From the Spiritual perspective, love is spirit and since we all carry Spirit within us, we all have the ability to love. We use the word love to describe how we feel about someone or something that gives us a feeling of pleasure. Because Spirit Can be bewildering, confusing, bewitching and simple – all at the same time – so to can love.
In fact, love is such a complex emotion, the ancient Greeks recognise four different types: familiarity, romantic desire, divine or self-emptying love and the love of friendship. And then there is the inter-personal relationships, when love is considered to comprise of three different aspects, intimacy, commitment and passion.
The energy of love can enter our lives unexpectedly, slowly or predictably, it can melt a hear of stone or transform the timidest of people into the most courageous of beings and it’s psychological purpose is to bond people together. So powerful is this bond of love that it can change the very fabric of who we are, for the better or worse. Therefore, it can and does affect every aspect of our lives.
Love is generated by a hormonal chemical reaction to what or who ever makes us feel good. However, it is the same hormones and chemical reactions that are also triggered by the meeting up of two or more past lifers, and sometimes this duel purpose is what contributes toward the confusion caused by this emotion.
The instant recognition of, and the pull toward someone who we have never met before doesn’t necessarily mean that we have met our significant other half. It means that we are feeling comfortable with a stranger because we are receiving mental and emotional memories of a past life, so that we can balance karma and go through necessary learning curves with them, in this lifetime.
Although we are all aware of how strong the emotion of love can be and how it affects us, what about generating and experiencing those self same emotions with regard to loving ourselves. This topic is rarely mentioned outside of the mind, body and spirit sector of society and therefore the concept of loving ourselves is obvious by its' absence. When the topic is raised, very few of us feel comfortable with the though of self praising, least of all loving ourselves, due to our general lack of self-esteem. Therefore, the very idea of us being able to experience an intense emotion of love when interacting with ourselves is beyond most of our experiences – until someone introduces us to the concept and explains why we should and how to do it.
Bearing in mind the psychological importance of liking and loving our selves, one has to ask why this void exists. One of the reasons for this may be that society itself doesn’t promote or encourage self-love and the asking following questions can expose this.
• How many of us were asked to give allegiance to ourselves at school assembly?
• How many parents teach their children to self-love and how many children witness their parents self-loving themselves?
• How many doctors have written up a prescription for self-love to be administered three times a day?
I think we will find that the answer to these questions is – not as many as there should be.
Therefore, it is not surprising that most of us develop a contorted and inaccurate view of ourselves, which is made up of a range of negative emotions, which in turn, lead us to being disempowered and behaving as the disempowered do. Some of the signs of disempowered behaviour are as follows: -
• We deny our true feelings, beliefs and desires for the sake of another.
• We focus on what someone else wants or needs and not on our own issues.
• We cannot define who we are or forget who we were.
• We think our unhealthy lifestyles are as good as it gets.
• We emotionally shop and hide the products and services that we have purchased from our friends and family.
• We feel we don’t have any best friends or suffer from loneliness.
• We resist or are scared to make changes in our lives.
• We find it hard to make decisions.
• We feel that we are not in control of our lives, and that our lives are in control of us.
• We have a tendency to go on the defensive with others when there is no need.
The more of these signs we can relate to, the more disempowered we are. As a consequence, most of the time we tend to talk in fear of ourselves, and of others, because society as a whole is structured for us to focus outwardly, not inwardly. As a result, we are not encouraged, or taught how to love ourselves, and we tend to fee more comfortable focusing upon others and their needs rather than our own, and the importance of looking after ourselves has been lost.
To my mind, this is where it gets weird, without any practical experience of self-love; we are still expected to love others. Then we wonder why most of us end up in co-dependent and often, abusive relationships, where one partner benefits at the expense of the other. Can genuine self-love produce these kinds of relationships? No they can’t they are produced by a lack of self-love.
Being disempowered usually means that we are need and vulnerable and as such are drawn to what or we know, despite the fact it or they are not any good for us. In a disempowered state, ‘needy’ can be dressed up as love, and it process unhealthy relationships. Unhealthy relationship with ourselves and/or others doesn’t encourage self-love and so the self-damning cycles continue.
The first step to escape this cycle of is to focus upon our self-worth, whilst giving ourselves a break by accepting that without exception, we are all flawed human beings. Accepting that everyone, rather than feeling that it is just us who are flawed, leads to self-acceptance and from there, we can start to increase our self-esteem.
Although self-confidence is important, it isn’t the end all and be all when changing our core values, which is it takes if we want to become empowered, feel secure within ourselves and worthy of self-loving. Therefore, if we wish to self-love we need to open our hearts and minds to who we truly are and by doing so, we will be pleasantly surprised at what we find as we become empowered.
We open our hearts by working with ourselves as a whole, which meaning working the mind, body and spirit aspect of self, with a view to self-actualization, combined with self-recognition, self-praise and self-appreciation – all of which enable us to feel good about ourselves.
Positive affirmations are one of the tools that can be used to start this process of. In a sense, affirmations are a positive form of brainwashing since words are so powerful, the can be used to reprogram the mind through repetition. Another method is to stand in front of the mirror and say “I am brilliant, I am fine, I am well and I am marvelous, there is nothing wrong with me that isn’t wrong with someone else”.
This may appear to be a bit over the top, but remember when coming from a place of disempowerment, the likelihood of turning into an egotistical maniac is not high and once a person is empowered, the necessity to go through this ritual will ebb away.
It is at this time, when we have become empowered, that we can then close our eyes, and allow ourselves to feel that warm loving flow about ourselves, we are capable of providing a caring loving relationship built on openness honesty respect and recognition with someone else. Even so, the love we feel for another should be no ore or less than that which we feel for ourselves.
As individuals self-empower, they automatically transform society from a fear to love based one. Simply put, a love-based society is a Spirit driven one, which automatically breeds people who are happy and secure within themselves. To create a loved based society, self-empowered individuals need to be prepared to break through limiting belief systems and traditions that serve no purpose other than to disempower, and replace them with life affirming ones that do not encourage arrogance, false pride or an inflated ego. Always remember, one person can make a difference, many people can become a force of nature that cannot be denied.
If you want to read more about affirmations and what they can do for you, log onto my website http://www.elizabethfrancis.co.uk/well-being/affirmations
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