As the popular song says, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”
It is interesting that the composer chose the words “learning to love yourself.” Does this not come naturally? Not necessarily. The influences that can lead to or separate us from self-love can arise from our soul and from our environment. And when we learn the art of unconditional love for ourselves and others, we can truly find peace.
Conditional, situational love sets limits. For example …
- Punishing yourself with name calling (“I’m so STUPID, how could I have done that? What’s wrong with me?”)
- Refusing to look in the mirror because you don’t like what you’ll see
- Allowing yourself to rest only when ill
- Accepting an unsuitable job or relationship because you believe it is all that is available to you
- Dressing inappropriately because “you don’t care”
- Eating poorly because you don’t value your physical self
Unconditional love …
- Means accepting that life includes Heaven and Hell
- Cannot be acquired or gained
- Is always present
- Forgives everything/everyone
- Understands and accepts that perfection is what Life is: perfectly imperfect
- Accepts that which cannot be changed about oneself
We can only love others as much as we are able to love ourselves. Loving others basically starts with loving one’s self. And unconditional love of self comes from the essence of who we are–that part of us connected with Oneness/Beingness/Presence/God. Our personality selves or egos are incapable of unconditional love. The ego exists because of a false belief in separation and lack–actually a lack of being the Love that we are, in our essence.” Egoic love is by nature imperfect and personal –it involves judgment and self-limiting beliefs. ”
And so, when we unconditionally love ourselves, we accept ourselves as we are, “flaws and all.” We accept and practice what we need for mind, body and spirit. We eat what pleases us and makes us strong and healthy. We participate in activities that fulfill us. We love others as well as ourselves.
Learn to be at peace with yourself. Learn what makes you really happy and how to balance what you can and cannot change about yourself.