“I want to be understood.”
“I need to feel appreciated.”
“I desire to be loved.”
More often than not, we operate on a first person perspective. We look for what benefits us, what makes us happy and comfortable. There is always that desire to fulfill a perceived need or an acknowledged want for ourselves. We see love as gaining and receiving. We wait on others to demonstrate their love to us. We believe that we need to be loved before we can love. We focus on the receiving that we forget the giving. Love is supposed to be a give and take, a push and pull. Love is like a box where you empty it out only to fill it more.
The struggle of loving others comes from the perception or definition of love that we believe in. Love is not based on an emotion but a constant decision. The measurement of how much and when we should love is not circumstantial. It is everyday and every moment that we exercise the love He gave us — a love rooted on daily choices and constant actions. It is a decision to say “I love you” and a choice to act on it.
But the best kind of love is to love without an agenda—loving for the sake of loving without expecting anything in return. We love because He first loved us. We love because the people around us deserve to be loved. The standard of how to love and love itself is so high that we often fail to do so. But the effort in attaining that standard that He set for us, starts with us.
Develop a third person mindset. Go beyond “me”. Who is the you in your “I love you” today? Who is the he, she, and them that you will make an effort towards to tomorrow? Who is the his or her that you will be giving and selfless to in the following days?
To be selfless and kind starts with me. To think what is best for others starts with me. To be patient and encouraging starts with me. To be understanding and forgiving starts with me. The goal of everyday is to grow in love by loving other people — to be more like Him and to love the way He did.
Love starts with me.