We’ve all heard the saying “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself.” There isn’t a truer statement I’ve come to hear since this. However, I want to shed a little light on some confusion…
To really love someone else takes guts. It takes surrender of our self-image, acceptance of the others best and worst qualities, a deep understanding for another, and letting go of all desire to control and replacing that need to teach, educate, and sometimes even prove wrong with a total freedom. Most of all, to really love someone else takes a sharing. However, most of us don’t do this. We try to get love by manipulating and worst of all are blinded by the subtle ways we manipulate.
We can only give what we have
Most of us have played counselor for a friend at some point of our lives. A best friend goes through a break up and we offer them every possible insight we have. We start gathering our past experiences, quotes we’ve read on love, ideas from books, movies and television shows and at best we give the other a little hope. When we attempt to help someone we are always giving from what we have; considering our level of consciousness, knowledge, experience and so on. So if our store house of self love is low, we can only give miniscule amounts of love. For example, going through a break up yourself, you used ice cream to cope, so what do you do when your friend is down? You take them out for ice cream. Did this actually work for you? Chances are it didn’t. Regardless, out of this call to duty to give; we take action, and what we give will only be a result of what we know.
Loving Yourself First
As you can see, it’s very important we love ourselves first, for the simple reason that if we are not aware of the love available to us, when we go to give it to another, it will be a poor love. I use this one small example to demonstrate how important it is we learn to love ourselves before we become the blind leading the blind. This sounds harsh because a lot of us are not loving ourselves first. We have been taught not to love ourselves, to just give. We have been taught from day one to depend on our mothers and not love ourselves. Though it feels so incredible to give selflessly from our hearts, rare it is that we can do this on a continual basis. This is why people volunteer, attend charity events for a short period then go back to mindless self-indulgence. They have lived suppressed and then begin to feel guilty, so then they give. A higher part of their spirit comes into play and knows giving/sharing is what love is all about; however, the egoistic part of our minds still feels unfulfilled. We are helping others, giving are all to the ones we love but go to sleep wondering when our lives will come together. Instead of nurturing ourselves we have people numbing the pain with alcohol, partying, drugs, money, and sex. Though some women are capable of true love because they are connected to their spiritual essence, there are still plenty of “blind” people who have not yet satisfied their primal nature and they go on suppressed; giving love they don’t have to give. What needs to happen first is a giving to ourselves, a nurturing so we can balance the cycle of giving and receiving from a healthy place, not a suppressed and guilty place.
How to Love Yourself
To love yourself is simple, but it takes a change of mindset. You have to ask yourself the avoided question “Do I feel loved?” Many of us will probably answer no. Depending on the situation of course. The problem is few of us can answer this question with absolute certainty, knowing that we do not need things, people or circumstances to give us love. Few people truly know that love is an inside job, not something acquired from the outside world. I am not here to say you are not loved, if this strikes a chord with you then I say even more you may want to take this journey within. I am here to tell you that you are pure love! This sounds wild and bizarre but it is the truth. There is no lack of love in this world for you because it is all a state of mind and heart available to you within. I want you to understand that until you satisfied your repressed needs and desires you will never understand how to love. To begin to balance the cycle of giving and receiving we can take a lesson from nature. Take a tree for example. In the wild a tree is utterly selfish, self-indulgent. It takes up as much water as it needs first, it doesn’t say “I am going to only take half the water I need then give the rest away because I feel bad.” No, it takes up all it needs then blossoms beautiful leaves for bugs to eat, branches for birds to nest on and even fruit for animals and us humans. What is the difference in this type of self-indulgent love compared to most of our unhealthy self-indulgent behaviors? Balance and nourishment. A tree builds it’s love for nourishment to then give. Most of us party, make money, seek out sex and these other “self-indulgences” to really fill a void, to cover up the fact we have no love to really give. It isn’t a nourishing it is a suppressing. So to start loving yourself, start like a tree; soak up all the desires and needs you can possibly think up. Go all the way though, be in it totally and completely, because when you do the desire will go away. Like hunger, when you eat enough food the hunger is gone. However, if you go on half full you will constantly have food on your mind and you will have created an addiction out of it. Do this in all areas of your life. Be completely in your desires and satisfy them totally and they will vanish. You will no longer be a slave to eating, sex, drugs, money or materials. When you satisfy your desires you will realize how ridiculous they were in the first place. Depending on your age and experience now you might have an understanding of this. If you lived a healthy sex life, you start to understand the futility in chasing sex. It has no depth, it is emptiness, it is primal as hungry for food. Below I will provide you simple, everyday practices you can engage in to satisfy your own self need and soon enough, after enough self-indulgence you will realize you are complete, you will truly understand that giving is the basis of your success in life. Once you have filled your own self love cup you will be overflowing with love, then your love is a sharing, then you will truly know what it is to love.
