Sometimes I have long philosophical conversations with my mother. We talk about the nature of love and she often challenges my perspective. I’ve had similar conversations with other people debating the notion that love means accepting everything and giving people a license to walk all over you.
Accepting other people doesn’t mean letting them treat you badly. Love starts with loving yourself first. Loving yourself means being true to yourself. Loving others means serving them. This may seem like an oxymoron – how can you stand up for yourself and serve others at the same time?
Lets take a look at the difference between serving and pleasing. Often it’s hard to truly serve a person because we want some sort of validation or positive response. It becomes about making ourselves feel good. So we end up pleasing a person instead and this might mean letting them walk all over us.
Service is grounded in being honest and direct even when it’s uncomfortable to do so. Thus you are serving truth and genuinely considering the other person’s best interest. The fact is, every person’s best interest is always grounded in truth. If it isn’t, they are living a lie and that doesn’t serve anyone.
To live a life grounded in love you have to be a peaceful warrior. It takes great strength to always be honest with yourself and everyone else. It takes great strength to stand up for yourself and be truly selfless at the same time. Being selfless isn’t about giving yourself up. It is about being the best that you can be so that you can truly serve this world. Seeing that connection between yourself and the world around you is the foundation of love.