Hello fellow bloggers!
I think that this will be a common theme that most of us talk about, but it's something that I think is the most important aspect of my life right now.
I believe in love.
Love is my religion.
It is my goal, and my life.
As a Mormon, I've learned to place a lot of value on love.
When you scrape away all the green jello, funeral potatoes, fast-and-testimony meetings, white shirts and ties, and the sounds of Sunday, then you get closer to seeing what the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is truly founded on. You see love.
The church is centered on Jesus Christ. Christ is love. This is why I am still Mormon. Because religion based on love makes sense to me.
In the Bible Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is. He responds that it is to love God. And the second is like unto it: Love thy neighbor as thyself.
There was a long period of time in my life where I hated God. I hated myself. And I thought that I loved my family and my friends and my neighbor. But I didn't. Because I hadn't yet learned that in order to love someone else I must first love myself.
The second commandment only applies if you manage to figure out the one that hides between the lines. The one that says you must love who you are.
In the Mormon church it is easy for people to shy away from loving themselves. Nobody wants to be caught with having pride, because that's seen as sin. That's a whole different topic, but the truth is people are scared to let themselves enjoy who they are. Like I did, they miss how critical it is to love yourself.
I believe that no one can truly love another until they have learned to love themselves. Call me crazy, but I've seen how true it is. I thought I loved others, but the reality was I became dependent on the people around me. I fed off of their love, their talents, their lives that they lived.
I learned to love who I am. Every part of me--Mormon, lesbian, daughter, sister, cousin, friend, traveler, firefighter, student, runner... I love my eyes and the crinkles that form when I smile. I love my freckles and my nose, my small ears and my hair that takes way too long to grow. I love myself despite my bad knees and my grouchy moods. Once I learned to accept and love myself, I felt like it became much easier to love the people around me, which is a very important part of my life.
"I love you" means nothing until you can say it to yourself.