- Meditate. Spend time in total silence, in presence of candle light or moon light. Feel yourself wind down as you enjoy bliss in totally emptiness and silence. This is where your source of love begins and ends.
- When it comes to food; go for the very best. Know you can eat like royalty, and treat yourself like it. Food will become fuel and a spiritual practice and nothing more.
- Massage your hands, feet, legs, arms and neck with a fragrant essential oil blend mixed with a organic base oil. It costs practically nothing and makes you feel like a million dollars.
- Go to bed an hour early and get up fifteen minutes early each morning. Your body will love you and this can be you time. A time that is completely dedicated to you and you only.
- Get dressed every day for you and no one else. Get a special piece of jewelry or two and treat every day like a special occasion, because every day is.
- If you drive, work on being aware of your “car-ma”. Let someone else get in front of you, and be sure to smile knowing they are in much more of a hurry to get to somewhere else, while your enjoying yourself and your moment here and now.
- Learn to make a few DIY facials from fresh fruits, oils and other organic items. Apply them to your face while you cook, and finish a few late night tasks. We are all beautiful and special enough for a regular spa day.
- Learn to say “no” when you want to. And say “yes” when you want to. Most of all, never say “yes” if it means saying “no” to yourself. You will never help anyone doing anything against your current will.
- You probably have a camera on your phone, that’s freakin’ amazing…Use it! Your life is a movie, it’s unfolding magically and you are the director, the actor and the viewer! Be ready to capture those special moments.
- Trade in your 15 low-quality towels for 2 really nice ones, and take really good care of them. Same goes for any of your other items.
- If you’re a coffee drinker, smoothie master or juice pro design your own “favorite mug/cup”. Make every drink you put in it something of a work of art.
- Read from a really good book everyday. Something that educates you, increases your self-awareness, deepens you spiritually, or just makes you feel good about life.
- Don’t answer the phone when you don’t want to talk.
- Keep a journal, it will help you get to know yourself. Writing doesn’t have to take long, make it a love journal where you write down everything you love each day; it can just be a few words.
- Find a piece of art or create a piece of art that speaks to you and keep in somewhere you can treasure each day. You don’t have to be an art collector to be reminded of the important things in life; art, poetry, love and music.
- Listen to your favorite music everyday. Don’t let a day go by without music.
- Visit a place you’ve always wanted to go. Life is an adventure, enjoy the journey.
- Listen to your body. Hungry? EAT. Thirsty? DRINK. Tired? SLEEP. Whatever it needs, it will tell you. Whatever it doesn’t it will also tell you. Just ask.
- Take the scenic route, more times than not. Leave early if you have to, but remember, life is an adventure, but only if you make it one.
- Clean our your closet. Get rid of anything that doesn’t make you feel amazing. If you don’t like it or don’t use it give it away.
- Learn more Do It Yourself activities and spend less on pre-made gimmicks.
- Breathe Deep every day, even if only for a few breathes. Aim to increase this habit. Remember, you’re alive, breathe it all in!
- Keep a “Dream Board”. On it, put everything you wish to have, dream to become and look at it every day. It doesn’t have to be realistic, just let the images make you feel good. Life is all about the way you feel anyway. The side effects of feeling good may even bring you those dreams.
- Move your body everyday. Dance, yoga, walk, skip, sprint, jump, workout, lightweights, run, have sex, act like an animal, ANYTHING that moves your body. You will be flooded with feel good hormones and learn to appreciate the beauty that is your ability to move.
- Experience the weather, don’t hide from it. Dance in the rain, play in the snow, hold hands in the forest, sit by the pond, lay in the grass, bathe in the sun. Nature is healing, nature is entertaining. You’d be imagine the money and time you save on drugs, herbs, dieting, gyms, therapists, counseling, movies, and entertainment.
Life is outside, happening right now, but you have to wake up inside first to experience it.