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Rules #42: Self Love: "The Greatest Love of All"

"To put the world in order, we must put the nation in order. To put the nation in order, we must put the family in order. To put the family in order, we must nurture our personal life. To cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts and minds right… Plant a thought, reap an act. Plant an act, reap a habit. Plant a habit, reap a character. Plant a character, reap a destiny." (Confucius)

The Eternal Question

"What is it that makes you worthy to be loved?" was the question posed by a facilitator at one workshop that changed my life. One by one, he asked each of the participants this question in turn. They answered that to be worthy of love one had either TO DO or TO BE something.

Of course, these were all wrong answers. Impatiently, the group asked what the right answer was and it was this. "You are worthy to be loved because God loves you and because you believe that you are worthy". The Earth would be the paradise that God intended if everyone did love themselves. In fact, all the problems in the world can be reduced to one:

lack of self love.

The True Root of All Evil: Lack of Love for Yourself

Louise Hay said it best: "When someone comes to me with a problem, I don't care what it is: poor health, lack of money, unfulfilling relationships, or self esteem issues... there is only one thing that I ever work on, and that is LOVING THE SELF. I find that when we really love, accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works." And so it does...

So how does one begin to love themselves?… by doing the following:

1> SELF LOVE IS DEFENDING YOUR WORTHINESS
"This above all: be true, be true, be true." (Nathaniel Hawthorne)

Being true to yourself is remembering one thing: you exist because God loves you… and with that love all things are possible. Before you read another word, raise of a shield of pure and unconditional love all around you: body, mind, emotions, and spirit. That's better… Filling yourself with love is the first step is driving out the poison of hate that constantly assaults us all.

For society tells us the infinite things that are wrong with us: we are too fat, too dumb, too emotional, too old, too whatever and that is why we have to get this, do that, or change who we are. This is not to mention family, friends, coworkers, and others in our life who are telling us what to do all the time. Of course, there is one enemy who is particularly relentless towards us: ourselves.

We are our own worst enemy when we think, act, and treat ourselves as anything other than Divine Beings. When we think "I have should have done that" or "I could have done this" or "I would have done better if I do not do that" or "If only I had" we are criticizing ourselves. This constant internal criticism does "not make us do better", it only makes us more fearful that "I am going to screw it up next time."

The next time you say "I should have", "I could have", "I would have"... STOP beating yourself up! Say to yourself (aloud if you can) "CANCEL!" Then tell yourself, "I did the best I knew how, I learned from it, next time I will… [do better, learn from it, act differently, etc] and this will get me what I desire to manifest in my life!" Defend your right to be yourself from all the people who are telling you "you are wrong", including yourself. End self criticism now before it kills you!!

2> SELF LOVE IS NURTURING YOUR BODY
"The body is the temple of the spirit." (Bible: 1 Corinthians 6:19)

The primary means for showing love to yourself is nurturing the body that God gave you. Like it or not, your body is your vehicle for navigating your way through life. For optimum performance and vitality, you should give it regular maintenance. This means doing things like: constantly sustaining it with vital life force by breathing properly, by drinking plenty of water, by feeding it good food, by getting enough rest and exercise, by clothing and sheltering it properly, and by nurturing it with loving touch. It means taking active steps to protect it from harm. It also means acknowledging it when it has "gone the extra mile" so that you could do whatever it was you wanted to do. Treat your body like a beloved pet by patting it, saying "I love you", and giving it special treats… you will be amazed by the results!!

3> SELF LOVE IS CULTIVATING YOUR MIND
"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." (Henry Ford)

You have made mistakes… we all have. Louise Hay said it best: "Self hatred is really only hating your own thoughts. Don't hate yourself for having the thoughts. Gently change your thoughts. Acknowledge that you created them to fulfill a need. Now you are finding new, positive ways to fulfill those needs. So lovingly release the old negative patterns." If you are not cultivating your mind to manifest your joyful desires then it will create your life based on your worries. Choose love over fear and your life will improve. This means doing basic things like: living life holistically, managing stress, and using nature's way (aromas, oils, and herbals) to help your mind retain/regain the composure needed to make good decisions.

4> SELF LOVE IS LISTENING TO YOUR EMOTIONS
"Each of us makes our own weather in the emotional universe we inhabit." (Fulton J. Sheen)

The word "emotion" means "energy in motion" as sent from your Higher Self to propel you along your path in life. Emotions are also sent by your ego ("lower self") to keep you safe and protected. Life often becomes a conflict between these two conflicting sources of emotion: the positive/loving (Higher Self) that prompts you to go for your future dreams and the negative/fearful (ego) which begs you to stay with your current reality. Stop living on the choppy seas of your emotions and sail your boat into calm waters. You do not have to be a slave to your lusts, a captive to your anger, a pawn of your greed, a victim of your vanity, or a prisoner of your attachments. Just listen to emotions and then decide what to do about them.

5> SELF LOVE IS HONORING YOUR SPIRIT
"In my Soul, I am free." (Paul Twitchell)

As essential component of honoring your spirit is coming into agreement to see yourself for who you really are, to listen to that truth, and to live it in your daily life. For you are a not a human being come to Earth to have a spiritual experience, you are spiritual being having a human experience. You are not physical matter you are a complex energy field which binds you together past, present, and future. You are not your five senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell - but you can become caught in their traps, as in unhealthy addictions and misuse of sex. You are Soul: doing your best in your journey through the worlds of karma and reincarnation.

