We have all heard the expression, you can never love another until you love yourself but what does that really mean? Is self love something we need to learn? Why is it so important that we love ourselves? What about humility and modesty? Isn’t loving ourselves a form of arrogance?
Unfortunately many of us were raised to believe so. Conditioned thoughts and fears have kept us from celebrating ourselves as we battle to be accepted, seen to fit in, a part of society. This learned desire to be normal has made it mainstream for us to find fault with ourselves, devalue our gifts and live in a feeling of anxiety and insecurity.
How do you imagine this thinking works out in a relationship? As we battle to escape our insecurities by seeking affirmation and being better than our partner? As we seek destructive and emotionally draining encounters that perpetuate the negative self image we have of ourselves? As we engage in false ideas about what it means to love and be loved that see us harm and be harmed?
We are all a product of our conditioning until we see that we are more than that.
There is an innocent misunderstanding that if we judge ourselves as good or bad, if we judge our thoughts as wrong or right, if we judge our behaviour as normal or abnormal, that we are keeping ourselves accountable and, therefore, being good people. Based on this belief, it follows that we keep others accountable the same way.
But love is never judgemental; in fact, judgement takes us away from love. Being a person who is helpful to others, being a person who is of service to the world cannot come from being judgemental of ourselves. It can only come from seeing the innocence in the misunderstanding that leads to judgement, fear, chaos, disorder, pain and suffering
When we begin to see ourselves for who we really are, it makes no sense to continue on in the belief that we are wanting, less than, damaged. Of course we will still repeat patterns of inherited behaviour at times and engage with unhelpful thinking but we will see through them to our true selves. The selves that are whole, not wanting, at peace. We will forgive ourselves for having been hoodwinked. When we understand that we have simply been living in a state of confusion, we shed the image of who we thought we were and begin to embrace the magnificence of who we really are.
Once this happens, we are naturally more gentle with others. We can see that they too are innocently caught up in misunderstanding. We stop taking their actions personally. We forgive them for their confusion. We stop seeking conflict and unhappiness. We set healthy boundaries that keep us safe. We are guided to seek healthy relationships and act well towards our partner. We see that unhealthy actions are harmful to ourselves and we understand that we are worth more than that.
When we finally see ourselves as the perfect expression of love that we are, we forgive ourselves for the innocent misunderstanding that has lead us to ever believe otherwise and we realise how others are still struggling with it.
Being human means we get to experience life through a range of thoughts and emotions. When we invest in an outdated mode of living that tries to make sense of the human condition by creating rules and regulations for who we should be, how we should act and the proper way to behave, we are limited to a miserable worldview that focuses on what we aren’t, what we are doing wrong and why we’ll never be the person we should be.
When we embrace our spiritual truth, shrug off old paradigms and connect with our wellbeing, we can do nothing but love ourselves. We have made mistakes based on a misunderstanding of who we really are. As have our parents and their parents before them. We have looked outside of ourselves for validation and acceptance because we did not know that inside, already, we are enough.
When we see that others are operating on the same misunderstanding, we can love them too. When we forget that another person is human, we lose our sense of humanity; we are less compassionate towards them because we are caught up in our own subjective experience of their actions and personal thinking about how they should behave. When we let go of the demands of our ego and our conditioned thinking, we wake up to the confusion that others are living in and we forgive them. We see more clearly that we are all muddling through as best we can, learning and growing when we are lucky and opening up to the health, wisdom and clarity that we are born with when we are blessed.
There is a reason these words spark a feeling of hope and relief within us. We resonate with the truth.
Living from love is the only way to heal the world. The great news is that we already are love, we already are living from love, we already are being guided by love and we have the option to tune into the frequency of love any time we look beyond our personal experience and open up to the spiritual wellbeing beyond our conditioned thinking that is there to guide us in every moment.