When the expressions “loving yourself” or “self-love” are heard, there may be confusion about what is meant. This is because when we hear the word “love”, we think in terms of what we are familiar with, dependent love. If we try to love ourselves, we may take an approach similar to that used in dependent love, using ourselves as the object of our love. We may try to escape into ourselves, as we escaped into others. We may become self-absorbed and self-indulgent, putting our own needs first. The motive is still to escape. We reject unhappiness and, in so doing, reject ourselves.
Self-love has nothing to do with using yourself as the object of your love. Self-love is defined as inner peace, a connection with God. It is not the act of “loving” an object because it may please you tremendously, whether that object is someone or something else or yourself. Self-love is a condition of awareness, a way of perceiving, an attitude, which results in an integrated perception of the world, and in turn, a perception of your connection with God.
All human beings are created with the natural need to give and receive love. We are created in love which forms the foundation of our divine spiritual selves, and of our physically manifested life. Even the many limitations that we encounter in our early lives do not remove love from our spiritual center, because it is the essence of who we are.
The antidote to this cycle of difficulty is the development of self love. Self love is not a technique, but rather the restoration of our innate spiritual center—GOD—which is love. From this place, love from our Divine Creator flows freely into the body, mind, emotional bodies, and spirit. Love is expressed outwardly towards others and oneself as a natural flow.
Demonstrating self-love begins with self-acceptance. They are essentially the same. You begin loving yourself when you stop rejecting yourself, especially on the feeling level. When you practice self-acceptance of your feelings as they are now, you will experience real changes in consciousness. You no longer try to juggle people or possessions in the external world in order to find fulfillment. You find fulfillment from within, simply by accepting, without acting out, your feelings as they are right now.
Do not underestimate the importance of self-acceptance. It can end the emotional pain that you feel or lead to the spiritual experience you want. Starting with the mundane, you will reach the highest of inner realization. In welcoming all your feelings, you become whole; life becomes holistic. You experience oneness. You no longer compulsively search for oneness in the external world, whether with another person or with an achievement. You accept and love yourself.
We can begin by finding a calm inner place within our spirit to meditate and reflect. Sometimes it may seem difficult to find a little piece of inner calm – especially when things are hard. You probably know how much better you feel when you take time to find that calm place inside – but how many of us actually take the time to find that calm place when we are stressed out, or even on a regular basis? If we take the time to find that calm inner place, this is the path to the inner peace and self acceptance that we all so desperately crave. This means finding peace with our inner and outer selves.
Most of us as women are assaulted with negative messages of our outer selves and our bodies on a regular basis by magazines and newspapers, advertisements, “well meaning” family members, peers, and even friends. We’re shown computer-manipulated images of the “perfect” body-a body that is not natural for the vast majority of us, and can only be obtained through self-abuse and starvation.
We sometimes forget that women come in lots of different shapes and sizes, and this diversity is just not reflected in the media. It’s hard to feel good about ourselves when we don’t see ourselves reflected back. How we feel about our bodies affects how we feel about ourselves. So it’s important that we embrace our bodies, and find ways to love our bodies-and ourselves.
There is no doubt in my mind that the quality of love is the #1 quality that God would like to get worked into our souls and personalities. Even nonbelievers, atheists and agnostics can see the power of love and how it has the ability to change people and change lives when it is properly handled and walked out.
Hollywood has made tons of movies just on the power of love – especially the special love that can occur between a man and woman in a romantic relationship. Even hard, tough grown men can be brought to tears when watching a real well made movie made about the power of love.
The quality of love is truly universal – as it literally transcends peoples, nations and religions. Love is truly the universal language of this world and people from all different walks of life recognize it for what it truly is and understand the power that is in it. Surrounding yourself with love brings positive energy into your life because loving yourself is loving God. (Spirit, universe, whatever God means to you)