Self-Love is a GiftPosted: December 6, 2012
Not too long after I began studying Science of Mind, I stood in front of the mirror, looked myself in the eyes, and said out loud, “I love you”. Then I burst into tears.
One of the most difficult ideas to understand in our beautiful New Thought teaching is that we need to love ourselves. We need to love and accept ourselves before we can exchange and attract love from others. Self love is an idea that frightens some people away and allows some people to condemn us as heathens. It is also a basic truth in Science of Mind.
Loving yourself creates true happiness, true wealth, true health and beautiful relationships once it is achieved. In New Thought, we learn quickly that our thoughts and beliefs are all-important. They attract our life events and circumstances.
If we want to attract the love and respect of others, we must find a way to love and respect ourselves. We must believe we are worthy of a good life. Many of the things we learn in classes and workshops are designed to increase our self-love.
Contrary to some old ideas, we must love ourselves before we can hope to love others and attract all the wonderful gifts of life. That is how spiritual law works. God is Love and you are created in the image and likeness of God. That means you must be Love as well.
We are built with an innate desire be love and to share our love and to attract the love of others. It is in our nature to desire loving relationships. We want a sane and pleasant workplace, a happy home life, a good romantic life, warm friends and a pleasant community. The circle of Love gets wider and wider.
Our desire for Love in our lives is natural and right. Some of us are confused about how to fulfill that desire and that is where the study of Science of Mind can help. We teach that the Love of God works though spiritual laws and we need to work with those laws to attract Love. We can do it. Yes we can.
Right now, I invite you to try this simple spiritual exercise. I want you to hug yourself. That’s right, put your arms around yourself and hug hard, then say, “Wonderful, wonderful me.” Try to repeat the phrase with conviction at least five times.
How you feel about that exercise? Your observations can be a clue to how you feel about yourself this moment. Do you know you are wonderful? Do you love yourself? Do you have what is called high esteem? Or did you immediately begin to list reasons why you couldn’t love yourself?
Most of us can use a little help when it comes to loving our selves. Anyone who is lonely, in quarrelsome relationships, or simply not feeling good about his or her ability to love, needs to know that change is possible. If you don’t believe me, take a minute and list things you have already changed in your life.
To get something new we usually have release something old. Imagine that your ideas are like clothes that are stored in the closet. Some of those ideas may be out of style or worn out and their use if over. Just because you’ve had something a long time is no reason to keep it.
Some of us learned a lot of wrong ideas about life very early. Many of those ideas had to do with love. For example, I learned that I had to be good to be lovable. I thought God was a bit like Santa Claus with a list and naughty girls were unloved.
Good usually meant quiet and obedient. It took me quite a while to work my way out of that paper bag. Ask yourself if you learned the words good and loveable were interchangeable for you as a child? Are you still stuck in that paper bags? I want you to know that God always loves you and it is your job to accept that fact.
You may have something you want to change and you can still love yourself. Don’t wait until you stop smoking or eating sugar to love yourself. Take a line from one of my favorite songs and make it your mantra. I love myself the way I am and I am willing to change.
There are other outmoded ideas about love hanging in the dark corners of most of our minds. Here’s another personal example. I spent many years in relationships with people that I tried to “fix” so they could love me as much as I wanted. Eventually, I discovered relationships didn’t work that way and I learned to love and honor myself,.
Ever notice how some people seem to be surrounded by love and others are usually experiencing a shortage? You can bet that the one who attracts love has high self-esteem. Don’t be frightened at the idea of higher self- esteem. It doesn’t mean rudeness or self-centered. Feeling good about yourself will not make things worse.
If a person needs to love himself more, and learns how wonderful he is, it will tend to balance his life. Bullies have low self-esteem. So do screamers, shouters, whiners and drunks. A quiet, confident, polite, attractive individual knows what he is doing and is self assured.
Do you need a different balance in your ability to love yourself? Your time spent in spiritual practice can include simple exercises such as hugging yourself and seeing yourself in the mirror and telling yourself how wonderful you are. You can keep a record of compliments and have a special box for thank you cards. Journaling is a good way to keep track of your discoveries.
The most important thing you can do for yourself is study Science of Mind in your local church or online. Reading New Thought books is also great. You will find that any of your studies of New Thought philosophy are helpful.
You will not get what you want by being self-effacing or always putting others first. That is not the way the world works. Being a good person does not mean being a doormat. You might read my book, Wise Women don’t worry Wise Women don’t sing the blues for more on this subject.
Spiritual laws have always been around. The Master Teacher said that those who had much, would be given more. That two thousand year old statement is really a description about how spiritual law works.
Loving ourselves may go against much of what we were taught, as children. Certainly, some religions seemed to interpret the Golden Rule to mean that we should love others more than ourselves but that is not what it says. The more we experience self-love, the more we are able to genuinely love others.
The Christmas season is a good time to be mindful of these ideas. It is a tragedy when we forget to love ourselves and wear ourselves out with nonsense. Too many of us trip all over our sanity, our energy, our budgets and ourselves to do what is “expected”.
The best gift we can give our loved ones this year is to love and take care of ourselves as much we would love and take care of others. This December, let’s remember that we are celebrating the Season of Love and include ourselves in our group of Loved Ones. After all, it all begins in our own hearts and moves outward in an eternally expanding circle.
Do I love myself today?
What do I love about myself today?
Who else do I love?
What old ideas do I want to let go?
What events or customs do I want to let go?