self love

someone recently asked me
what was one of the biggest insights
i’ve had in my 58 years here on the planet.

cool question, yes?

how the heck do you answer that one?
(feel free to pop your answer in the comments!)

what i came up with was –
it’s not just a trite saying – it’s incredibly, deeply true –
you can’t really love another until you love yourself.

for a long long time, i just thought that was one of those trite
sayings you toss around when you’re in the mood.
i have done a complete turn around on that, and see it as vital.
and so darn difficult.
and so worth our efforts.

some time after that, i watched a talk with elizabeth gilbert,
and someone from the audience asked her about that very same thing.
apparently liz said that at some point, and this person struggles with that thought because she offers lots of love to others, just not to herself.

so liz backtracked and said she didn’t really think that.
that she could see that it would be one more thing for people
to beat themselves up about, she knew plenty of really loving people
who were their own worst enemies, and maybe it was enough to just
be friendly with yourself.

i gotta say, i felt let down.

but! i get what she was saying. she was being compassionate,
and trying not to load more things on people who already had really
big loads. and i totally get that. and i don’t want to do that either.

so i thought about it some more.
do i really believe it?
do i think it’s only true for me?
like maybe it only fits for me because of my personal life philosophy.
and maybe if people have different philosophies, it doesn’t fit.

i don’t know about that – about the other people with different thinking.
i honestly don’t know. and i guess it doesn’t matter. that’s for everyone
else to figure out for themselves.
but for me – i still believe it as much as i thought i did.

and while i can see self love being a load for all of us to carry –
cause, let’s face it, who the heck REALLY does have self love down? –
i think it’s an incredibly cool thing that it (in my opinion) is the link
to really loving.
in fact, i think it’s beyond incredibly cool –
i think it’s a dose of divine.

and i don’t think we should backtrack on it to save on pain.
i think we should hold it as a beautiful challenge that will make us all more.
and that is a gift.

i have watched how i have ‘loved.’
i have seen how many of the things i would have said were love,
were not.
and i have seen that to truly offer love, i have to dig thru my own issues,
i have to find the healthy inside of me, i have to honor the healthy inside of me, and i have to love who i am. i have seen it.
i have totally not done it.
and i have done it.
and i know there’s a difference.
and i think i will spend the rest of my entire life working on it.

it reminds me a little of soap making.
yeah. i think it does.
i’m just learning how to make soap.
and it’s such a big darn chemical mix.
and you throw in the wrong amount of something,
and it doesn’t come out like the pure bar of soap you were looking for.
but that’s okay.
you learn.
you adjust.
you get more exact.
you pay attention.

i think that’s love.
and if our issues get involved, it’s like throwing the wrong
amount of chemicals into the mix.
it doesn’t come out like that pure love you were looking for.
but that’s okay.
you learn.
you adjust.
you get more exact.
you pay attention.

yeah, it’s a big big challenge.
harder then chemistry.
(which i find very hard)
but that’s okay.
it’s a GOOD thing.

let’s not backtrack on something because it’s hard.
let’s embrace it and help each other learn!