Liking less, loving more

“As you become Lighter and your degree of consciousness rises, you’ll find you like fewer people and love more.” ~Susan Shadburne

Thanks to the challenging relationships I have with my many members of my family of origin, I have known for a long time that it is possible to love someone whom you don’t like very much. The highest compliment I can give someone is to tell them that I not only love them, but I also genuinely like them. Many people I’ve known over the years have been a bit mystified by this because they see “love” as being a higher, better feeling than “like.”

Although I don’t think I have a particularly high level of consciousness, I was very relieved to come across this quote that seemed to agree with my idea that liking someone is often a higher compliment than loving them. Of course, I’m talking about genuine like and authentic love in the fullest sense of the word—not the romantic kind of “in love” but the real love of another human being when you can see them and value them as someone made in the image of God.

I’m finding that as I continue to let go of so much of the critical, judgmental spirit that I’ve always directed toward myself, I’m also becoming much less critical and judgmental of others. To my surprise, this is making it easier for me to love more people, but I think I may like even fewer than I used to. I think I used to base my choice of whether or not I liked people on how they made me feel, how much they could do for me, and how they made me look by the world’s standards.

I’d like to be able to claim that I have evolved to the point where my choice to like someone was completely unrelated to the effect they have on me, but I can’t claim that. Instead, what I have noticed is that I find myself liking people more by how I act and who I am when I am around them. The more authentically me I am around someone, the more I like them.

“Part of working on ourselves, in order to be ready for a profound relationship, is learning how to support another person in being the best they can be. Partners are meant to have a priestly role in each other’s lives. They are meant to help each other access the highest parts within themselves.” ~Marianne Williamson

I like people who are able to play a priestly role in my life, as Marianne describes it. I like those people who support me in being the best I can be, who help me connect with the highest parts of myself and bring those parts out into the world. I value those people who help me expand into all I can be rather than those who (however subtly) try to get me to fit into some mold of who they think I should be.

By this standard, I find myself becoming even pickier about who I want to spend time with even as I become less critical of others. I am learning to accept many more people as they are and see the divine in them, while at the same time becoming even more protective of how I spend my time and energy, so I can put my efforts toward becoming the best me I can be.

And in the meantime, I am working harder at trying to make sure I can play the same kind of priestly role in the lives of those people I do choose to spend my time with as I am gaining from them. Perhaps someday this will prepare me for the kind of profound relationship I long for, but if not, I believe it will still make me a better friend to the many wonderful people who do grace my life with their presence.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a very fragile place, and it takes a good deal of vulnerability to share this personal journey of transformation so openly. Therefore, I need this to be a safe place for exploration and sharing for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight—or the expression of that experience or insight—are NOT welcome here and will be deleted