Love is who we are in essence and so we thirst for love like we thirst for water, and throughout our lives we would have searched for love in many unconscious and conscious ways.
Unfortunately, we modern beings tend to seek love outside ourselves – in relationships and in other people. We would have abstracted love so maniacally that we lead ourselves into believing that the love we seek is the rescue ship upon the shores of all our problems.
We romanticise love and nuance it with our needs and expectations. We believe that this love for another will make us whole, complete and happy and special.
But modern love skips a fundamental aspect of life.
Modern love is everything but self-love.
The root cause of most problems in our society is the lack of self-love. The lack of self-love has caused us pain, suffering, confusion, depression and sadness. Love between people who do not love themselves is not really love. Although it is often called love, it is nothing but a need and a co-dependency.
‘Modern love is failing because we rely on one partner to give us compassion, reassurance, passion, undivided emotional attention, financial support and a myriad of other things for the rest of our lives… and when traditionally they were provided for by an entire village.’
~ Esther Perel.
Modern relationships are failing because we expect our partner to give us a sense of our self-worth. In other words, we expect to find ourselves in that other person. And to make matters worse, a swiping culture or the curated lives of couples on social media have commoditised modern “love, desire and relationships”.
As I began to love myself, I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is authenticity ~Charlie Chaplin
Spiritual awakening and self-love.
It took me a spiritual awakening to realise self-love. Real love. Prior to that, as an empath, I did not know where I began or ended. Gradually, I learned to create boundaries and say no. Like most women, I was in the habit of giving, not knowing I was also meant to receive.
I had to retrieve parts of me that I had suppressed or abandoned. Soon, I learned to take ownership of my life – and now, rather than things happening to me, life happens for me.
Everything is about self-love.
Everything comes down to self-love: whether you want self-confidence or happiness or partnership in life. The love for the self is the first step to building love with another.
No one can love you until you love yourself, and you cannot love anyone else, until you love yourself ~ Raymond Charles Barker (1911-1988)
Real love cannot be found somewhere and in someone. Real love only exists within and it is formless. Undefinable. And unconditional.
When real love is awakened within you it is devastating at first because it takes you beyond yourself. A spiritual awakening demands that you to take a real hard look at yourself – not at your partner. You are given no excuses. You have to face your fears and shadow aspects and accept yourself with all your flaws and vulnerability.
Infact, expecting another to share or carry your woes and sorrows is being selfish. Expecting another to complete you is being irresponsible. Be that love first – the love that you seek and wish to experience in your life.
Self-love is an appreciation of the self.
We are all perfect as we are.
We are all where we are meant to be. Self-love does not allow our past stories to interfere with our lives, and neither does it allow the future to distract us from being fully present in the moment.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today, I call it maturity.
~ Charlie Chaplin
Self love is accepting yourself with all your darkness, flaws and vulnerabilities. There is no judgement and no comparison. You no longer feel embarrassed or afraid to expose those parts that makes you a truly unique person.
As I began to love myself, I freed myself of anything that is no good for my heath – food, people, things, situations and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today, I know it is Love of Oneself
~ Charlie Chaplin.
I learned that when you love yourself truly and wholly:
– Nothing can stop you from treating other people with the same love and compassion that you have for yourself.
-You will only seek out circumstances and people, and only do those things, that make you feel truly good and happy.
-You feel good about yourself – about who you are, what you do and where you are at in your life.
-You will only care about how good you want to feel because you are aware that how you feel also affect others.
-You will no longer seek someone to complete you because you are whole within.
Soon, as you begin to love yourself –
You will discover that the love you have been seeking all your life was nowhere but in you. You will discover that the lover you were seeking is none other than you. You will discover that the love-relationship you were seeking is none other than your relationship with yourself.
There is nothing more powerful and empowering than being enshrouded in self-love at all times. So go only where your energy is reciprocated, celebrated and appreciated.
Radhika Mīa is a writer and artist based in South Africa.
Instagram: radhika_mia Facebook: Radhika Mia
Photo: Charlie Chaplin
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