You know that love you feel towards your favorite pet, or the love you feel towards someone you truly cherish and love with all your heart?
You can and should love your self that way, too!
I am not talking about narcissism or egotism; in fact, those two things are actually an overcompensation for the denial of self-love. It’s part of the human condition to not like ourselves very much; we are programmed to feel guilty, ashamed and embarrassed towards ourselves. There are many who spend a lot of time helping others but still speak and feel poorly of themselves; There are those who devote their lives to service work for others, but somehow feel they themselves don’t deserve the same level of forgiveness or love or help. There are those of us who because of an addiction or habit or because we think we need to be perfect, but have not achieved it, feel a constant disapproval, disgust and sometimes even hatred of ourselves.
For example: I know of a woman and a man who are both loving, beautiful and giving souls who actually help a lot of people in their lives, just for being who they are. Yet, they both speak poorly of themselves and speak loudly and often of their ‘character defects’. Both of them often post prayers on their Facebook pages for God to be merciful to them because they do not deserve it.
I understand that line of thinking, as it reflected my own beliefs for most of my life.
I ask those of you reading this: do you really think everyone else deserves love, but that you do not? Do you go out of your way to be kind and loving to others, but still treat yourself badly?
In the past few months, I have been on a journey of self-forgiveness and self-love. I’ve managed to forgive myself for things I’ve done that I was truly ashamed of, and realized that I, like everyone else, deserve love and forgiveness. In the process I’ve come to realize an enormous relief. But the self-love was hard; I had no idea how to love myself. Especially since lately I have felt enormous love for others, for animals, for nature and trees, etc. But somehow I couldn’t direct that love to myself. Even reminding myself that every single person walking on this planet deserves love didn’t work.
For months, I wondered: how can I learn to love myself and treat myself like I treat others? You know the golden rule, “Treat others as you wish to be treated?” Well, I had already mastered that (as a child). However, I couldn’t treat my self the same! I would be so understanding and loving to others who would come to me for advice or help.
So, during this ongoing dilemma of mine, last weekend, I attended a session at the College of Metaphysics and received an intuitive report that told me what I can do to help others. It was a dharma report that revealed what my soul and understandings can provide in the way of service to others. Since I have a very strong desire to help others, I returned home eager to get started.
This time it was different. For one thing, I was fully able to see how I had been placing myself above others because of my ‘gifts’. Instead of condemning myself, this time I forgave myself. It was time to let go of it. Once that was resolved, I decided to do service, healing and teaching for the sake of a higher cause – for God, for all of mankind, for LOVE. As a result, this week I have been able to give to others (and myself) in ways that I have never been able to do before. It opened new doors for me.
You see, I used to give and give (doing healing work, psychic work, intuitive stuff, etc) because I was trying to bolster my own self esteem and worthiness. My low self-worth was running the show. But once I started giving for the highest good of all concerned with the knowledge that I also deserve the highest good, I realized that yes, I do have a LOT I can give to others. A lot. And for once, instead of puffing up my ego with importance, I started seeing it with huge gratitude. And a little bit of duty. And also as a means of becoming prosperous and abundant. (“So as you give, you shall receive…”) Most importantly, I realized that I can use my giving as a way to learn how to love myself.
The more I give and allow myself to gratefully receive back into myself, knowing I too deserve it, the more I can learn to love myself. And in the process, love everyone else unconditionally.
This is different than giving because you feel obligated, or giving because you feel worthless and feel you owe everyone. It’s giving just because you exist and are a reflection of God; it’s giving because you truly love people and want to share the gifts you have; it’s giving because you deserve to feel good about yourself and others. It’s giving without any guilt or ego-boosting. It’s giving that fills you with joy and light and happiness, knowing you really are worth something, after all. I saw a lot of this giving over the weekend and saw a lot of radiant people. We were all radiant, myself included!
So, do I feel like I’m perfect? Of course not, but I do feel as though I am exactly who I am supposed to be at this very moment. Have I hurt others in the past? Definitely. Have I gone down dark and dangerous roads? Yes. And most importantly, haven’t I hurt myself the most in this lifetime, more than anyone else? Yes. So, don’t all these things mean that I’m a horrible person, a sinner, who should speak poorly about myself for the sake of humility? NO. As a matter of fact, every so-called detour I’ve taken, every so-called mistake I’ve made, has made me into the person I AM today.
Speaking poorly of yourself and claiming you don’t deserve love or forgiveness is NOT humility, by the way! Humility is knowing who you are, what you are and having such a strong sense of gratitude that it radiates outward to others as kindness. Humility is knowing who you really are but not having the need to convince yourself or others.
So in conclusion – to all of you out there who feel like a sinner or a terrible person, or want to learn how to love yourself: You deserve all of the love, light, joy, kindness, compassion and gratitude that you can ever receive – and more. Just for existing, you deserve the best in life. When you pray to God using words like “I don’t deserve this love and kindness and grace”, you are accomplishing nothing productive and instead hammering in the nail of low self worth and self esteem. If you want to be a humble servant of God, as many of us do, it doesn’t mean you have to belittle yourself, hurt yourself, take from yourself or be ‘unworthy’. Why wouldn’t you deserve the same grace and love as everyone else?
My intention in writing this post is that anyone and everyone who stumbles across it will experience the truth of love on a deeper and more profound level than they ever have. Be well, give generously and forgive everything, my friends!