Love, Yourself

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The universe sends us reminders in different ways.  It also sends confirmation about the path we are on in different ways as well.  I’ve written the last two days about finding ourselves and doing the work from within to recognize who we are.  As I was writing the last piece, an ad came on for a piece of exercise/yoga equipment I’m considering and it plays a song asking, “When are you gonna love, really love yourself?”  Since this has been the theme on my mind the last few days, I took this as encouragement to continue to examine this path. 

Love is used far too frequently and is often open to interpretation.  We are told who to love, what love is right, when to love, that loving ourselves is selfish, that we have to earn love, that pure love only comes from a single source, that we have a limit on love, that we have NO limit on love for certain people and children, that there is too much love, that love is clingy, that love means allowing anything.  The work and understanding around love is an absolute mess.  That isn’t even including the work that exists on physical love and expression.  It’s exhausting just writing it, but it makes the point that we aren’t clear on what love is, even to at this stage in the game.  Most of us understand we have strong feelings one way or another but we don’t truly understand what those feelings mean.  So let’s dive into what I mean for a little bit.

I fully believe there are different types of love.  The love of the universe and/or spiritual love, the love of a parent, the love of people, the specific love of a person, the love of doing something, the love required of ourselves.  Same word, different contexts for the emotion.  Sometimes it’s a feeling we truly can’t explain but we KNOW we feel something that draws us to that person/thing.  It’s easy to feel that way toward something external, we rarely look at what draws us to ourself.  We rarely examine the qualities about ourselves worth loving—we are trained to see the negative so we tend to move toward what’s “wrong” over accepting who we are.  The truth is, love is that feeling of warmth, compassion, and excitement that lights us up.  It’s an understanding and a tolerance for certain ambiguity as we learn our lessons and it’s also setting the boundary on who we are (and respecting it).  It’s discipline to see things through. It’s an awareness of where we need to change while knowing who we are at our core. Why can’t we turn that towards ourselves?      

Showing tolerance and acceptance for who we are can be a scary thing.  We’ve been taught to please others, to become who/what suits others in any given moment.  We’ve been taught to do things other people want.  We’ve been taught to do anything but accept who we are.  So love starts with that.  Learning and accepting who we are.  Not that we aren’t flawed, but learning to love those pieces as well and see the value of their contribution to our person.  I believe we can’t truly love others until we learn to love ourselves.  We can experience the rush of being with/around others, but loving them requires a different openness, and to know that, we have to have and hold that openness for ourselves as well.  We first practice that for ourselves before we know how to do it for others otherwise we get trampled and lost.

So if you need a reason to find yourself again, this is it.  If you need a reason to learn to love again, this is it.  We can’t do anything from the heart (or at least we can’t do it well) if we don’t know the true value of love.  Love is the key to finding our way in this universe as we open our authenticity—it’s the trust we have that we are on our way.  Take time to learn those things about ourselves and practice applying them to other people as well.  You will get more comfortable and the universe will open.  Start with you.

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