In order to fully realize your potential as a human person, you must allow the unobstructed flow of God to pass through you.
It happens through your talents, your ideas, your relationships.
The energy that brought you into being and holds you there, also empowers you to reveal it to the world through your thoughts, words and deeds.
And you can participate in that on purpose, if you choose to. That’s how you love other people.
You take that flow of the love of God through you and you point it at other people.
But to do that, you have to love yourself.
Because self love is the love of God activated through you. And it is the source of the love you give to others.
An efficacious desire
At it’s root, love is the efficacious desire for the well being of another.
That word: efficacious, is key.
It means you have the desire for the well being of another, and you DO something about it. You have an effect.
So, to really love other people, your whole approach has to be charged with this energy. This energy has to characterize your thoughts, words and deeds.
And your thoughts words and deeds cannot be cluttered with motives other than the desire for the well being of the other.
…you have to know who you are.
Love manifested perfectly would be truly selfless. And ironically, before you can do that you have to develop deep, sturdy self love.
Without that, every seemingly loving act you perform for someone else will be tinged with self abandonment, with checking out on yourself.
And that’s not the same as selflessness.
To act in a selfless manner, you have to know who you are. You have to have access to a self to put it aside.
You have to have self love.
It’s an early phase of self discovery during which we are not really aware of our disconnection from our true nature as transmitters of the love of God.
In this early phase of self discovery, we are motivated by a craving for the experience of peace that comes with knowing who we are.
This craving is an immaturity. A youngness. And our efforts at love will be tinged with it until we grow into true selflessness, through cultivating real love of self.
You have to love yourself to truly love others.
Until then, much of what we call love is actually selfish, self seeking behavior. The behavior of someone who is trying to find comfort in the affirmation of another.
Or in control over another.
Or in the surrender of control to another.
These things generate a false, temporary peace that stands in for the peace of truly knowing yourself.
Truly being yourself.
This behavior can be characterized by kind words, kind deeds, and the sacrifice of energy and time.
It can look like love.
But if it isn’t an extension of the love of self, it isn’t.
You have to love yourself to truly love others.
The heights of possibility
Real selflessness has nothing to do with ignoring your own needs. It means you’ve developed the habits of self responsibility that enable you to attend to others without concern for your own well being.
When you have that, you really can put the needs, even the life, of another before your own, without hesitation or regret.
When you love yourself, you experience life as it is…
Because with real, mature self love, you are so fully yourself at any given moment that your needs can go unmet without threat to your sense of overall safety, and your life can end with completion.
A tall order. Yes.
But the closer we come to that height of love for self and others, the fuller will be our experience our own humanity.
The love of self enables full life
When you love yourself, you experience life as it is, without hesitation, denial or attachment.
It enables you to safely look out from yourself, confident that your inner condition is secure and sufficient.
There is no need to compare yourself with others.
There is no need to shore up your sense of well being by giving your power away to people, substances or situations.
…reciprocity is not the point…
When you have that basic security you can experience real joy without awkwardness.
You can engage in the pain of another without it somehow being about you.
You can show real mercy, real forgiveness, because you do not crave revenge or power over another in order to feel safe or adequate.
You can do for others without attachment to results or their opinions, motivated solely by a desire for their well being.
You can love those who do not love you, because you will understand that reciprocity is not the point, not the goal.
Do unto others as you would have them do to you
The degree to which you love yourself is the degree to which you can love other people.
And it is the degree to which you can receive love from other people.
Without self love, the rigor of loving others will be too much for you. You will tend to default to an easier version of love intended to assuage your own insecurities.
And the rewards of love will be lost on you.
You will feel awkward in the presence of real love. Not the giddy, vulnerable foolishness of discovery. Instead, the cringing, resistant, even resentful awkwardness that makes love repellent.
When you love yourself, you will be capable of feeling your full range of emotions. You will be willing to engage your insecurities with creativity and a sense of adventure.
You will recognize the hesitations in others to receive or give love, and try to provide an atmosphere of safety and encouragement.
Instead of joining them in disconnection.
If we really love ourselves, we will refuse to not love others.
It is an automatic trait of real self love, that you should be inclined toward the good of all.
And of your world.
You will stand with your head above the cloud of ignorance to our true nature that obscures our social perspective.
And you will recognize the need, the responsibility we all share, to promote the evolution of the human condition through love.