Updated: Jan 10
I was asked to write an article about life so I opened my laptop and proceeded to open a new blank document, then it hit me, I still don’t have the faintest idea what to write about, this led me to another thought. I found myself staring at this new blank document thinking what if that document is my life, what will I write in it.
This is the first thing I found myself writing - love. If I want to start my journey from point zero, I would write the word love, then repeat it again and again and again. Now every reader has his or her own notion of what love is. So, let me ask you first; what is love for you? I’ll pause here so you can really think about it. Really deep, please steer away from the one-dimensional Hollywood notion of love and think about it, what is it exactly??
To me love and life is the one thing, it’s a journey that starts simple in the womb and then it gets muddled and complicated as we grow older. Every single one of us seeks love in one-way or another. We spend our life seeking the love of others, our parents, our siblings, our school teachers, friends, partners, children, and grandchildren, God. But we forget the most important person that we should love - ourselves. It took me a long time to realise that it’s impossible to truly love if you don’t start the journey of love by loving yourself.
I hear someone complaining.
‘But I never loved myself and I’ve been in love a few times in my life, some were even intense and so consuming that I even totally forgot myself' ..
In truth this intense consuming love is just an addiction to someone else’s energy, it fills in the void in your soul but comes with fear - the fear of loss. So what does happen if the statistics prove right and I do lose my love? I'll need to go back and be by myself, a self I still haven’t learned to love. This dynamic often results in obsessive love where the love is intense but not comfortable because it comes with fear of loss, and with fear of loss comes the desire to own. True love is comfortable.
You think I missing the point about love. You say "why? Love is passion! How can we passionate and comfortable? Comfort dulls the passion, and pain and suffering is part of true love?"
I say back to you that in truth you have experienced comfort and passion both tangled in one before without knowing it. We all have had glimpses of it. Have you one day woke up in a good mode, the sun is up, you go outside and hear the birds, walk smell the fresh air, for a second you are one with nature. At that exact moment you feel comfort, but also energy and passion. This is because you are in union with nature. For that moment you allowed yourself to love nature, to love being part of it, to feel alive. To feel true love for everyone and everything – including you. Now do you think you can hang on to that feeling for the rest of the day, the week, the year – all the time? When you learn to do that you will reach a state of passion and comfort that is not disturbed by time, place or events.
I hear someone else complaining.
“What about the love of a mother to her child, it’s unconditional. Surely this is true love??”
True, mothers sacrifice their lives for their children, but a mother does that because her instinct is in full drive, she is protective because this little new born is entirely helpless but also magnificently designed to be loved. But how can a mother truly love her child if she doesn’t take time to also love herself? A good mother is a happy mother; let’s face it, when all a mother does is worry about her children she will, in the process, forget to live life. This in turn creates cycle of sacrifice. I sacrifice for my child so they too will sacrifice for their children. But why does it have to be this way, why not live life and in the process raise children that are happy, fearless, and full of love for life, themselves, others and the universe.
You ask; ‘So, how do I learn to love myself?’
Very simple. Love your journey in life, now, not tomorrow. Tomorrow is not here and we have no control of it and yesterday is long gone and can’t be changed, the past itself no longer exists, just our memory of it. Most people have a blockage to loving one’s self, it’s called regret about the past and fear of the future.
Back to that moment when you experienced oneness with nature, that moment you were truly happy because by living in the now you were able for that brief moment truly feel like you were connected, a part of something bigger. You are not thinking of the mistakes of the past or worrying about who will love you in the future, because you feel loved, now.
For that brief moment of time, you allowed yourself to be loved by the most important person in your life - you - without any notion of time or place. You are no longer alone. Now that you love yourself you will without even trying love everything around you. You have passion for life but comfort in that you are sunny inside out.
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