Self-love … is it the answer?

What goes on in you when you hear the phrase, “self-love”? Do you experience:

  • Ah, yes!
  • I'm not loveable.
  • What's that?
  • How selfish and self-serving!
  • Something else?
Recently, Maripat Abbott of Manifesting Possibilities and I had a conversation about self-love and we went so far as to suggest that self-love is the answer to humanity's challenges.

“What?” you ask. “If that is the case, we end up with a world of self-serving, self-absorbed, selfish people who can't think of anything but their own well-being.”

Really? I'd like to point you at two readings and then invite you back for some discussion:

Self-Love from Wikipedia
The Golden Rule, with a twist!

Take a moment to really soak up the ideas you just read. Imagine yourself and each person in your life experiencing self-love as Erich Fromm proposed:

“… loving oneself means caring about oneself, taking responsibility for oneself, respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one's strengths and weaknesses). He proposed, further, that in order to be able to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself in this way.”

… imagine your spouse and children, your boss and co-workers, those who serve you in restaurants, stores, automobile shops, teachers, spiritual leaders, politicians, homeless persons and those critically ill, those in your country and around the world … everyone!

Imagine the opposite for a moment. Imagine people who do not respect or take responsibility for themselves, who do not acknowledge their strengths or weaknesses but live in a place of their imagination concerning who they are. Imagine everyone trying to take care of the “other” without regard to themselves.

What do you see?
What happens when you travel 100% to either end of the spectrum?
What would you like to vision for humanity?

If it is still hard for you to hear that “self-love” is essential, or more – that it might be the cure for the world's ills:

What would allow you to open just a bit to the idea?
Where might you practice a bit more self-love?
Who will you invite into your practice?

Afraid to be the first? Afraid to shift from volunteering, serving, helping, denying yourself into self-love? Afraid of judgment? Just one more thought for you:

Be the Change

Feel the fear and do it anyway. Do it anyway and notice. Notice what you feel and subsequently what you do. Notice also what happens around you when you live from a place of self-love. Are you rubbing off on people? Are you setting a new trend? Are you spreading love by living in and being love?

We'd like to invite you into the conversation. Share your thoughts. Share your experiences. Share your practices. Share with those around you and invite them into the conversation as well!

If Self-Love is the answer, and Be the Change is the path,
what shifts will you make today?

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What is YOUR wisdom?