Ruling your nation with love should be everyone’s goal for 2016.
I asked a few people what they thought was the greatest expression of love. At first, I received answers that involved acts of service, such as breakfast in bed or washing the car. Others said they preferred physical touch, and still others believed in sacrifice.
Tiffany Wilkerson, Rule Your Nation Award winner, said love is best expressed through gratefulness and appreciation for the simple sacrifices each person does for the other.
Kai Andrews, 28 from Honolulu, Hawaii, said the best expression of love is “loving [her] for all [she is] now, in the present moment, and allowing [her] space to be [herself] and express [herself].”
Leiann Wrytes, from Dallas, Texas, believes that love requires patience.
“The best way to help someone is [to] love them until they can love themselves enough to be motivated to reach for a better version of themselves,” Wrytes, 30, said. “There is no time-table on that process.”
None of these expressions of love rely on circumstances or conditions. None require a checklist of body measurements, salary, race, religion, or sexual orientation. If you love someone, you must love all of her, be patient with her, and appreciate the sacrifices she makes for you. This love requires grit and determination. It’s not always pretty, but it’s always necessary.
It also isn’t limited to romantic interests. Love is broader than dating and marriage. It’s more than infatuation. Love is expressed by pushing through the ups and downs, wins and losses, strengths and weaknesses for whatever or whoever you deem worth it.
I was inspired to write this piece by Rule Your Nation Award winner Haley Viloria, a contortionist who said before every performance she reminds herself and her team to “be in love.” She believes love means something different for everyone, and her work makes it obvious how much she loves her craft.
You don’t get this good at anything without loving it.
We all love something. Whatever it is for you, stop holding back and start loving with reckless passion. If you love basketball, spend all night with it(see: Magic Johnson). If you’re a martial artist, practice your love even when it hurts. If you love to write, spend every morning with your pen. This is the kind of love that the greatest among us understand and express every day, and there is nothing stopping you from achieving greatness.
I once performed a spoken word piece that ended with the line “Love is action,” and that is an apt phrase for this year. It’s high time we stopped announcing New Year’s resolutions and started doing them. If you love yourself enough to achieve your goal, you’ll show yourself every day with no proclamation necessary until you finish.
Your goal can be a continuation of the previous year or something so brand new that it takes you out of your comfort zone to even start. Nobody needs to know but you, but it doesn’t hurt to strive for someone else too. What matters most is that you’re willing to love something or someone enough to push yourself. Love enough to try something new and see what happens.
Do you think she would’ve done this for anyone else? Me neither.
This blog’s motto is Rule Your Nation. This year, rule by loving without fear or limits. Love the best way you know how, and then learn how to love more. Most of all, never cheat on what you love or how you love it. Anything that distracts from your love isn’t worth engaging. If it makes your love grow, focus on it until it becomes your everything. Rule your nation with love, and it will love you back.
Love well, my friends.