It’s February! Not only is it Black History Month, it is the month of love. And since it is the month of love, it is time to continue our series about the lifting power of love. Yes, love can lift -elevate, excite, empower and encourage you if the love contains the right elements.
We started the series by saying that love L.I.F.T.S. when love is liberating, and not limiting. We said that when love is liberating, it allows people to express, explore and experience all the facets of their personalities and their personhood.
Yes, that’s right! Liberating love provides greater freedom, more fun, and deeper emotional fulfillment when people can create relationships norms that work for them. And any time we are creating and not controlling relationships, there is the endless possibility, potential and promise of abundance, however, we define it.
During our second installment of the series, we talked about the need for love to be illuminating and not intimidating. I know, illumination is not a sexy word, but it is an appropriate word when considering love. Why? Because love, true love, provides an environment for learning. It creates space for people to learn about themselves in meaningful ways. It lets people learn who they really are and who they are not so that they can live more authentically, fearlessly and consistently without the fear of abandonment, ridicule, and rejection. And in the safety of acceptance, people grow, relationships flourish and our communities heal. Good stuff, right?
That leads us to the “F” in L.I.F.T. Love can L.I.F.T. if the love is grounded in Faith and not Fault-finding. That’s a hard one. It is hard because people, I am sad to say, are usually GOOD at fault-finding. Some couples and friends are unfortunately good at giving each other criticism, rebukes, attacks, and unsolicited advice. Some friends and partners give so much negative feedback that I sometimes wonder, “why are you together” or “why are you friends?”.
But this what I know for sure. People who easily find fault in others are usually dissatisfied with their own lives; they are not happy campers. Or, people who are fault-finders are threatened by concepts or circumstances that they don’t understand or can’t control. Often people who complain and criticize incessantly have unresolved issues or don’t know how to express their needs or have not done their own emotional work required for emotional mastery.
Suffice to say, people who routinely find fault in you can be hazardous to your emotional and spiritual health. Their constant attacks, excessive condemnation and negative energy can deplete you and jeopardize your wholeness. And if you stay in the relationship, the constant put-downs will make you question your abilities, or at least, make you question your sanity. Who needs or wants that?
Never forget that you deserve to be cherished, encouraged and supported. If you are not receiving love that makes you feel acknowledged, appreciated and affirmed, you have a personal obligation and a personal mandate to make a different choice…LEAVE!
Now, if you are fault-finder, here are some suggestions that will hopefully help you curb your need to criticize.
1) Spend time with yourself. Analyze why you constantly “pick” people apart. Be honest with yourself. Effective analysis is always required to take effective action.
2) Identify how fault-finding serves and benefits you. Does it give you a false sense of importance? Does it give you power? Does it even up the score? Does it eliminate fear? Does it make you feel less threatened?
3) Consider the impact on your partner’s or your friend’s emotional and spiritual well-being. How are you slowly dismantling your relationships by your constant attacks or callous critiques?
When you are able to answer some of the questions, you are on your way to making different choices to curtail your fault-finding ways. If you need an extra incentive to do less fault-finding, remember that it generally takes five or more positive comments to cancel every negative comment. So, try your best not to make withdrawals from the emotional bank account, make an investment instead.
Put this advice in your back pocket, your journal or in your soul: Relationship investments amplify, multiply and satisfy. But relationship withdrawals worry, wreck and wound.
Here is the bottom line. We all want to be in relationships with people who believe in us, believe for us and believe in our abilities. We all desire people in our inner circle who trust us, pray for us, celebrate us and cherish us. We all want to be surrounded by people who have faith in us and have faith in themselves. We all want faithful people, people who are FULL of faith. Yes, that’s what we all want and that’s what we really need to be our best selves.
As you are considering your relationships, partnerships, and others “ships” in your life, think about how you are showing up. If you have faith in yourself and in others, great. If you are a fault-finder, determine why you are a fault-finder so that you can change your ways. Changing your ways will change how you experience love, and will hopefully give you an opportunity to experience a love that L.I.F.T.S.
Advice: Always remember that the BIGGEST room in your life is the ROOM for SELF-improvement. That alone should help you keep the focus on YOU and off of THEM.
“Love Lifted me. Love Lifted me. When nothing else could help, LOVE lifted me”. I still enjoy singing the song. After 45 years, the words still resonate in my heart and soul and gives me hope that one day I will experience a love that will L.I.F.T. me.
Let’s love ourselves and let’s love each other so that we can L.I.F.T. each other, our friends, our communities and the world.
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