When Loving others is Hard
We can love people who don’t like us, or who don’t show it to us. This is true love! To love someone despite the fact that it is not always reciprocal. However, if this love is one-sided, respect the other’s choice not to love you, and respect yourself by choosing the relationship you want with this person. Occasionally, the most loving thing you can do for another person is to let them go and cut off contact with them. You can still love them by wishing them well, but recognize that continuing a relationship with anyone who has toxic habits, or who is abusive, is not being loving toward yourself.
What is “loving the other”?
· Accepting both their qualities and their flaws.
· Not judging them for their differences—in culture, in values.
· Not awaiting recognition.
· Knowing and respecting them.
Do not judge. We have gotten into the habit of judging, analyzing, gauging others, and it is a very bad habit: Who am I to judge anyone? Do I have all the pieces of their puzzle in my hand? all their history? the ins and outs of their life? Can I make an objective judgment about another person without that knowledge? Of course not. So let’s stop judging at all costs, or else let’s be judged! Do we like to be judged? Of course not. We would all like to have people who look at us with love, friendship, empathy, and understanding. So let’s do it for others! Personally, I remember that each person is in search of love and empathy, and that each human being is capable of the best, but that he simply has not yet expressed it. Each person has inside of themselves holiness, goodness, and love, often well hidden. So let’s look for the light in others and love it. When I speak to someone, I remember that deep down, they are a good person. More prosaically, you can also tell yourself that each person is like you, a being alone in the world (one is always alone with oneself), in search of happiness. It’s up to you to help him find it! You’ll find that you have also found happiness. If you practice this, your life will be transformed. Try it!
Commit to seeing the best in everyone. You can also practice seeing only the good in a person. Basically, this is what we do when we are in love: we sublimate a being and only see their positive sides, those that we like. It is only weeks, months or years later that we also see their flaws. It’s up to us to make a practice of seeing only the good qualities and the positive in a person, to continue to loving them. Sometimes that’s not possible. If someone is intent on hurting you repeatedly, it’s okay to walk away. Remember, you do not have to be abused by anyone, ever. But most of the time it is possible to overlook minor flaws and focus on the good qualities a person possesses.
Breathe. If you find it too difficult to see only the good qualities in someone, to refrain from judging them, you can focus on your breathing. You have the choice whether or not to get aggravated by what they say and do, and the power to detach yourself from them. Look at them as if you were on the bank of a stream watching it flow. This allows you to stop dwelling on your negative thoughts and to have a neutral and benevolent attitude toward others. Love is a feeling that comes from the thoughts you choose to follow, or not.
Remember to walk in love. One of the most important things I have learned is the selfless aspect of true love. I’ll tell you what it is. Your ability to walk in love each day is more important than anything else. Your “walk in love,” is the way you love others and yourself. Selfless love is characterized by the desire to sacrifice one’s own desires for those of others. I’ve learned that authentic love always adapts to the needs and wants of others. Soften your heart, and you’ll gradually learn to consider the needs of others. You’ll acquire compassion—the sincere desire to put the needs of others before your own. I gradually developed my own “walk in love,” making the deliberate decision to reach out to others. I have learned to express my love in different ways to different people. Not everyone has the same needs. One of your parents, for example, may require you to spend more time with them than the other. One friend might need encouragement more often than another.
Spend time with those who are different. (Re)learn to love others. It’s important to spend time with those we don’t always agree with. Otherwise we end up telling ourselves that they don’t matter, and our need to reach out to others gradually disappears until it becomes almost unthinkable to be with them. Learn to love those you feel yourself wanting to shun. Learn to empathize with others; develop your curiosity and ultimately your empathy. Don’t miss the opportunity to discover the world through the eyes of another; let us taste the authenticity in a point of view different from our own, and accept it. Nothing forces us to join it, just enjoy the pleasure of adopting it for a moment. This experience is likely to overwhelm us, to transform our vision of the world, and to develop both our sensitivity and our tolerance.
By adapting these ways, we learn to show a real interest in the other, to accept and love them. We arouse their own curiosity in turn, and their desire to reach out toward their fellow humans.
When you walk in love, everything becomes an object of love, and everything becomes worthy of the effort of loving it. This extends to everything in the world, even beyond people. The birds, the animals, the trees, rivers, the oceans—the whole planet and its environment, and you begin to see clearly that you are a small piece of creation. You may find you feel less alone. Your heart begins to expand and encompasses everything around you. You’ll notice when you begin to foster a genuine love for everyone and everything that your days are much happier as well. You’ll still go through rough times, but love has a habit of sustaining you through the darkest times and the biggest challenges. It may take you a while to get there, and you’ll find some people just don’t want to be loved. That’s okay. It’s a big world and there’s plenty to love about it and in it. Start with those around you, and expand your big brave heart as far as you can. It’s a muscle, after all. The more you use it, the stronger it grows.
-- A creator of safe spaces, and an initiator of difficult conversations, M.J. Fievre, B.S. Ed, spent much time building up her Black students, helping them feel comfortable in their skin, and affirming their identities. Her close relationships with parents and students led her to look more closely at how we can balance protecting our child’s innocence with preparing them for the realities of Black life. When―and how―do you approach racism with your children? How do you protect their physical and mental health while also preparing them for a country full of systemic racism? She began to research the issue and speak to school counselors and psychologists to find (and apply!) strategies parents and teachers can use with their children to broach uncomfortable but necessary topics.
M.J. is the author of Badass Black Girl, a daily dose of affirmations for Black Girls
“You'll come away from Badass Black Girl feeling as if you've known the author your entire life, and it's a rare feat for any writer.” ―“Mike, the Poet,” author of Dear Woman and The Boyfriend Book
#1 Gift Idea in Teen & Young Adult Cultural Heritage Biographies, Publishers Weekly Select Title for Young Readers
Affirmations for strong, fearless Black girls. Wisdom from Badass Black female trailblazers who accomplished remarkable things in literature, entertainment, education, STEM, business, military and government services, politics and law, activism, sports, spirituality, and more.
Explore the many facets of your identity through hundreds of big and small questions. In this journal designed for teenage Black girls, MJ Fievre tackles topics such as family and friends, school and careers, body image, and stereotypes. By reflecting on these topics, you will confront the issues that can hold you back from living your best life and discovering your Black girl bliss.
Embrace authenticity and celebrate who you are. Finding the courage to live as you are is not easy, so here’s a journal designed to help you nurture creativity, positive self-awareness and Black girl bliss. This journal honors the strength and spirit of Black girls.
Change the way you view the world. This journal provides words of encouragement that seek to inspire and ignite discussion. You are growing up in a world that tries to tell you how to look and act. MJ Fievre encourages you to fight the flow and determine for yourself who you want to be.
Badass Black Girl helps you to:
Build and boost your self-esteem with powerful affirmations
Learn more about yourself through insightful journaling
Become comfortable and confident in your authentic self