6> SELF LOVE IS ACCEPTING YOURSELF/OTHERS AS IS
"Until I accept my faults I will most certainly doubt my virtues." (Hugh Prather)

No one is perfect, not me and not you. No matter what you want to change about yourself, it is of vital importance that you value yourself - just as you are right now. Self acceptance is not getting back what you thought that you had yesterday or achieving what you think you are wishing for tomorrow, it means loving the self right now today. We are all a "work in progress": changing every day and evolving into becoming who we already are. As Louise Hay advises us: "Be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Be patient with yourself as you learn the new ways of thinking. Treat yourself as you would someone you really loved." Amen!

7> SELF LOVE IS SHOWING YOURSELF/OTHERS KINDNESS
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." (Philo)

Many people lead lives of "quiet desperation": drowning in negativity, consumed by worry, and waiting for disaster to strike. They do so not realizing that negativity breeds problems, worry causes undesired results, and disaster is experienced less often than it is imagined. Whenever you feel this way, you are unable to treat others or yourself with kindness. That is the time to STOP! and make a conscious effort to be kind to yourself and others. Do this by replacing negativity with a positive outlook, worry with confidence that "all is well", and anticipation of disaster with faith in the future. You CAN do this because you are the creator of your own universe. Regardless of what happens in the outside world, fill your inside world with peace, love, and joy. Affirm: "All is well in my universe, I am safe and protected at all times. Out of every situation, only good will come to me".

8> SELF LOVE IS SHOWING YOURSELF/OTHERS COMPASSION
"The more a person loves, the closer he approaches the image of God." (Martin Luther)

Although it may be hard to believe, the truth is that everyone does the best they can with what they have. For everyone, including you, is just living out what they have learned in this or previous lives. Compassion comes when you realize that those who hate and hurt others are just lashing out against times when they were hated and hurt themselves. For it is then that you can see that "it is the pain talking" and not the person. Given that you can understand that there are no truly bad people - only people who say and do bad things - you can be compassionate towards every person in every situation. Pouring the oil of compassion, tolerance, & understanding on the troubled waters of daily life is the very essence of unconditional self love.

9> SELF LOVE IS SHOWING YOURSELF/OTHERS RESPECT
"Accepting responsibility for life is the source from which self respect springs." (Joan Didion)

Everyone is a spark of the Divine and brings a unique note to the universal song we are all singing (notice that the word uni-verse means "one song"). This means that everyone has something valuable to contribute: in the words of Thomas Carlyle: "everyone is my superior in that I may learn from them". Unfortunately, the world is all too ready to teach us that others should be discounted because they differ from us in some way (gender, race, nationality, religion, etc) when we are all the same and equal as Soul. That is why the word "Namaste" is such a powerful greeting because it conveys respect in a very pure way. For when we respect ourselves and others, we are acting from one of the deepest places of unconditional love.

10> SELF LOVE IS ACTING TO FREE YOURSELF/OTHERS
"Don't go through life, grow through life." (Eric Butterworth)

It is always wise to remember that "all conditions are temporary". The world was here before you came and will go on after you are gone. The position you hold to today relative to others in your life now may be reversed tomorrow or in a future life. The world exists to be a stage for karma and each one must play their role as they see fit. Those who try to lift the world upon their shoulders to "make it better" for loved ones will usually find themselves quickly buried under it's weight. You get "out from under" when you realize that the only person you can change is yourself. Allowing others to have their lessons helps them learn the only way they can - by experience - and it frees you. Love yourself by laying down the world right now.

11> SELF LOVE IS SHOWING YOURSELF/OTHERS FORGIVENESS
"He that cannot forgive others, breaks the bridge over which he must pass." (George Herbert)

In Louise Hay's words, "Let the past go. You did the best you could at the time with the understanding, awareness and knowledge that you had. Now you are growing and changing and you will live differently." Forgiveness does not mean condoning what happened or just forgetting about it or not learning from it. All of those are valuable lessons that you spent emotion learning. What forgiveness means is releasing the anger and other emotions that keep you stuck in unforgiveness of yourself or others. Holding onto these toxic feelings will have no effect on the other person and will not alter what you did or did not do. Holding onto unforgiveness is deadly poison to your body, mind, and spirit: love yourself enough to let it go.

12> SELF LOVE IS ALLOWING YOURSELF TO BE HAPPY
"The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." (Sydney J. Harris)

Happiness is to be found in only one place: inside your own heart right at this moment. So many people lose so much by waiting until I "get healthier, find my dream partner, get a new job, get a new house, or lose the weight, and so on". And when they get those things then they wait for better ones until they learn the hard lesson that "happiness deferred is happiness denied". So get happy: start now by doing more of the things that make you happy on a daily basis. Look for joy everywhere. Laugh or do a good deed just for fun! Love yourself enough daily to "smile, 'cause when your smilin', the whole world smiles with you!"

Credits: adapted from Louise Hay's "How to Love Yourself Worksheet", information provided by Robin Pearl Smith, and from channeled information.


 

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