Should you ‘find the world’ in another person, as Alicia harmonizes? If you say, no, read on mis amigos.
We are all looking for love in our lives.
Not only to love others but to be loved. Without fear…conditions…limitations.
Love songs, classic movies and today’s blockbusters provoke us to find that ideal love we watch on the big screen.
Alicia Key’s tune above sketches a love so deep that a lover’s arms around you are worth more than a kingdom, more than gold and diamonds!
(If you’d rather have the $bling$ than the hug, raise your hand friends)
Movies depict undying and eternal love. Music serenades the perfect lover. Books depict the depths of love between two souls.
While we’re caught up in fairy tale weddings, passionate romances and soulful love stories, there’s one person we’re ignoring.
The person we should be loving first.
To love ourselves is a process of complete acceptance, compassion, forgiveness without limits or conditions.
But how many of us ever reach the place where we are truly in love with ourselves? How many of us even try?
We cannot love others until we fall in love with ourselves first.
Loving ourselves is a prerequisite to loving others.
We cannot complete others, as Tom pronounces in the clip, below until we complete ourselves.
Were you loved?
For some of us, the people who were supposed to love us never understood the way to show us love.
Perhaps they never knew how to love themselves either so loving you was an impossible feat.
The people who are supposed to love us made us feel inadequate, incompetent, inhuman or broken. Unloved.
4 Ways to Love Yourself (in a non-sensual way – ha!)
We tend to be harsh and merciless with ourselves.
A practice of compassion is the first step to loving ourselves.
Compassion doesn’t judge and doesn’t put conditions on our love. Compassion sees our shortcomings and faults and accepts them anyway.
Practice empathy. Feel your pains, fear and guilt without wallowing in them. Be loving towards your past hurts and sorrows. Be gentle.
To be able to truly love ourselves, we have to accept who we are as people.
To love ourselves, we have to accept our good and bad traits, qualities, characteristics and life experiences. We must learn to embrace our pains, sorrows, fears, shame and inadequacies.
We must come to term with our histories, biographies, upbringing, personalities and our quirks.
Self-acceptance is the road to self-love.
3. Show yourself that you care.
How do you treat yourself? Is your life balanced, healthy and fulfilled?
Are you running around every day being ‘busy’? Not eating well? Working too much? Not exercising? Not being mindful? Stressed? Worried?
Are you treating yourself the way you want someone who loves you to treat you?
If you love yourself, take actions in your life to show yourself love, gentleness and kindness.
Look at the things in your everyday life that bring you physical discomfort, stress, worry, and emotional pain. Take steps to eliminate and reduce those factors.
Look for work that allows you to truly love yourself. Eat foods that shows you that you love your body. Be around positive and caring people. (Don’t talk to your mother-in-law – joke!) Create a daily schedule that allows you to spend time with yourself.
Take small steps to show that you’re important, that your health and body matter and that you’re worth taking care of.
4) Take action.
Romantic relationships fail when you stop working on them. So does the relationship you have with yourself. If you’re not actively taking actions to show yourself that you care, you’re not loving yourself as you’re capable of.
If you’re not removing caustic and harmful people out of your life, you’ll find it harder to love yourself. If you’re not doing work or a career that suits your personality, you’ll find it harder to be joyful and treat yourself well. If you’re not taking care of your body, you’ll feel less healthy and positive about yourself.
Accept yourself and strive be good to yourself.
Not only will you fall in love with yourself and be a loving person be but you will be able to share that love with all those around you. You will be love, can give and receive love.
The secret to loving others and being loved the way you want is to love yourself first. (Here are 17 additional ways how. Thanks Evelyn!)
My friend Wendy Irene talks about the importance of loving yourself in her weekly videos. Watch to learn more.
To pick up my book, Self Romance Manifesto: Fall in Love With Yourself and Live From Your Heart, click here.
Welcome to my friend and guest post contributor, Galen Pearl:
Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself. –Rumi
“Arab Spring”is the term often used to describe an ongoing series of protests and wars spreading through the Arab world in the last two years. The term sounds promising and full of hope, although the conflicts themselves, regardless of the outcome, have caused a great deal of suffering.
