It’s taken me a long time to realise this, but love is not “nice”. Love is strong, dynamic, gut wrenchingly honest and fully present. Niceness doesn’t cut it anymore.
It finally hit home while I was sat watching Netflix all day. I decided to watch a Tony Robbins documentary – “I Am Not Your Guru”. I thoroughly recommend it for a form of entertainment while you learn about yourself at the same time. Anyway, he was trying to help a mother who had been letting her daughter be in control of the whole family, and she said to him that she was trying to bring peace to the family. He grabbed her on the top of the head and shouted, in true Tony Robbins style, that there is no peace in family. This, along with all the quiet reflective time I have taken of late, trying to understand my life lessons, really struck a chord with me.
Many people confuse niceness with kindness. However, if you look deep inside, niceness really implies that you want something from someone. You want to be liked – which is natural – we would all like to be liked. But doesn’t it feel incongruent? You are not being genuine when you are being nice. it is like a manipulation tactic, probably derived from child hood – if you are being “nice” you are following the rules and so your parents will love you and thus you will survive into adulthood.
It is bland. If someone tells me I am “nice” as a compliment, it doesn’t really feel like a compliment.
Kindness, on the other hand, comes from the heart. It is about easing the other persons suffering in a genuine way. This is what love is.
When you love someone, it is dynamic. You are invested in their highest good, and thus you are willing to let them feel uncomfortable for a while and hold them in that space if it means that they will come to a place of understanding and learn about themselves. If it will lead to their highest good, their living from their authentic self.
It means being blatantly honest with the people around you, and expecting them to be honest with you, because you are invested in them. It’s not about you anymore – it’s about both of you in relationship to each other.
If you are both living and loving from your authentic selves – you grow. You model healthy relationships to the world. You model genuineness, empathy, strength, unconditional positive regard. These are the core conditions for growth and healing that Carl Rogers posits – the father of person centred therapy.
To truly love someone, including yourself, you have to be strong. You have to risk not being liked for a while. You have to be honest about where you are at, what you feel about a certain situation, where your boundaries are, so the relationship – either with others or with yourself, can flourish and grow. So that you can be loved for who you genuinely are, and so that you can love the other person for who they genuinely are.
Being “nice” doesn’t even begin to cover this.
Here is to an amazing adventure through life where we all learn to love each other more and live from our authentic selves.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this, so please do get in touch.
Wishing you all love and many blessings,
Lucy Loizou xxx