We hear a lot about loving other people, but many don’t realize that this starts with loving yourself. How you feel about yourself plays a very large role in your ability to love others. It also plays a huge role in your ability to function effectively as a creator in your life.
Let’s look at a simple analogy to understand this more clearly. If you buy a plant that you love, you will likely take very good care of it. Because you enjoy its presence, you will probably be inspired to do whatever it takes to enhance that presence. You will be attentive to its needs, water it, feed it, and make sure that it has exactly the right amount of light. You will also freely open your heart to appreciating it, which will inspire you to continue caring for it.
This is not very different from what you will do if you love yourself. Granted, loving yourself as a human being is far more complex than loving a plant. But the principle is the same. If you love yourself, you will feel a natural inspiration to do as much as possible to cultivate a beautiful life. On the other hand, if you judge yourself negatively, inspiration to create a better life will be hard to come by. Likewise, if you dislike the plant, you will not feel the same motivation to care for it.
Loving yourself is not about being arrogant or egotistical
Loving yourself is not the same as having an ego that says you are better than other people. The ego always plays in opposites and duality. In order for someone to be good, someone else has to be bad by comparison. Without comparisons, the ego has no way to gauge anything. So if your ego is pretending to “love” you, it will always do so at the expense of someone else.
True love for oneself is unconditional by nature. It doesn’t need a reason. In fact, if you love yourself unconditionally you can take comfort in the fact that you are wholly agreeing with God! And what could be better than being on the same page with infinite love?
Surprisingly, to truly love yourself takes real humility. You have to have the humility to set aside all of your negative judgements about yourself. You have to approach your life with kindness and forgiveness. It’s important to realize that the ego’s negativity has no place in God’s world of infinite love. Wherever the ego is involved, everyone loses, and there is no love in that picture.
So humility and sincere, honest love for oneself go hand in hand. Self love occurs automatically whenever the ego’s negative voice is silenced. Self love is a state of being that is natural to who we are!
How does loving yourself lead to loving others?
Now let’s look at how loving yourself determines your ability to love others. This is pure science. The source of your love lies within your heart. Who is the person closest to your heart? You are, of course! Think of your heart as a radiant light of infinite love. You are closer than anyone else to that source of love.
Imagine that your heart is like a radiant sun within you. If you don’t like yourself, you will react to that radiant light of love by rejecting it. Your ego may tell you that you don’t deserve that love, and then handily provide you with all of the reasons why not. In agreeing with the ego and rejecting that light, you effectively block yourself from experiencing it. You put up a wall.
In order for that love within you to reach others, it has to pass through you first. If you cannot accept it for yourself, then you stop it at its source. By protecting yourself from your own love, you prevent that love from being sincerely expressed to others. Any negativity that you harbor towards yourself acts as a blackout curtain to that beautiful light within. Others may only experience a shadow of the true love that you are capable of giving.
How to Love Yourself More
If you have grown unconscious to loving yourself, then try something simple to reinvigorate that experience for yourself. Decide that you will no longer rely on other people to give you the love that you are not giving yourself. Instead try an experiment.
Choose an area in your life where you habitually depend on others for approval. That might be your job, your family, or your friends. Decide for one day that you are only going to rely on yourself for that acceptance and love. This does not in any way sever your relationships with others. In fact, it enhances those relationships because you stop pulling on them for your self-worth.
Next, you will learn some extraordinary things about yourself. You may find that it is much easier to rely on yourself for such things, because you can actually be 100% reliable. The next most surprising thing you may learn is that you have ironically just made it easier for others to love you because you are no longer needy and dependent.
And finally, you will realize that when you don’t require the approval of others, it is so much easier to love them. It is easier to accept them as they are because you are not personalizing everything they do as signaling something about you.
Altogether, you will find yourself feeling more relaxed, secure, and happy. And next you may find yourself inspired to create an extraordinary life!
What are your thoughts about self-love and self-acceptance? Share with me in the comments below!