Saturday, 1 February 2014

To learn to love myself ..

People can also look to possessions to make them happy.
Sadly this is not my car. 
For a long time there's been a big hole in my life, as if something's missing. The desire for a relationship has been with me much of my life, at other times I've struggled against different thought patterns which made me feel quite depressed. A lot of people see a partner as someone who will fulfil them and meet their needs, without having much concept that they can find solutions within themselves.

This is hardly surprising. No-one goes through life without being hurt, and most people, once they are grown up, do not know that their true essence is that of a loving human being. The natural desire for a relationship then becomes a craving. We have all known people who seem to be unable to function if they do not have a partner.

And in our society, people often mistake self-love for arrogance. 'That person that loves himself' tends to refer to people who are puffed up and think they are superior to others. So .. it's little wonder that we look for things outside of ourselves to fulfil us.

My own journey has been one of largely self hatred for much of my life, even though I may not have been consciously aware of it often. Having not really learnt how to form friendships at school, and been extremely shy during my childhood, my self-esteem was pretty low. I then got involved with Christianity, which was great for helping me through some stuff, but the Biblical concept that we are sinners didn't exactly help me feel worthy in myself.

So fast forward, after coming out of Christianity, I then had the chance to rebuild my life. It hasn't been easy at times. But I had the first realisation that loving myself might be a good idea. In 2007, I moved to Leeds. This year was probably the best year of my life to date. I guess I was buzzing having come through an awful time and then making a fresh start in a new location. I felt quite good about myself for a little while.

But the highs don't last forever, and life has taken me on an interesting journey since then. I discovered a new spiritual path, which I wouldn't have expected to happen at one stage, having left Christianity. And I have been kind of forced into looking deeper within myself to heal wounds that have accumulated throughout the course of my life. The spiritual path can be challenging, but it is well worth it. I have found out more about myself in the last 4 to 5 years than possibly the whole of the rest of my life.

It has been hard for me being single for a long time, at times. I have been doing my best to uncover the blocks to love, and it has taken a long time. I feel I am now more ready to deal with certain emotions and thought patterns. This week, some old thought patterns cropped up, not in an intense way - I feel okay. But it made me think that life was perhaps pointing me towards really starting to love myself. It's easy to feel the feeling of lack if you don't have a partner. And yes, I do believe that it's perfectly okay to desire a relationship and good friendships. But sometimes life can really take you on a journey where you are somewhat isolated for a little while - in order to discover that the true essence of love and happiness is within yourself.


Photo courtesy of Grounded Nutrition
A lot of people seem to be afraid to be on their own. Maybe it's because people are afraid what they'll discover about themselves. I believe that life wants us to love ourselves and love our own company, just as we would love a best friend, partner, or family member. Loving ourselves really is important - because everything that happens in our life, is, in some way, a reflection of how we feel about ourselves or a reflection of hurts that haven't been fully healed. Do I love myself? At present, the honest answer is probably no. And that's okay. It's a journey and it doesn't happen overnight. However, I am intending to learn to love myself more. The only relationship that is guaranteed for the rest of your life is the relationship you have with yourself. So it's sure worth investing in that.

A lot of people enter relationships without being whole within themselves. Now, I'm not suggesting that you need to be fully sorted before you enter a relationship - because we as human beings will never completely have our shit together. But I think it's good to have some level of self-love before entering a relationship with another person - and to be secure within ourselves.

Anyway, I've been spending a fair bit of time on my own recently. I want to be able to love and accept myself, to see myself as a wonderful person, to heal some hurts that still remain - and then the things I desire will be able to come more easily.

As I learn to love myself, I will also learn to love others more, and love without conditions or attachment. Loving oneself will bring much healing.

Peace and blessings

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