If you don't love yourself, you cannot love others - Dalai Lama

Today, there is much said about “leadership.” Let’s just say that leadership is “in vogue” in today’s society. So, let me put my two cents in on the subject as well. I know you must be wondering, Okay? but a tie-in to Valentine’s Day?

Furthermore, it’s not just a tie-in, but I believe it is the root. Root in this case, meaning the foundation; the elemental building block. I just like using “root” because of my love for trees. So, hang in there, here we go!

Valentine’s Day: the holiday of love.

Hope, Faith and Love, but the greatest of these is Love,” as stated by the Apostle Paul in the 13th chapter of I Corinthians. Valentine’s Day, is the holiday of love, originally a feast in honor of Saint Valentine. Generally, for those in their teens and beyond, this day is reserved for that “significant” other in our lives. But, I remember back in grade school we handed out Valentines to everyone in the class. Okay, so where does the leadership tie come in? Keep hanging in with me. First, I want to discuss the “root” part.

What is the root of love or the beginning of love? Love begins within our hearts and our souls. Before we are able to share it with others we must first learn it ourselves. This comes from a love of ourselves. I see the puzzled expressions out there, but think about it. Before we can share something with someone else we must first posses it ourselves. We are all familiar with the phrase, “if you give someone a fish you feed them for a day; if you teach someone how to fish you feed them for a lifetime.” In either case, you must first posses something. You must either possess a fish or you must possess the knowledge of how to fish to convey to another.

Love is no different.

Define love as respect, patient, belief in, kind, forgiving, trustworthy, and definitely not jealous to boastful. You probably have a few other words of your own to define love. Now try applying these words to yourself. Do you respect yourself, are you patient with yourself (I really struggle with this one), or are you jealous or envious with what others may possess?

When we can pass this test, and truly love ourselves, our soul, for who we are, then we can share this with another soul. This we may call finding our “soul mates” another in vogue theory that so many people in our society seem to search for. Maybe this is because so many of us are skipping the root and trying to get to the crown.

Where’s the root part?

Rocks with the words Dream, Inspire, Courage and Harmony printed on them.Now I know many of you are still waiting for the leadership part of this post, but as mentioned above when defining love … patience! We will continue to build the leadership model in coming weeks, but first we must build a solid foundation on which to build. As a tree person, we need a good root system to support all future growth. As a hint of where we are going, in order to be a leader of many, first you must be a leader of one and that is a leader of self.

It just so happens, I love coincidences like this, this year Valentine’s Day coincides with the first day of Lent. For those of you who observe Lent through giving something up or doing something different, may I suggest spending the Lenten season by renewing your love for yourself.

Leadership: Do these three things. Well, maybe four.

  • Go the entire season without allowing yourself to beat yourself up for something you said or didn’t say.
  • Squash negative thoughts about yourself the second they arise.
  • Be patient with yourself, you won’t get it right all the time, but have fun with it and learn to love yourself again.

If you’re not into Lent, think of it as a Game Exercise. Write a list of words that describe love to you, your own definition and then apply it to you.

And remember these three:

This is a little trickier exercise than you may think and you may think it pointless, but remember two things as you embark on this journey: one you first must possess something before you can share with someone else; and two, you must have fun with this, remember to smile and laugh a lot. And a third, for those not into Lent, define a period of time you will play this game. Although hopefully it will last a life time, it is always good to end a game.

(Note to self: Participation in this activity does not preclude doing something special for the special person/people in your life on this Valentine’s Day.)

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! So much more than chocolates and flowers! And share our blog with someone you love!

Joe

PS More on the leadership aspect in our next blog!

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