It’s all about the love. That’s what we all want. We want to feel love. Feeling love makes life a breeze. Without it, life is hard, it’s a struggle.
But why, I ask myself, do I find it so hard to love myself? To give that love to myself freely? Why do I make it so dependent on conditions being met? In the end, why am I so self abusive? For a long time, I have made feeling love so dependent on something. Being someone, being a certain way, looking a certain way, getting to a certain point in life, being viewed a certain way by others, extracting particular reactions from people. Of course, making love dependent on all these things, becomes a mirage. You chase it, get there, make the change, and hey very quickly, “I still feel the same, not so great, not so loved!”
The love we seek, really has three crucial sources. The first is the relationship we can foster and build through a series of processes, with our own source, that mysterious force which creates and sustains all life, that which I call God. The second source of love, is ourselves. The third source, is love from those around us – but it is no substitute ever for sources one and two.
It is this second source, the love for ourselves, that I will focus on now.
We all do it, but some of us, do it a lot more than others. We are self abusive. We abuse ourselves by beating ourselves up within.
Are you self abusive? Here’s some signs you could be, and that you ease up on yourself not just a little but a lot!
- Nothing you do is really seen as good enough by yourself.
- You are overly critical and harsh on yourself. (I always feel like I am living under my own critical spotlight, and that I subject others to the same too.)
- Anything remotely resembling criticism from others sends you into a downwards spiral or makes you angry or defensive.
- You are very sensitive to how others treat you or how they respond to you.
- You may seek to continually strive and change to feel love, to keep changing until you feel that elusive feeling.
- You may seek approval and love from others in every social situation, sometimes even at the expense of how we can effect others.
- Your entire well being may hang on each and every social interaction as you try and make each one perfect.
- You try so hard to reach perfection in every part of your life, but never feel you make the grade.
- You resort to drinking or drugs to make yourself feel good.
- You rarely offer yourself encouragement, grace, compassion, forgiveness and love.
- You withdraw or withhold love from others who are different to you – perhaps they don’t hold the same beliefs as yourself, or values, or are a different race, nationality, level of perceived success, wealth, or fame.
We may think that being “X” may fill this inner void of love. It could be being intelligent, wealthy, powerful, famous, better looking, popular etc. anything.
Everyone that has tried to be or has been all of those things eventually finds that out.
Love that you give to yourself, can be given freely now, you just have to feel it. You have to break old habits – giving love to yourself isn’t dependent on a single thing. There’s no qualifier or qualification needed to feel love!
And if love from others is something you really want or need, there is nothing more loveable and attractive than someone who feels deep love for themselves, who genuinely deeply is in love with themselves.
Here are some great ways I have found, and been taught, to feel more love. They take various levels of practice, but they do get easier the more you do them!
- Reach within and just feel some love for yourself. Close your eyes if it helps. Breath in deeply, and as you do, breath in love. Breath out any need to change or please anyone, any desire to gain anything or meet any condition to be loved.
- Look in the mirror in the morning. Tell yourself some good things, give yourself some happiness and love. Actually speak out loud, and be kind to yourself.
- Take 10 minutes each morning and evening to pray. To offer thanks to God for all you have. Feel that divine source of love you have within.
- Meditate, there’s plenty of guides online.
As you feel more love for yourself, you will see your love flow more naturally and effortlessly to not only yourself, but outwards towards all those around you too. It’s really a practice that benefits everyone!
A quick glance at the world will show you that everyone’s inner relationship, reflects outwards to how we treat others. Another good reason to practice being self loving, rather than self abusive.
Best Wishes & God Bless