Before you blow me off, listen.
How to Be Alone: Find Unconditional Love, using these three steps:
- Start with Ourselves
- Love others
- Let ourselves be loved
First, we must witness this internally. We must work at loving ourselves, totally, flaws and all. When we know that we are enough, we can begin. One way that reminds me to do this is hearing my wise friend Jared signing off to me by saying, “Kate, be gentle with Kate”.
Once we have begun working on loving ourselves unconditionally, we can then spread that love unto others. Find people that you can love without question.
For me, I found this with those in served in Syracuse. I don’t know why it was so easy there, as sometimes it is harder to live out this love with family and friends, but this is what I found. I felt that those I served deserved my all. Every sandwich made or medicine prescribed came without conditions or strings attached. There was just a recognition of love and hope…even if it was between something as unappetizing as week old white bread and cheap bologna! Regardless, I felt more fully alive when I lived out this agape.
Next, find sources of. This doesn’t mean you get a pass and can be an ogre to everyone you met (no offense, Shrek). Rather, find people you can be honest with, fail in front off, be vulnerable with in sharing your story and not be judged. Even if its just for two hours over coffee- or in my recent case, two hours in a young adult reflection group. Heartbreak, joys, parenthood, tragedy, illness, loss, were all shared. And by talking about unconditional love, we were able to live it in those two hours. Plus, many plans were born from this outpouring- girls night out, bar dates, a writing group, and more.
My night ended in talking to a struggling friend. The words felt a bit strange but I said them anyway “Hey, I’m here for you….I love you”. And with that I realized that the more I love, the less conditions I have.
Check out the previous HTBA posts: