Over the years, my mind gone through a steady evolution. And today I was validated and discovered someone else with the same point of view on the subject of love.
A lot of people may draw whatever conclusions from my art photography or my poetry. That's fine. My art has always simply been my outlet to help me either satiate my creative impulses or in some cases, to bleed out parts of my past. Yet, I've always tried to give back ensuring that the subjects of my photos also get something out of it. Peter Hurley has said, sort of off the cuff and in a joking manner, that he is 90% therapist and 10% photographer. But you know, I've sort of echoed this sentiment as well. I like to help people see their best side.
Outside of the image, in my day to day life and dealings with people I've evolved in the area of love.
I think at a time in my life when I was drinking more or less uncontrollably (which is great for clouding one's vision and fucking up relationships), I always wanted others to be happy, it was not selfless love. It was, often times, selfish love. This is not, The Way.
Next in my evolution, I only wanted others to have love with others. I didn't really care about myself so long as others knew love and therefore some sort of happiness. This too is not the true Way.
Next in my evolution is combining my want for other's happiness with also learning to love things about myself. This has been the hardest thing to evolve into, and I am still learning. But I know it is the Way. Love for others, and oneself is the full circle. The missing point in many people's lives.
Thus I felt this significant enough to make a blog post about since I feel many people misinterpret my interest, dedication and loyalty about their day to day lives, or goals. My perception may be wrong, I can acknowledge that. But just in case...
Outside of my darkest times, I've always considered first and foremost:
1) Our value to others is defined in our willingness and/or ability to help others.
Real love is the carrier oil, if you will, for strong lasting relationships, whether these be friendships or otherwise.
But what does that mean? Love is a word which is used to describe so many different forms, many of which are lesser degrees or in some regards, twisted or perverted forms of love (or altogether fake or false love, with undisclosed motivations). Today I finally found (Thanks Jenn!) someone that has articulated love:
2) "Genuine love says: I love you therefore I want YOU to be happy. If that includes me, great! If it doesn't include me, I just want your happiness."
You can watch this short video where this quote came from:
Unselfish love, I believe, is the key to a happier mindset and is a great basis for lasting, strong relationships. I hope more people will adopt or consider these two concepts, help and love, no matter how many times they are hurt. And no matter how dark times can become.
If love for all is a hard concept to grasp then try this. Go out into the environment and people watch, or have lunch with someone, anyone, friend, stranger. Then, "Find something to admire about THAT person." Repeat and repeat until you start seeing the admirable qualities all people have.