“Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.”
~ Byron Katie
My beautiful wife was giving my son, who is almost 2 years old, a bath the other day and he did something that was so natural and pure. He just returned from getting a haircut and noticed himself in the bathroom mirror. His reaction was priceless. He smiled and said, “Oh wow, I love you Julian.” and then he repeatedly kissed himself in the mirror. This is a wonderful example and expression of self-love. Self-love, not to be confused with narcissism, is extremely healthy. Yet, how often do you hear someone declare their love for themselves? When was the last time you looked in the mirror and said, “I love you”? Instead, most people spend their entire lives looking in the mirror and seeing imperfections; I wish I was leaner, taller, prettier, and smarter, just to name a few. Doing this is not healthy.
Self-love comes from your heart, a special place within your being. The love from this place is unconditional which means there is no condition that can change this love. With self-love, you love yourself for who you are, regardless of perceived imperfections. In truth, from your heart’s perspective, you are a perfect being. Remember, in this sacred place, there are no judgements; there are no imperfections; there is only unconditional love.
Many people think they can only receive love from another person. This mindset or belief will set you up for hardship. Why? You cannot control how others feel about you. Therefore, if someone’s feelings change and you lose their love, you will feel devastated, shattered and empty. To live this way is extremely stressful. You will have a tendency to second-guess your decisions and actions because of how it may affect the people who love you; you will put others wants and needs ahead of your own; you will stop living the life you want to live and instead, live the life other people want you to live. I believe no one truly wants to live this way; it’s just a trap they unconsciously fall into.
To avoid this trap, you must love yourself first. With self-love, you will follow your heart and live life to the fullest. Your choices and actions are based on the love you have within yourself. For instance, if I do something kind for another person, I do it because I wish to give love and not because I am looking to receive it in return. Self-love is not selfishness. When you love yourself fully, you will naturally want to share this unconditional love with others. In truth, you cannot prevent this from happening. Here is an analogy to explain this statement. There are 3 levels of love – ‘I’, ‘We’ and ‘All’. The top level is ‘I’ which is self-love and it is represented by one glass. The second level is ‘We’ which is the love for the people in your life (family, friends, partner, etc.) and it is represented by two glasses, positioned directly underneath and holding up the top glass. Finally, the third level of love is ‘All’, which is the love for everything (humanity, planet, universe, etc.) and it is represented by three glasses, positioned underneath and holding up the other 2 levels of glasses. If I had to fill up all of those glasses with water and I could only pour from one fixed point, I would have to pour directly into the top glass first. Once the top glass is full, the water will begin to overflow into the other glasses below and eventually, fill them all.
As you can see from the analogy above, there is no way you could fill the top glass if you focus on pouring the water (love) into the second or third level. No matter how much love you share with others, you will always feel empty until you love yourself first. How and where do you find unconditional self-love? Unconditional love is ever-present and it is everywhere. Therefore, it is not something you find but something you tune into. However, in order to tune into this love, you must first adjust your antenna (develop certain traits or habits) so that it is in a receptive position. By developing the habits put forth in my book, One Habit At A Time, you will position yourself – physically, mentally and spiritually – to tune into and receive this love with ease.
LOVE YOURSELF FIRST!
Holistic Practitioner and Educator