Love. It's all we need. It's all anyone talks about. It makes the world go round. There's so much that has been said about it and yet so much left unsaid. Typically when considering love we consider relationships and the love that exists (or doesn't exist) between people. We are here to experience life in the context of the world we live in and this is largely the result of our relationships. The relationships we have with people shape so much of our lives- this isn't just the obvious relationships, but the momentary ones we create with the person checking us out at the grocery store, changing our oil, or serving us food too. As important as relationships are I believe they have grown to claim all the fame within the shape of our lives. I think of relationships as shells, external aspects of life. What are these shells covering? Ourselves, of course. Although we are here to experience life in the context of the world we live in, ultimately it is still our lives we are experiencing. That is to say that at the heart of life is us, our Soul. We are the core of everything, our relationships are the shells that are built based upon that core, they are the reflections of that core. Because relationships are reflections, we are limited in how much direct control we have over the way they look. If we want to change the outward appearance of our relationships we must change the inward appearance of ourselves.
We as humans tend to be overly focused on the end result, even when we are trying to change the end result we are staring entirely at the end result. Rarely do we step back and look at the beginning steps, even the roots and inspirations of those beginning steps- probably because it is less glossy and interesting than the end result. It seems to me that it is very difficult to make profound changes if we are only looking forward and not looking inward. Before moving forward, before even making the plans of moving forward we must not only assess where we are, what we do and don't like, but also we must bolster ourselves up with love. If we are at the heart of life, then love must be at the heart of us.
The context of love is more often than not one which is shared between individuals. Time and time again we fail to see that we are nothing if we are not love, self love, Divine love. Self Love is the ability to see who we are, who we could bet, who we have been and choosing to accept it all anyway. Cultivating this deep sense of love takes constant practice and in general a major overhaul of the modern mindset. Society has trained us to put the entire world first and if we don't we are selfish. Religion has taught us that serving the world is the greatest way to serve ourselves. I don't necessarily disagree with these thoughts- but I believe the translations have been skewed. We are apart of the world and as such we must interact with it (and those in it) with respect and kindness, treating others as we would like to be treated. But nobody is telling us how we should be treating ourselves. We are so focused on doing right by others that we have forgotten to do right by ourselves. This has again left us with a very external focus, avoiding and ignoring what is going on beneath the shell. This also creates highly conditional love: we love because it is the right thing to do, not because it serves our soul.
I am calling for a soul-centered existence! I believe that if we all hit the stop botton on "serving the world" and stepped back, immersing ourselves in deeply passionate love for self we would in turn get an incredible world- far kinder and more respectful than the original one. When we love ourselves fully we want nothing more than to interact with everyone- not because we should but because it feels so much more gratifying to share this love with everyone around us regardless of the conditions. We must trust ourselves enough to stop loving the world and start loving ourselves, knowing that when we reverse the order we will become better members of the world community.
If relationships are the direct reflection of our internal condition, and we filled ourselves internally with love then our relationships would adjust accordingly. What would this look like? Well, for starters we would foster healthier, kinder relationships. We cannot control many of our relationships, but we can control what we bring to the table within the relationships that we engage in- so if we only fill ourselves with love and kindness, then that's what we would bring to the table. This love for self enables us to be more compassionate and accepting of ourselves and when we are genuinely accepting of our own perfections and flaws it becomes effortless to be accepting of others flaws and perfections as well.
Unfortunately I believe this is more challenge then words allude to. Even when considering kindness to self, it is highly likely that the immediate reaction is to consider this kindness in the context of another. This shift in mindset takes continuous nurturing to reset the way we look at all relationships and more importantly to reset the relationship that we hold with ourselves. It's about constantly taking a moment to check in and see how well we are feeling about our lives. When it comes to working on Self Love, it isn't about improvements or changes, it is about learning to love and accept ourselves regardless. Sometimes we need to work on improving, sometimes we need to work on accepting. More importantly, if we find ourselves in situations where we are unaccepting or critical of others- what is that reflecting from within? The only way to honestly and convincingly change this negative habit is to become more accepting of ourselves. When we can embrace how awkward, imperfect and peculiar we are then it becomes easier to embrace that within others as well.
Chelsea M Latham
When I was a kid my mom would occasionally refer to me as a Reverend, because I had the need to speak so passionately about just about everything. Little did she know that some day I would build a business upon sharing the wisdom that I am so passionate about. So here you go, here are some bits and bobs of thoughts strung together for your enjoyment.