gobble up the first person who pays us any attention, completely ignore all the warning signs, and spend years putting up with all kinds of abuse because we are so scared that nobody else is going to love us.
I can hear somebody right about now, wondering where my moment of love and inspiration is. Is she just going to write me into a state of depression? I thought reading this column was supposed to inspire me and make me feel better. I am not going to promise you a magic potion, and reading from this point on is not going to promise you that the love of your life is going to knock on your door in five minutes. The reality is that the love of your life is already living with you. It is you.
You are love; you were created by love, in the image of love to be love. How can you not love yourself if you are love? Many of us have internalized the poison of others to a place where we have agreed that we are not worthy of love, that we are not worthy of being loved. The truth is that each of us is love. Each of us is worthy of love. Each of us has the potential to erase the tapes of negative self-talk in our heads and replace them with affirmations, compliments, and reminders of how wonderful we are.
Many years ago, I remember a wise person telling me how wonderful I was. She reminded me that only a fool could not love me. On those days when those parasites from the past try to come into my spirit, I remember that I am love, that I was created to be love, spread love, and dine only on love.
Even in the midst of challenges in my life, I continue to dine on nothing but love. My wife will make it through her chemotherapy treatments as so many have done before her and I will still be love. I will still battle Liftline and be love. I can interact with people I do not like and still be love. I can go through the good and the bad, the happy and the sad and still be love. See no matter what I am going through in my life. No matter what you are going through in your life, all you need is love. You can make it through anything as long as you have love, but that love starts with you. All you need is to love yourself.