I read that one slogan of the demonstrators has been Ash-shab yurid isqat an-nizam, “the people want to bring down the regime.” Many of us can understand this sentiment, whether in support of people seeking more freedom in other countries, or wanting change in our own country, or just change in our own lives.
In the United States, there has been much talk bringing down the regime (American style). But what is the regime and what does bringing it down look like? The rhetoric from the last campaign and the subsequent fiscal cliff fiasco make it hard to distinguish the regime holder from the challenger. While the two sides argue about which way to paddle, the canoe sweeps ever faster toward the rapids and the falls.
Make love, not war.
Personally, I think we had it right back in the 60s with the slogan Make love, not war. True, we were naive and had no clue about how to live that slogan in any sort of socially productive way. But I think we had the right idea in that we understood the truth of Buddha’s teaching that “Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.”
Even so, we succumbed to the same mistake as those we sought to replace, by thinking that we could change things by changing others. I was like that, too. I thought I had the answer to any question about what our country should look like, and I was angry and dismissive towards anyone who disagreed with me. Make love, not war, you idiots! Hmm.
Changing ourselves is how we change the world.
Gandhi encouraged us to “be the change we want to see in the world.” Making love instead of war means being love. Vishnu understands this. His tagline for this blog is “Change yourself. Change the world.” Those aren’t two separate acts. Changing ourselves is how we change the world. In fact, it’s the only way to change the world.
So we start with bringing down our own regime, experiencing our own Inner Spring.
My Inner Spring began years ago when I knew I needed to change my life. My regime was based on fear and governed by threats. If I didn’t control my world, meaning everything and everyone outside of myself, then disaster was sure to happen. I don’t know that I brought down my regime as much as it sort of fell down by itself. It was not sustainable and began to crumble in spite of my frantic efforts to maintain it.
I finally surrendered to the inevitable, and only then, in the relinquishment of force, did I discover the lightness of being, our natural state of joy. I’ve since learned that the way we bring down our regime and experience our Inner Spring is by practicing the qualities we want to see in our world. As the bumper sticker says, compassion is revolution. So is joy, forgiveness, kindness, gratitude. And as we manifest our Inner Spring, World Spring is sure to follow.
Galen Pearl is one of my favorite bloggers and a wise teacher. She regularly posts though-invoking reflections on her blog, 10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place. Her practical and relevant book on happiness can be found here. I’ve found it to be a life-changer. * Photo credit.
What about you? What does you current regime look like? Is there anything in it that you want to bring down or transform? Are you living your Inner Spring? What would that look like?
I'm dazin'but check out Vishnu's guest post on Brazen
Once upon a time, I used to practice law.
Yes, if you needed a lawyer to help you immigrate to the U.S. or get the hell out, I was your man. I ran an online immigration law firm advising clients from all over the world. It was the most fun I’ve ever had helping people achieve their American dream.
The part I loved about the work was helping my clients immigrate to America, reunite with loved ones and defending them when the American government tried to kick them out. The part I found challenging was running a full-scale business. My first one.
Anyway, it was a humbling experience running a practice, operating a business and fighting for my clients.
After a couple years with this struggling business, I realized I had to close shop and move on from a venture I had put my heart and soul into.
I learned so much from having run this law firm. Even though I had to close it down, I never regretted this business for a minute. It taught me profound lessons about business, marketing and law.
To learn more about my journey and find out how to turn failures into success, visit my my guest post on the Brazen Careerist blog. A special thanks to editor, Alexis Grant, for publishing this post.
Please leave me a comment on the Brazen Careerist blog and let me know if you’ve failed before. How did you make your comeback?
If you’ve never failed and don’t want to succeed ha! no worries. Enjoy some photos below from the San Francisco Zen Center. If you’re in the San Francisco, California area, drop in to zen out.
Hi, I’m Vishnu
I help people overcome their devastating breakups and divorces and find love again. Instead of visiting the Himalayas, sign up below and join me. I am taking a writing break but will be back soon.
This guide is free. A ticket to the Himalayas is $2000. Your move.