Self-Love: The Key To Personal Liberation

no apologies

They say, the most difficult thing to do is to love one’s self. In my experience, this is true.

What does self-love mean, and why is it so difficult?

Self-love:

  • Self-love is to be honest with one’s self first and foremost. Even if you choose not to be honest with others at any given moment.

  • To appreciate and accept yourself as you are: to give yourself permission to be exactly what you really want to be.

  • To care for yourself enough to live your life according to your own will and not to the demands and expectations of others.

  • To validate and approve of yourself, your choices, your desires, your unique self-expression, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.

  • To love yourself enough to trust yourself.

  • To accept your ‘wayward’ emotions without judgment.

I don’t know if you agree about the difficulty of loving one’s self. I have explored and struggled with this thing called self-love for some time, and it felt like I was challenging the whole world with its agreed upon belief system which demands that we must put others first before ourselves, so that we don’t appear selfish by catering first to our needs before the needs of others. The result of this hypocritical belief is that while we may appear generous, kind and strong on the outside, we may actually be suffering, tormented and fragile inside because we are too scared to show our true feelings, to express our true desires, and live authentic lives.

If we love ourselves enough to give ourselves the permission to be who we are, it will be easier for us to permit others to be who they are. As we accept our idiosyncrasies, our mistakes, our nonstandard or non-mainstream desires, we will find ourselves more understanding and permissive of others’ mistakes and idiosyncrasies. If we love ourselves enough not to beat ourselves up to conform to some established standard of normality or morals, we would not also be as critical and judgmental of others who we think are not measuring up to such social standards.

It is true that, at the core, the way we treat ourselves (consciously and, mostly, unconsciously) is the way we treat others. It is when we are cruel and exacting of ourselves (even if we don’t know or admit it) that we also become cruel and exacting of others.

So when we fully love ourselves for who we are, we set ourselves free. We let ourselves off the hook. And simultaneously, we set others free. For it is in understanding and acknowledging our own complexities, our strengths and weaknesses, our fears and insecurities that we truly come to develop genuine understanding and sympathy for others.

Money Is Power

Honest. Admit it. Whether we like it or not, money is power.

We may be strongly resistant to the thought that our sense of self-worth could be tied to how much money we have, but having very little or no money at all does significantly affect our level of self-confidence. For so-called conscious “spiritual workers”, especially, it is particularly difficult and embarrassing to admit this to oneself, since we loathe the thought that our value and confidence level could be affected by a mere “material” thing, such as money.

However, rather than to go on continually denying (as many Light Workers do) that our feelings are not a bit affected by our financial circumstances, it serves us to understand our confused or ambivalent relationship to money, so that we may find peace with it.

The first step is to see money for what it really is.

money is power

Money is energy. Energy is power. Money is power.

Energy, money, power – they all go through cycles of surges and declines. And just like the ebb and flow of the ocean tides, our emotions are naturally affected by the same energetic movements – the ebb and flow of money in our experience.

So there is really nothing to be embarrassed about when our moods and self-confidence is dampened by the ebb in our finances. It is but natural that we don’t feel so confident and energized when money energy is on the low, as it is natural to feel perky and confident when money energy is on the flow.

However, although we can’t help but feel dispirited when we are face to face with financial ebb, we can always find a way to use the experience to our advantage.

In my next blog post, I’d like to share some of the interesting things I learned when I didn’t have money.

The Only One Thing That Motivates People To Act

rumi on love

 

I had been thinking: what do people look for when they do what they do, whatever that thing they do?

I initially came up with three obvious basic human motivations:

1. Love – The need to love and be loved
2. Survival – ‘To exist’: The survival of the body and/or a person’s self-image or Ego.
3. Search for meaning or a higher purpose – The desire to know the purpose of existence. The desire to seek, reach out, or unite with a greater power.
Some people look for fame because they want to be admired. The admiration they seek is a form of love.

Some people do things and fancy being appreciated for what they do. The appreciation they seek is a form of love.

