Thursday, January 02, 2014

2014: Love Big

During the last two years I felt like Heavenly Father sent us to  Virginia (a move that rationally didn't make sense) to have those  experiences and meet the people we met there.  One of my dear friends  shared a blog post with me when I had been discussing marriage with  her.  She asked me if I had heard of Mara Kofoed's A Blog About Love.   She had a blog post about the Virtue of Loving.  I tucked the memory of the  post away for later, I was interested but didn't feel like that post fit in my life at that moment.  Well, lately I've felt I'm ready.  That's what I want my focus to be this year.  So I went back  and visited that blog post about Love.

Coincidentally I found that post was STEP 3 in her series of HOW TO BE VULNERABLE.  Step 1 she blogged as Believe You Have Worth and Own It:

1 - You are worth something. 
2 - You are capable of great things. 
3 - You have a connection to the divine. 
4 - You can continually learn & grow because of your trials.
5 - You get to choose how you experience your life.
6 - You are capable of developing love, which is the most important thing in this life. 

Step 2 was Let Go of Fear:

EVEN IF unfortunate things  happened to me... 
EVEN IF my husband left me
EVEN IF I never had kids
EVEN IF I did something embarrassing
EVEN IF my voice shook or the perfect words did not come out of my mouth
EVEN IF someone disapproved of me
EVEN IF I made a fool of myself
EVEN IF my worst nightmares came true

 Mara shares, "How do you practice being vulnerable in your new fearless skin??"

-Be comfortable & happy with who you are.
-Share a joke and not care if anybody laughs.
-Open your mouth & share something when you have something to say.
-Reach out to people you don't know.
-Dance crazy in the kitchen.
-Walk down the beach and feel beautiful.
-Tell someone you love them.
-Do something bold and scary.
-Speak your "truth" or your story in public.
-Raise your hand in a class & share an experience or your perspective.
-Act fun & sexy (or just goofy) around your lover. 

Fear does not stop death, it stops life.

Do you see what happened here?  Without meaning to - these steps match the last few years of my life I blogged about in the last post.    Heavenly Father gave me a ringer of a few years and I emerged different.   As I've recognized the worth in my differences and in myself, I enable myself to recognize them in others.  I enable myself to love others where they are at.   As I let go of fear of what others may say or think I've me I've decided to claim who I am and own it.  This is who I am.  Without apology. 

As Mara says (seriously go check out her blog):
You see, if YOU have worth that is inherent and intrinsic to who you are (see Step 1), you know that so does everyone else.   Even if they make mistakes, they still have worth.  Seeing them in that  light frees you to to love them as a human being, regardless of whether  or not they are capable of returning love to you, regardless of whether  or not your love is received.  You are free to seek to build someone  else's worth regardless if they receive it or are grateful for it.   Again, if you already own your own worth, you aren't looking for  anything from them.  You are simply hoping for someone else to know  their own worth, too.  Period.  This is the essence of love.  It is knowing that someone is worth your patience.  Your kindness.  Your forgiveness.  Your compassion.  Not because they are doing anything to deserve it.  But  because they inherently have worth, just like you do.  And so your goal  is to bring it out in them.  And if you don't succeed, then you will be ok.   You don't "need" to succeed, but you offer what you can out of love,  and then you let each person carry out their own life and their own  path.

Seeking after the virtue of LOVE helps  you to become your truest, most worthwhile self.  It's the heart of who  we all are.  And tapping into the power that we already have within us  to live this way is the
most tremendous thing a human being could ever do. 
My sister-in-law recently shared with me an insight from the church book she is reading, Without Offense: the Art of Giving and Receiving Criticism, by Gerald Lund.  She mentioned that in the book it specifically states the only person who has stewardship to judge you and your heart and motivations is your Bishop and your God.  Everyone else's only commandment is to love each other.  It's not my place to come out on every issue and say who is right and who is wrong.

Literally the only commandment I have to follow is to love my God, and to love others.  And I'm ready to love, every single type of love.  Coworker love.  Sister love.  Daughter love.  Friend love.  Family love.  Mother love.  Wife love.  Daughter of God love.  Fellow-saint love.  Stranger love.  Enemy love.  Facebook friend love.  Acquaintance love.  Say yes to love.


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