There is a simple rule that we are called to follow within Filianism. That rule is to love others. From there flows the entire set of precepts that guide our faith as outlined in the wisdom text called The Crystal Tablet. Love is very simple, though it may feel complicated. It can be difficult to express and to hold in your heart.
As a person who grew up in an abusive household and lived through many traumas, I know how difficult it can be to love the person(s) who have harmed you. Love does not require forgiveness or for you to remain in connection with the person(s) who have harmed you. It is a healthy love of yourself that allows you to set limits and boundaries that are healthy for you, and to enforce them. This love of yourself is encouraged by Déa because you are a child of hers that deserves to be loved, cherished, and safe.
One can love others from a distance. The beloved may or may not know that they are the object of your affection. It does not diminish your love for them. Indeed, distance can make love grow stronger and more potent as we cultivate it within ourselves for those who are far from us. Mutual affection is a fine thing, but it is not required for us to love others. One can love a person who loathes them, would do them harm, and is spiteful. It is possible to love such people from a distance that is safe and in silence. Because the affection in our hearts do not need to be spoken. Déa is aware of it and cherishes us for our capacity to love under any conditions.
We, who have survived trauma, are often told ‘you must love yourself before you’ll be loved by some one else.’ This is a lie. We can be loved by others even as we struggle with self-loathing and hatred. We must not be ashamed of this struggle. Self-loathing and self-hatred are an inversion of love, not the opposite. It is love turned in the wrong direction and in need of a course correction. It takes time to make that course correction, but it can be done. It is easy to love others when you are in this state of inversion because you see they are worthy of love. The key to correcting the inversion of love that causes the state of self-loathing and self-hatred is seeing that you are worthy of love as well.
This is different from forgiveness, though many mistake it for it. Acceptance of one as they are and loving them as they are is a radical act. I would argue that it is one of the most radical acts of compassion that you can do. It is also one of the most empowering ones that you can do for yourself. We are all flawed in some fashion even as we are all magnificent in some fashion. To accept ourselves fully (flaws and all) is the first step in truly loving ourselves. It is also the first step in seeing the reflection of Déa that resides deep within our hearts.
Forgiveness is the restoration of harmony. It is, however, but one part of the process. Forgiveness can only be given once the damage that has been done is repaired. A wound left open will fester and grow purulent if it is not mended and treated with proper care. The reparation of damage is the mending of the spiritual wounds evidenced when harmony is broken. Forgiveness is the acknowledgement of the completion of the mending of wounds. If the wound is not fully treated, will it not continue to get worse? It must be fully treated before we can forgive and move forward anew.
Acts of love are how we restore harmony when it is broken. When the person who has caused harm acts to make reparations and resolve the broken harmony between the injured party, this is an act of love. There are times, however, when harmony remains broken between parties. This is where acceptance of ourselves is an act of healing, thus an act of love.
Grace lies in all acts of love. If they are acts of service, kind words, or passionate embraces, there is love there. There are many forms of love. Déa has blessed us mightily in that respect for there are as many ways to love as there are stars in the sky. In all things, we are called to remember we must act with love and then all shall be well.