Case of the Motivational Mondays: Love is Respect

My outfits from this past weekend!

Hey, kiddos!  Did you enjoy your Valentine's Day weekend regardless of where your romantic life may or may not be?  Mine was filled with love, friendship, brunch, and as promised...debauchery.  It wasn't as wild or silly as two years ago, but a notable highlight was walking around an adult store (if you didn't click the above link above, doing that sort of thing is an accidental Valentine's Day tradition in my friend group) with two male companions (while waiting to meet up with other people) and having the couples in the store try to figure out if I was with either, both, or what in the heck was happening there!  Even in real life I'm mysterious about my romantic status ;)

ANYWAY...this one is going to be brief because I'm a little under the weather, but in continuation of this month's theme about love I have to talk about how respect and love should never be mutually exclusive.  Respect can take on many forms, but at the end of the day I define it as being thought of, cared for, and never dismissed.  Too many relationships, friendships, and families embody the opposite of those traits.  People are very quick to put loved ones out of sight and out of mind.  A lot of people are only in friendships or relationships to be cared for and not to be an equal caregiver for someone else.  And while no two people may ever truly 100% understand each other, too often people dismiss, belittle, or negate what someone is trying to tell them about how they feel.  Sometimes I feel like we're in this culture where we've been taught that "love conquers all" and so nothing else matters.  I'm constantly hearing excuses from guys and girls alike about how they know their partner/best friend/someone important to them is treating poorly, but because they love them they put up with it.  While I agree that love should be unconditional and compromises have to be made from time to time, there also needs to be a clear line in the sand about when enough is enough and any partnership is probably not worth having if there can't be a healthy communication about what's working and what's not.

Someone may have loving feelings for you.  But if their actions aren't following through with their words or alleged emotions, you may need to consider how much they're committed to the act of love, how compatible you are for each other, or how much they just like being in any partnership as opposed to being in a partnership with you.  Life is too short to not have those lines in the sand.  To a large extent, we're treated the way we expect to be treated.  If you expect people to be a bare minimum partner...you're probably going to get a bare minimum parter!  If you expect someone to treat you the way you need to be treated, though it may take a second to find, you will find that person.  Life has a funny way of working out like that and reflecting our inner dialogue.  It also works both ways: think long and hard about how you treat people you love in your life.  Sometimes positive change starts with us, regardless of who else may be involved.  People usually respond positively when you treat them right.  And often it becomes a "monkey see, monkey do" situation.  And if that doesn't happen, you'll know you did everything you could and it's time to move on.

The long and short of it is that it's really easy to fall for words and grow used to our situations, regardless of if it's good or bad.  If someone isn't listening to you, being there for you, reaching out to you...there's a lack of respect and probably a lack of love.  Actions always speak louder than words.  You are good enough to have everything you want and life is too short to not be doing any and everything to align yourself with people that will bring you the happiness you deserve.  Respect everyone around you that you love, don't anger when people can't do the same for you...but know when you to distance yourself from them.  Love and respect should be one in the same, and you should never feel bad about wanting what you want and needing what you need.  Never let anyone make you feel belittled or forgotten-which is easier said than done.  But like any behavior, it gets more dominant and natural the more you practice it.  Respect yourself, and others will respect you.

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