If I learn to love myself, will I stand alone in my life and in the world, unsheltered, without loving arms to hold me close? Is there no other being willing to accept that my love for myself will always be the brightest light that shines through my heart, and guides my feet on this eternal path of Love?
We love ourselves to create a home within our hearts, where Love can reside in the truth of its purity and grace. We love ourselves to invite, into this home within our hearts, another with whom we can share the gift of true Love. We love ourselves to embrace and embody, in this home within our hearts, Our Source and Creator, Our Mother Earth, and all beings within this world. We love ourselves to become One with ourselves and with Love and return home to the Oneness of all existence.
One thing is clear: Love is about relationship. We human beings are taught that we must experience Love in relationship to another from the moment we are born into this reality of Fear. Had we been born into a reality of Love, we would have known, instinctively, how to experience Love in relationship to ourselves. And, our parents would have learned how to nurture and support that Love as much as they did with the love we gave them.
If we had grown up in a reality of Love, we would have become a mirror reflection of the self-love that would naturally exist within our own hearts and the hearts of everyone we encountered. Our relationships would be a shared expression of our love for ourselves. However, being born into a reality of Fear deadened our instinct but not our need for self-love. It also created a lack of awareness in our parents. They could not see that we would grow up always seeking love from others in our quest for self-fulfillment without fostering within us a relationship of love for ourselves.
As we walk our lives today, we continue to seek and experience love outside of ourselves. To give love is giving love to someone outside of ourselves; to receive love is receiving love from someone outside of ourselves. Love is always coming from and going to the outside, sometimes (seemingly) without so much as a ‘hello,’ ‘thank you,’ or ‘good-bye.’ We learn that giving love and receiving love is always dependent on someone else participating. When we experience love within ourselves for another, we then believe that person is responsible for bringing love into our lives. And, without them, there is no love. It’s as if to say, “If you show up, love will come to me. If you leave, love will abandon me.
We must also realize that because our relationship with Love is based on Fear, we never quite believe that we deserve it at all. It’s as if, all alone and by ourselves, we certainly are not good enough company for Love to come and hang out, move in, or build a life with. The only hope we have of being loved is when someone comes along and convinces us that Love will love us through them. We beings of Love instinctively know that we need love to survive. Is it any wonder that we, despite our prevailing doubts, convince ourselves that someone can give us the love we need? Is it also any wonder that we fall apart and unravel at the very core, when the heart of that person falters in its devotion, or takes a different turn in the road, and disappears with their love in tow?
We live in constant fear of losing whatever love we get. Once the person bearing the love goes away, we are left alone again––without love. In truth, we are the only ones who can provide the depth of love we each require, to know and to understand who we are, and what we need to fulfill our lives. When we learn to experience Love for ourselves, we realize that we are singularly and undeniably responsible for bringing Love into our own lives.
In Fear, we have come to depend on each other for our primary and essential love. We not only bring to our relationships this deeper need we have for love, but we also bring the many injuries we have sustained from the pain of not feeling or having been loved. These are issues we have been carrying around with us since childhood. This baggage that only we can heal is often placed on the doorstep of the heart of those who desire or claim to love us. This burden of injury, which is only ours to bear, becomes a fortress over which we each must climb in our unsuccessful attempts at giving the person the love that they need.
We must learn to heal this Fear-based dependence by taking responsibility for loving ourselves while in our relationships with each other. We must acknowledge that our love for ourselves is the necessary first step. It prepares us by laying a healthy foundation for knowing how to love another person.
Loving the self means that as a parent, sibling, partner, or friend, we will bring to every relationship the truth about ourselves, based on Love's version of who we are. Not our pain, illness, or injury. As we take responsibility for and the necessary steps to heal the Fear-induced baggage from our past, we no longer need or require others to take it on or suffer from its ill effects.
When we love someone, we give them the very best of who we are. We treat each person we love, as we treat ourselves in Love––with honor, respect, integrity, realness, and truth. In this way, we will experience the true meaning and joy of loving ourselves and each other.
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