People act on their passion, joy, bliss. This is simply love.

People do things to provide for their loved ones. This is love.

The search for meaning or a higher purpose is to fill the void – a non-physical need. This search is equally motivated by love – self-love.

People kill other people; nations go to war for various reasons.

At first glance, we may say that the reason for this is simply hate. But why would one hate another if not for fear or a perceived threat from that other?

The reason could be fear, religion, self-defense, revenge, or to control more resources. These are all premised on self-preservation or the survival of body and self-image/ego.

Self-preservation of body and self-image is also a form of love – self-love – albeit a distorted sense of self-love, if you will.

It does appear that the common motivation for any action, whether it be considered an appropriate or inappropriate action, is love.

Therefore, “all we need is love”.

So don’t hesitate to wish love for friends and enemies alike, for they may be fighting an inner battle we know nothing about.

 

Self-worth and Accomplishments

For most of us, self-worth is tied to our perception of our accomplishments. We feel less worthy when we have no accomplishment for the day, for the week, for the month, for the year, or in our entire lifetime. We want to do more, to accomplish more – so that we can prove to ourselves and to others that we are worthy – worthy of others’ attention, affection or love.

There is nothing wrong with reaching out for more. In fact, desire – the summoning of Spirit – is what calls us to move forward in life. And as we move forward, following what makes us tick, following our passion, our joy, we expand our Be-ing. The expansion of our Be-ing is our goal. But then there is no end in our expansion because we are infinite Beings on an eternal journey. So in effect, there is no real destination, no end point. The destination is the journey itself. So why not enjoy the present journey instead of living in an illusory future which is always out of reach?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to accomplish more, and more. It is OK to set a goal and reach for it, because it is in reaching for that goal that the inner life-force – seeking to be expressed externally – is stimulated and summoned. It is OK to accomplish so that we can feed our family, so that we can make our lives comfortable and so we could fully enjoy all that life has to offer.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with proving our self-worth through our accomplishments and attainments. For a long time, this appeared to be the most natural process and it is the modality society believes in. It is indeed logical that when one is accomplished in something, say for example, one excelled as an artist, scientist, spiritual guru, businessman, scholar, etc, it is almost always that this person is looked-up to as someone worthy of our admiration, respect, and attention. But what if someone is perceived to have no accomplishments, or not accomplished enough? Is he or she not worthy of our respect, attention and affection by virtue of their being a valid expression of the God Source?

Accomplishments are something we use to compare ourselves with others. Once we compare ourselves with another, however, we are unnecessarily making life more difficult for each of us. Nobody is exactly alike. Another’s journey is different from yours – not superior not inferior, just different. Their accomplishments, or lack thereof, is maybe what is relevant to their current journey of self-discovery. You are not necessarily meant to exactly accomplish someone else’s accomplishments nor your accomplishments to be made a standard for everyone else to follow. Remember: what you value is not necessarily the same with what another person values. How you sing a song is not necessarily how another wants to sing the same song.

A sense of self-worth premised on accomplishments is an upstream journey. We believe that we would only feel our best and prove our worth after we finish a big project, or when we have a certain amount of money, or when we are in the relationship that we want, or when we have attained spiritual enlightenment. It is a perpetual struggle because the sense of self-worth we are trying to attain becomes elusive. We are always trying to get somewhere, yet we are never arriving. It is a long, precarious process, until we tire and give-up frustrated.

When we believe in our inherent self-worth regardless of our accomplishments, we are deliberately putting ourselves in an excellent starting position. This is because our full awareness of our self-worth becomes the very stable foundation upon which our confidence to pursue what we want to pursue and accomplish what we want to accomplish, is based on. Believing in our inherent self-worth thus makes our journey of accomplishing, even much easier.

If we come to think of it, accomplishments are actually only an excuse we use to believe in our self-worth. Our hard-to-please reasoning mind tends to fail to acknowledge that regardless of so-called accomplishments, we have always been worthy by virtue of our inherent divinity.