What do you think of when you hear the word “self-love?”
Do you think of someone who is selfish, self-centered or egotistical?
Or do you imagine someone who is healthy, vibrant, wise?
“Often, we are reluctant to promote self-love mostly because we confuse it with selfishness. Since we are humans, we ought to have a healthy love for ourselves; it is from this fount that love flows out to others.” ~ Mason Olds
As I continue to travel around our sun, I have come to realize that love truly does emanate from within. When we feel love for another or a situation or a place, that love is a reflection of the love we carry within. We have opened to it, releasing it thus allowing for its reflection.
Unfortunately, we have attached conditions to love:
if you do ____________then you will receive love.
if you have __________ then you will be loved by others.
Our educational system trains us that when we do something well we will be recognized and rewarded. If we don’t do well, we are less than.
Our society idolizes singers, actors, politicians who “do important things” and are therefore “loved.” What you do seems to determine if you are worthy of love.
Is this true?
What is love?
… being tucked in with a kiss every night.
… when actions speak louder than words.
.. happily doing the chores so she can study at evening class.
… making your own sunshine.
These images and notes regarding the little things and times when we feel love are so simple and so deep. Love doesn’t take an earthquake, just a simple gaze, thought or action freely given from an open heart.
How do we keep our hearts open?
Start with the practicing the little things, such as:
- Find the joy in simply opening your eyes in the morning.
- Relax around the driver in front of you – whatever they do… leaving their blinker on, going too slow.
- Embrace the weather – sun, rain, wind or snow.
As we realize these “things” are not ours to control we can mindfully create a practice and training to remain open with all the little things right in front of us each day. As we practice on the little things we create a natural set point of being open. Therefore, this is where we naturally feel into when the big things occur.
The two-year anniversary of my son’s death at the hands of a drunk driver is approaching. Because I have made it my practice to relax and learn to love what is, I can honestly share that throughout processing this ordeal and the subsequent court case, I have remained open. Open to the love I hold within for my beloved son. Open to accepting our new reality. Open to the capricious court proceedings. Open to being held by others.
When anger and injustice wanted to rear their heads, I could feel that they could close my heart. If knew if I closed my heart I would be disconnected from the beauty, love and joy of what was, what is and what will be. This love comes from within me and if I shut it off, I would only be harming me. I was hurt enough, so I choose to remain open and in the flow of love.
I am the source of my love. The love I give and the love I receive.
I have learned that grief is another facet of love. The deeper you love someone or something, the deeper you will grieve. And both are beautiful and necessary.
Do you desire to feel love?
Start within, with the little things. Build your practice to create your setpoint of an open heart and you will have the skills to navigate your experiences remaining open.
Love comes from within and is reflected back to you by the people and events around you. Polish your inner mirror and reflect the beauty, love and joy you hold within.
I share tools for this practice to guide you towards the inner set point of love you desire here.
It does help to have tools and a community in which you can simply show up as you are – without judgment and are seen, heard and held yet not fixed. The fixing of you is only for you, your work, inner work.
As you learn to love yourself unconditionally, you will see the world around you with an open heart and deeply know that self-love is true love.
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