Just this past weekend, I had the pleasure of attending my only brother’s wedding in California. For the ceremony, I was asked to prepare a reading. As I researched some writings from great masters and spiritual teachers, I found that they all had the same words of wisdom. Before we can truly love another, we have to learn to love and accept ourselves.
Although we’ve heard these words many times in our lives and know them to be inherently true, for some reason they registered differently this time as I reflected on what I found to be successful about my brother’s union with his new wife. Finding peace within ourselves allows our divine essence, which is love, to rise to the surface and be expressed in selfless and authentic ways towards others. As we love only to the extent that we ourselves are happy, here lies the secret.
Remembering that who we are is love is at the forefront of our life journey. Finding this inner peace and acceptance may seem nearly impossible at certain moments in our lives and more accessible at others. Life’s circumstances do and will keep us continually challenged in this area, which will ultimately impact our experience of ourselves and others on an ongoing basis.
So what are some areas we can focus on to nourish the love within us, allowing our expression of love to expand outwards to those whom we interact with and beyond?
- Focus on giving rather then receiving. What we currently have in your lives is a mirror of our thoughts, feelings and actions. If we want more love, we have to give more love.
- Practice letting go of judgments towards ourselves and others. Judgment creates walls…walls between ourselves and what’s possible in our lives as well as walls between ourselves and other people.
- Recognize that love is a choice, not something that just happens to us as the word “feeling” would imply. If love is missing, we must practice loving behaviors and recognize that we have just as much control over our feelings as we do over our actions. We can learn to open our hearts so that we can access the love that is already within us and share it with others.
- Take responsibility when we are not being loving. Rather than pointing the finger at others or being angry with ourselves when love is not present, it’s important to learn to recognize the cues to look inward and discover what’s at the source of our negativity.
- Be grateful for what we have in our lives rather than what we don’t. When we focus on what we love, we can’t help but experience love.
Published On: October 01, 2010