The task in the beginning is to learn to love self.
This is accomplished by the provision of healthy caretaker inputs from outside-in.
A child must first be loved, in order to learn how to experience love, in order to learn how to love.
Learning to love your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have experiential personal meaning.
The root word of the root word in meaning is the first two letters or the word formed by “m” + “e” = “me”.
Meaning is often self-centered, self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing because the focus is on “me”.
With me, myself brings me to I and this is the only time in a person’s life when three’s company, not a crowd.
“Me, myself and I!”
“How do I love me?”
“Let me count the ways.”
The task in the middle is to learn to love another as much as self.
This is accomplished by the provision of healthy self-initiated inputs from inside-in.
An adolescent, or young adult, must next learn how to transact purposeful love-equivalencies.
Learning to love another as much as your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have relational purpose.
Transaction of purposeful love-equivalencies necessitates reconciliation between self-interest vs. other-interest.
At this stage, the construct of “me” winning at the expense of “you” losing does not long-serve a relational purpose.
Something has to give and what that give is must be a “surrender” to the higher principle of the relationship.
Winning must now be redefined as neither self nor other losing that which one or the other cannot or must not lose.
Consequently, the relational purpose of learning to love another as much as your self is for no one to lose!
“I” +“thou” = “we”.
The task toward the end if to learn to love another more than self.
This is accomplished by the provision of healthy self and/or other initiated outputs from inside out.
A maturing adult must finally learn how to “love with open arms” without any expectation of a return, whatsoever.
Learning to love another more than your self, or your partner or spouse, is a crucial developmental task of values.
Values can only really and truly matter if you actually live your values in the way you really and truly value them.
At this level of lived-values, an irrevocable commitment is necessary for you to “add value” to the lives of all.
Yes, your life is about you, but not only just about you; about you and your significant other, but not only...
It now becomes about your loving for the opportunity life affords you to gift your love away, again and again.
Maturing roses are responsible for reconciliation with its thorns.
Like life, your life; bitter and sweet... forever, bittersweet.
Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Mentor
© 2016 Northern Illinois Counseling Associates, P.C. (NICA), Personal Mentoring Services (PMS)
Dr. Larry B. Gelman, Dr. Glenn B. Gelman, All Rights Reserved.