Jesus said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."
In a sense, unless you're willing to love your neighbor and yourself, you really can't love either! Love is like the sun. It shines. Period. It doesn't shine on some and not others. So, if I choose love, it's toward you and me.
As Covey said, "Love is a verb." So the way I shine on you and on me is caring for you and caring for me too. But how does this look when it comes to boundaries?
In a sense, God gives us two jobs:
Job 1, to love our neighbor- to love the people He has put in our lives and that we have drawn into our lives, and to love them with all our hearts.
Job 2, to love ourselves.
Interestingly, we can't do either job unless we do both.
In sensitive situations, in your most intimate relationships, when things aren't feeling comfortable for you, how do you come through for loved ones without letting yourself down?
One simple word: "and."
I love you, and I love me.
I will come through for you and I will come through for me,
I will never leave you and I will never leave me.
Let's take a deeper look:
1) The word “and” is the difference between love and doormat.
If I "love" you but am not willing to love me, then I'm willing to endure a relationship or situation I'm not comfortable with. Now instead of loving you, I have addicted myself to you and will eventually resent you.
2) The word “and” is the difference between divorce and boundaries.
If I "love" me but am unwilling to love you, then I am prone to bolt rather than committing to the wonderful and often painful process of living in my boundaries (in the centering questions).
But if I am willing to love you, and me, as long as I sense your sincerity, I will never leave you. I will live in the centering questions and lovingly, consistently, relentlessly see to guide you to something that works for both of us. And in this, I will never leave me.
To love your neighbor then, is to love yourself and visa versa.
So in your world, the sun is always shining and it is shining on everyone, including you.
Mastery Participants, click here for more on “Agreement 3 - Boundaries”
Picture by Melissa Askew (search for Melissa on “unsplash.com”)