Self-Love is loving yourself unconditionally in every moment, in all situations, no matter what it looks like outside yourself or inside yourself. It is knowing the Truth of who you are, as Love, and taking responsibility for nurturing that Love. It is remembering that you came from the Divine. You are building a bridge of Self-love from your Divinity to your Humanity in order to support yourself during this lifetime.
Everything in our early years taught us not to Love ourselves. There were edicts from our families, churches, and teachers. We were taught to look outside ourselves for Love. We learned that to come into a loving relationship with ourselves was "selfish", "self-centered", "self-absorbed", "self-important", even "conceited", "vain", and "swell-headed". The Judeo-Christian ethic taught us that we were inherently sinful, that we had "missed the mark". We were taught that it was good to Love our neighbor, but not ourselves. However, the opposite of what we were taught is true.
Only when you can Love yourself, can you fully Love another. All truly loving relationships occur only when Self-Love is present. For only when you Love yourself do you have the capacity to Love another.
Only when you give to yourself and another, can you in turn, receive from yourself and another. One who is Self-Loving understands that giving and receiving are one and the same.
The tenet "Know Thyself" so you can "Love Thyself" is essential to the process of developing Self-Love. You make the commitment to explore all aspects of yourself: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Self-Love implies that you will commit to loving that which you discover about yourself. You commit to Love all aspects of the little self, ego, including your own judgements, addictions, and imperfections. Only when you love it all, all of you, can change and transformation occur. Only when you embrace the little self, within the Divine Self, (Soul), does Self-Love happen.
The polar opposite of Self-Love is self-loathing or self-hatred. This can be subtle. It can take the form of self-judgment and self-doubt, as well as, self-injurious behaviors such as smoking, obesity, drinking, or drugs. When we live in self-hatred, we are run by the thoughts of our egos: self-judgment, criticism, protection, defense, control, and manipulation. We live on a roller coaster of highs and lows, torn between Love and fear, right and wrong, good and bad. We are prisoners of our egos. We love ourselves when everything in our world is going well. We spiral downward and hate ourselves when things do not occur the way we want them to. We live our lives in drama, believing all our negative judgments about self and others. We feel limited. We hunger for something outside of ourselves to save us, to Love us, rather than looking within.
Self-Love calls upon us to be fully present in Life as pure God energy, Love. Allowing this God energy to flow through our inner landscape without being cluttered by egoic considerations such as drama, fear, suffering, or resistance. That is, we connect with our own Divinity. This pure Love within every Being is available 24 hours a day. It is difficult to access this pure Love if we haven't done the work on our Humanity, (unresolved mommy/daddy issues, addictions, compulsions, imperfections). Once we begin to do the deep inner work on our Humanity, we start to fall in Love with those parts of ourselves which previously we could not Love. Self-Love connects, or bridges, two seemingly polar opposites: the little self which seeks Love outside of the self, and the higher self, or Soul, which knows that Love is always present within.
The bridge from our Divinity to our Humanity is ever present. We are and have always been Love. But we do not see, feel, know, or trust that the bridge is already there. We must make it real for ourselves.
I made my bridge of Self-Love "real" for me. It has occurred over many years with the assistance of a beloved teacher and fellow mystic on the pathless path. The first step was clearing the space, my interior landscape, for Love to enter. Drama and judgment filled my emotional and mental bodies. I hated my physical body and held rigid beliefs in my spiritual body. There was no room for Love to enter.
Many years were spent chipping away at the heavy boulders of self-judgment, feelings of "not enough", addiction to suffering and self-doubt. These ever-present energies would cause me to spiral down periodically into depression. The downward spiral was generally related to feelings of rejection, either from another or from myself, when looking outside myself for Love.
In the inchworm fashion I persisted, removing one small boulder at a time. The empty space created was always infilled with Self-Love. Thus was my process. Some boulders were heavier and much more time consuming to remove than others. These were around the imprinting from my family. I looked at triangulation (the roles of victim, savior, and persecutor) and how I repeated this pattern over and over in my relationships. There was my projection of my feelings of victimhood onto animals. I was strongly involved in the animal rights movement until I understood that the animals were outpicturing issues I had not resolved inside myself.
Removing the boulder of self-doubt is a continuing
process for me. I came to know that there is a gold mine of Love
within me. It is up to me to take responsibility for continually
mining this treasure, and nurturing it so that I can give it
away. I have been steadfast in my work of recognizing the robbers
of self-doubt, who would steal my gold. I had to "speak"
to self-doubt, ask what it wanted to tell me, and fall in love
with it. I embrace it now, knowing it was created by my beloved
I had to learn to love my body. It is the gift I received from God with which to experience this Life. I had never previously felt connected to my body. I had not taken the best care of it. I just wanted to live in Spirit. I had to learn to feel my feelings. I realized that they are just energy which can be experienced and released from the body. Once felt, I could embrace my feelings and transform them into Love. Because of my fear of rejection if I expressed my true feelings, I held onto them in my body. Due to holding these negative feelings inside of myself for many years, I had developed a number of illnesses. I removed the boulders that said I could not speak the Truth of my Heart because I was different and might be rejected. This was a big one for me. I wanted to look good, to look like everyone else. I did not want to show that I had feelings that were less than Love. With the removal of these boulders came the possibility for me to speak with my authentic voice, the voice of Soul, of Self-Love. The opportunity to speak with my authentic voice opened the doorway to greater Love of Self. I now listen, without judgment, to others speaking with their authentic voice.
I had to let go of all the edicts of my family. I needed a great deal of assistance removing these boulders as they were deeply ingrained. Knowing that my parents' truths were not the Truth of who I am was a big piece of the puzzle. Being raised in a fear-based family, I had to learn not to choose fear, which is the withholding of Love from self or another. Now I choose the polar opposite, which is Love. Over the years, the groove of choosing Love has grown much stronger.
I have fallen in Love with myself, my Soul. I have come into absolute Trust and Faith of my Soul's Love and guidance. This has been challenging as the need for approval and lack of trust in myself was strongly ingrained as a child. Each time I listen to my Soul, my life transforms. I feel Self-Love each morning in the Silence as I surrender to the infilling of Love from Soul into my ego.
I have learned to take responsibility for my Life. I know Truth, Freedom, and Self-Love. As I take full responsibility for every thought, action, word, and feeling I am the creator of my own reality. My reality is Love, Love, Love every moment.
In the inchworm fashion, each boulder has been removed from the place I used to stand to the place I now stand. The boulders have been laid down making my bridge from my Divinity to my Humanity real to me. More space has been created for Love. I live much more fully in a state of Self-Love than ever before. Yet I am not always there.
Sometimes I forget my Divinity. I become attached to one thing or another on an egoic level. I may think my choices are Self-Loving in a situation, but I may not have Referenced my Soul. When I am not Self-Loving, I may create something to stop my world so that I can return to Self-Love, such as an injury, illness, or accident. When I am fully in a state of Self-Love, my life is filled with miracles and synchronicities. I feel fully connected with the Continuity of Consciousness. There is nothing more thrilling for me than to live at this level of Truth and connection with the Divine. I experience Divine Love flowing through me because that is Who I Am. When I am truly living in Self-Love, there is nothing that I cannot love, hold, embrace within myself. I vow to hold the Consciousness of Self-Love moment to moment unceasingly for the rest of my earthplane existence, traversing my bridge of Love and Light from whence I came and to where I go. This is the bridge of my Awakening.
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