A friend recently said to me that he only wished to, “feel loved.”
I replied, “that comes from within.”
But had he said the same thing to me two or more years ago, I would have commiserated with him about how lonely the world can feel because two + years ago I, too, was looking everywhere for something… for something that was always a part of me – seated deeply within.
Many times we do find what we think we’re looking for in other people only to realize that, for having found it, it has changed, or, that it isn’t “enough.”
Most often this occurs because we expect the impossible from them – that they might complete us…or that they can save us.
And herein lies the problem: people can only provide us with a piece of what we believe we need and they can only meet us as far as they, themselves, have traveled.
This is why, seeking what we need outside of us always leads to frustration and failure. The more we seek without, the more we become convinced that it doesn’t exist or that we’re unworthy of it simply for our failure to find it.
But neither conclusion is true. The truth is simple: Everything we believe we need can be found within us. All the love, joy, and compassion that we need is seated within us in a place I call our “soul.”
But you can call it whatever you want.
And I believe that all we need is available to us because our souls are connected to and are a part of God, the fount of ALL.
Again, you can call “God” whatever you want.
And though it’s all within us, we often over-complicate finding it by spending thousands of dollars on therapy, reading hundreds of self help books, attending the workshops of gurus, all because we’re still looking without.
Let me say that Therapy, Self Help and Books are wonderful but they won’t solve any problems. They only provide the tools which we must use.
Self-work is sometimes the most difficult work we’ll ever do because it requires us to be brutally honest with ourselves. Or scarier still, it requires that we actually look at ourselves, sometimes for the first time.
But once we allow ourselves the dignity of honesty we find that:
When we feel that we lack love it’s because we haven’t loved ourselves.
When we feel that we lack compassion it’s because we haven’t been compassionate with ourselves.
When we feel that we lack joy, it’s because we haven’t created joy for ourselves enough.
When we feel that we lack worth, it’s because we haven’t honored our own value enough.
There is a misconception today that we must denigrate ourselves in order to lift up others – that we must love others better than we love ourselves all in an effort to be “humble.”
Loving yourself doesn’t keep you from being humble. It saves you from being a doormat which is the opposite of humility. Self love allows you to take care of your own needs without having to sacrifice your own well-being so others can thrive. It enables us to set boundaries and gives us courage and strength during adversities because through our self love, we KNOW we can overcome.
Self love is what allows us to feel the love of others and while we may be able to “love” others without loving ourselves it is a poor facsimile of love because it is born from attachment and not surrender.
Even Christ himself commanded: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” – not more than your self or better than yourself, AS yourself.
Our outer-world is a reflection our inner-world so when we love ourselves, the world becomes love!
Om, Baby! Om,