Like being trapped in a dense fog, having mental illness makes it especially hard for one to identify and accept help from others.
To accept love.
What Does Love Look Like?
Love can arrive in surprising packages – a kind smile from a stranger in the queue, that colleague who asks how you’re doing. The friend who stays up all night to chat even though she has work the next day. The family who invites you over to share in their extra food. That neighbor who brings food over when she knows you haven’t had lunch.
Just as hurt people hurt people, loved people love people.
Love Is Self-Compassion
Love is forgiving ourselves for our failures. It is the letting go of our guilt and shame; of that inner critic and its accusations. Once we do, we’ll find that life is a lot more bearable. Breathe easy as you exercise compassion on yourself.
Love Means Accepting Ourselves
When we arrive at that honest place of recognizing where we’re at, it involves acknowledging the good, the bad and the ugly parts of our lives. And embracing them.
It is not the same as settling. Instead, self-acceptance is the active process of finding that place from which we can draw strength; to gain our bearings and head on to where we need to be.
Love Begins with Knowing We Are Worthwhile
Believing we are worthy is a difficult concept for most of us who live in a world that tells us otherwise. Just look at the cover of the latest magazine.
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! – Apostle Paul, The Message (1Corinthians 13:12)
Like all things, believing in our worth is a process that has a positive end in sight. I’ve personally found that sense of worthiness in my faith, in knowing that My Creator knows me by name.
You Can Only Give What You Receive
Some call it paying it forward. What we have freely received, we can now freely give to others around. And the best thing about love is that when you give it, it gives back in the way we least expect it.
As songwriters Michael Masser and Linda Creed once wrote: The greatest love of all, is learning to love yourself.
So, we dare you to be loved this Valentine’s Day. Be loved by you.