Much of our lives are spent trying to find love, earn love or be loved. And when we collide into someone that doesn’t love us as we think they should, we often feel beaten, bruised, rejected.
What if what we’ve been looking for all these years and not finding was right there inside of ourselves all the time? What if what we’re searching for dwells within each of our hearts: self-love. Self-respect.
When we experience true love and respect for ourselves, we’re happy, centered, and able to give more of ourselves to others without needing or wanting anything in return. And when others reject or abandon us, the pain is bearable if we have a basic foundation of loving ourselves, if we’ve learned to be comfortable in our own skin.
Maybe the answer to life is really just that simple: love. Isn’t that what all the great prophets and sages have been telling us throughout the ages? Isn’t that what Jesus boiled everything down to: love your neighbor like you love yourself—because when we love ourselves we acknowledge we are One with God, One with all of creation. One in Love.
It’s hard for us to get our arms around the concept of self-love for some reason. Perhaps we got our wires crossed growing up thinking it was better to put others’ needs above our own and somewhere in the midst of that message we threw love for ourselves out the window. As a result, we may have to go back and re-learn the message; the true message that loving oneself is at the heart of being fully human.
And it’s not loving oneself because of what we do, or how we look, or how much good we offer the world. Rather, it’s a simple knowing who I am, I am good; God loves me just as I am, where I am, here and now. Acceptance. Secure in the understanding of God’s love for us. Rooted in the truth that love is the greatest of all virtues, the core of our humanity.
Perhaps it’s a life quest, a mission to spend the rest of our days learning to love ourselves, so that we can embrace and love God and all others.
What would it be like if you let go of the noisy critic inside your head that often puts you down and sometimes even despises you?
Try replacing that critic with the voice of truth, which simply says, “I love you.”