In order to love others, we must first love ourselves. In our culture we tend to be really harsh on ourselves. We can also tend to sacrifice for others to a point that goes beyond healthy. While constantly judging ourselves, we do not practice self-love. The we wonder why we attract unloving people in our lives.
Loving ourselves is something we need to start right away. We can buy ourselves flowers. We can plan time for ourselves to do something fun. We can take inventory of our accomplishments.
While taking inventory of our accomplishments, we can also take inventory of what does not love in our lives. Self-deprecating remarks are funny in a laughter-filled environment. But on a day-to-day basis, they simply erode away our self-esteem. Sacrificing so much that we affect our own health is not a loving thing to do to ourselves. It also becomes not loving to others because we become resentful. Stewing in negative thoughts is not a loving practice.
It is not necessary to book a four-day spa vacation to practice self-love. This would not be a loving act if it adds to your debt. Practicing self-love is really a matter of holding oneself with respect and dignity. Anything we do that makes us feel beautiful is loving. We respect the way we present ourselves to the world. We only act with dignity. Except for that laughter-filled environment – in this case, just have fun!
Most important, we should love ourselves because we are God’s magnificent creations.
Love is the greatest power of all. Love is like a light that dispels darkness, the darkness being fear. Just like darkness cannot exist if light is present, fear cannot exist in the presence of love.
Fear, not hatred, is the opposite of love. Hatred is simply a subset of fear. Those who act in a hateful manner are not experiencing love; they are experiencing fear.
It is not easy for many of us to always feel love. There are times when anger makes us feel hateful. But if we look closely at what is really bothering us, deep inside we find that it is something we are afraid of. It takes practice to be able to detach from that fear and to always feel love.
God is love
The emotions some try to give God (wrath, vengeance, etc.) are not emotions of love and are not God’s expressions. They are simply human attributes describing situations where love is not present which people try to put on their perception of God.
Many great people have walked the Earth teaching of love: Jesus and Buddha from ancient times, Mother Teresa, Gandhi, and Martin Luther King, Jr., in more recent history. Their messages were the same: to love one another and avoid unloving actions to other human beings.
The animals we interact with are great expressers of love. They love without judging and they respond to love.
Children are very good at love, also. Whoever heard of a hateful baby?
Love is high-vibration energy. It often is found in joyful, beautiful places. Nature responds to love.
Love, when circulated, returns to us. We also must remember to love ourselves. And, when we find ourselves feeling frightened, we must remember that God loves us and will always provide. With love, there is nothing to fear.
Love Heals All Things
Love is a high form of energy. Sometimes, the only thing we can do to heal a situation is to direct love toward it. Fighting something we cannot change or dwelling on its negative aspects are not going to help and may even make the problem worse. Loving what is may be the only way to heal a situation into wholeness.
This does not mean not trying practical situations. A broken car still needs to go to the mechanic. A broken leg still needs medical care. Most of us are not enlightened enough to heal physical things if our senses are showing us what is wrong. But love will speed healing.
Sometimes healing is not what we expect. People die after the best of medical treatments and all our prayers. A loving wedding starts off a marriage that ends in divorce. This is not love failing. The love may be the element that allows people to die peacefully and marriages to end amicably.
It is important (and comforting) to know that we can always love. We may be powerless in every other way but love will bring us the grace to accept it. Everything happens for a purpose and is ultimately for our best and highest good.
Practicing loving is a wonderful spiritual practice. Like other practices, it will come to us easier the more we do it.
By Denise Onyskiw.
Denise currently is writing a book about life balance between the spiritual, mental, emotional, and physical planes of our existence. Watch her book intro video or check her facebook page for more information.