The Best is our daily compilation of cool stuff we’ve found IRL and around the web. Every day we will share what we are reading, watching, listening to, doing, or pondering. If you have suggestions for what we should include in future segments, let us know in the comments below!
Here’s a cliche phrase for ya:
Love is an action verb.
While it may be corny and overused, this phrase embodies what I believe to be one of the soul misconceptions of love — that it’s something that is ‘achieved.’
Achievement unlocked: Love
You don’t ‘obtain’ love and then suddenly win the game of love. Love is not a destination, but a journey… Man, can we get any cornier?😂
Much like with any emotion, it’s a fire that must be fed. It requires energy and time — two things that are well worth giving up to curate meaningful relationships.
Although today is Valentine’s Day, a holiday typically reserved for couples, I want to broaden the focus to what I call the three branches of love:
- Loving Yourself: Acceptance of Self
- Loving Others: Expressing Love Towards Friends, Family, and Strangers
- Loving Your Environment: Appreciation of Your Situation
Deep acceptance, appreciation, and love for who you are create the foundation that allows you to deeply love anyone else. Unfortunately, radical self-love is one of the hardest things to give. It requires you to not only acknowledge your own flaws, but also accept these flaws as okay.
As we said before, love is an action verb, and loving yourself is no different. Showing yourself deep compassion and understanding is a process that requires a shift in mindset and daily reflection.
Here are some tools to help you fall in love with yourself:
Unloving behavior towards your loved ones mostly stems from the problems you have with yourself. Tiredness, anger, perfectionism, shame and anxiety get in the way of love. -Caterina Kostoula
Fiction Book: Wonder by R.J. Palacio
“The things we do outlast our mortality. The things we do are like monuments that people build to honor heroes after they’ve died. They’re like the pyramids that the Egyptians built to honor the pharaohs. Only instead of being made of stone, they’re made out of the memories people have of you.” ―R.J. Palacio
Nonfiction Book: The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
Audiobook: Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life with the Heart of a Buddha by Tara Brach
It’s easy to fall in love with our expectations of who others are. It is much more difficult to fall in love with and accept who people truly are.
(An important note: When I say others, I do not just mean partners; I am also referring to friends, family members, and even strangers. Love may more prominently and aggressively manifest itself between a couple, but it also exists in every other interaction you have.)
When seeking to love another human, we must first acknowledge something super obvious, but often forgotten: “Hey, they’re human! Like me, they’re just stumbling through life, trying to figure out why the heck they are here.’
To build meaningful connections, deep relationships, and have sincere interactions, you must let go of your expectations of who someone else is and be willing to open yourself up to the real them.
Start with these:
Fiction Book: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.” ―Nicole Krauss
Nonfiction Book: Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection by Sharon Salzberg
“Forgiveness is a personal process that doesn’t depend on us having direct contact with the people who have hurt us.” ―Sharon Salzberg
Nonfiction Book: The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts by Gary Chapman
Check Out: The Skin Deep, a media company focused on human connection
We’ve shared this podcast before, but it’s so great, I want to mention it again:
Where Should We Begin? with Esther Perel — Enter the antechamber of couples’ most intimate moments
Esther Perel’s Where Should We Begin? is an obsession of mine. Once you get over the fact that you are listening in on another couple’s therapy session, there’s actually a lot you can learn about relationships, effective communication, self-preservation, and why we do what we do.
Love Your Environment
I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. -Arthur Rubinstein
Love where you’ve been, love where you are, and love where you are headed.
Being grateful for where you are and accepting your situation for what it is contributes greatly to your overall happiness.
Yeah sure, your car may not be the newest. And alright, I agree, your house isn’t the biggest. Oh fine, yeah, your job doesn’t pay the most… but forget all of these things. Dwelling on what you don’t have only holds you back from happiness.
Here are some reads and watches that will help you love your journey:
We hope you found these resources valuable and had (or are still having) an amazing Valentine’s Day! Be sure to let those who are important to you know just how much you care for them :)
Much love from the whole team at The Mission! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️