February 2, 2011

Love the one you’re with

Day 33: 20.0 miles/1:18

 “We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and imperfections.” ~ John Lennon

This quote reminds me of a popular song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young entitled “Love the one you’re with.”  While they were more likely reflecting the loving sixties theme, that title can be easily connected to this quote by John Lennon. If you can’t love yourself first, it is quite difficult to enjoy all that life has to offer us.

I know a lot of people who are perpetually engrossed by people, or work, or drugs, or tons of busy work just to avoid the prospect of being alone.  For some people being alone can mean being with someone they don’t really like or enjoy.  To feel joy and celebrate all that it offers, you need to love the one you are with first.

About ten years ago, I made a commitment to myself to be a better person because I was not happy with who I was.  As part of this commitment, I went on sabbatical for the expressed purpose of spending time with myself.  For three weeks, with the help of a professional advisor, I explored all the aspects of myself that I spent a lifetime avoiding.  I learned about my past, my failures, my choices, and my experiences from the perspective of discovering why I was the person I was.  I learned a great deal about me in all my glory and my imperfection.  This clarity provided me an entirely different perspective of who I was.  Once I learned to love the one I was with, my life changed significantly.  My relationships with my children improved, my ability to better engage and help others increased, and most importantly I learned to enjoy myself and life’s pleasures that much more.

If you find yourself struggling to be comfortable in that quiet, alone space with yourself, examine what is keeping you from enjoying who you are.  What is preventing you from celebrating your gifts, your talents, and your passion.  Chances are you haven’t taken the time to get to know the person you hang out with the most; and, until you do, that person may actually be distracting you from greatness.  Fall in love with that person first and see what happens next.  You will be amazed at the power of the gift of love that you will give yourself.

You are awesome.  You have been given unique gifts, talents, and abilities to make a difference.  Love yourself first in all your glory and imperfection and then bring it on!

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.