#1000 Speak For Compassion: Love
1000 Voices Speak for Compassion was created with the intention of bringing compassion to the internet by selecting a theme to write about on the 20th of each month. This month’s theme is love.
At first, love was just a word that I spoke to show I cared, it was a while later that I realized what it meant to fully feel it. When I encountered love it felt natural and right, there were no doubts. For this other person I am happy to surrender my own individual needs to make them happy. I think more importantly, real love is able transcend all of our flaws and imperfections. In fact, we often love people because of all the ways in which they’re not perfect, or we’re at least able to be more forgiving of their mistakes. Unconditional love brings us warmth and security, knowing that we’ll always stand by each other through the thick and thin. Life is after all, a roller-coaster where there are no guarantees, but I for one prefer not to ride alone. Love can carry all sorts of different meanings to each individual, but one thing that I know for certain is that from the moment we are born we are deserving of it with no strings attached.
Our love doesn’t just have to belong to a few, but also to the communities that we consider ourselves to be a part of. This might include the entirety of our culture, the area where we live or groups of shared values, beliefs and interests (the connection we get through blogging for instance.) This type of love allows us to give without requiring anything in return; It motivates us to make contributions and to help others. The desire to protect the things we love drives some people to extraordinary lengths. Just by being a part of this world we belong to something, and together our love and compassion will influence what kind of place it is to be.
One of the main things that I would like to cover is something that I’ve come to realize recently, and that is the ability to be self-compassionate. Sometimes I put up walls to avoid getting hurt, but in doing so I also risk blocking out any people that are worth connecting with. Not only am I no longer able to share my love with the world, but I can’t receive it either. Although, the most hurtful criticisms usually come from within; Then I punish myself for having such thoughts, which only makes it harder to dispel them. Practising a little self-compassion is far more effective. We’re all human, so it’s ok to make mistakes – it’s how we learn. Learning this about ourselves also makes it easier to extend that understanding to others. If we don’t expect perfection from ourselves then we can’t expect it of others either. Learning to embrace our vulnerabilities together can give us a feeling of release and empowerment. Love also requires us to be a little vulnerable from time to time, but acknowledging that we are still deserving of it makes it easier for us to let it in. I guess this sort of goes full circle back to my initial explanation; Ideally love isn’t something we should feel like we have to earn.
There are times when it can feel like a challenge to offer our love because we consider a person’s behaviour to be distant or hurtful. Sometimes people lash out unintentionally due to low self-esteem, insecurities or simply because they’ve had a bad day. Unfortunately, not everybody has felt equally loved while growing up either. Many of us have been on the flip side of heartache too. Some will want to push love away as a result – I guess like me putting up my walls. However, this is probably the time when people most need our support and compassion. Sometimes we all just need a little reminder of what love feels like to help us to pick ourselves back up again.