We’ve been conditioned to think that love is something outside of us and that we can’t feel love unless we have the relationship with the other. But the truth is that if we don’t have a relationship with ourselves first, then we can’t create a real connection with others.
It is only from a place of wholeness and completeness that we have the capacity to create a healthy relationship with another person. Our path to wholeness is the path of self-love, which is why self-love is the opposite of selfish. If we can’t love ourselves and have not connected to the love within, then we are not able to give and receive love from others in a healthy way.
Oftentimes, we’re left feeling incomplete and we want someone or something to fill us up, fill the void or be our other half. When we enter into relationships from this place of lack, it’s not sustainable so happiness won’t last and sometimes the relationships can’t last. This is where codependent patterns hatch, leaving both people in the relationship feeling like a victim rather than empowered individuals who are stronger together in the partnership. We must build everything in our lives on love, not lack or needing–which is fear and when we build from a place of fear, it crumbles.
I spent most of my life looking to the love outside of myself completely disconnected from me and unaware that I had all I needed inside of me. I desperately wanted to feel that love from someone else–and when I got it, it was never enough because I was not giving it to myself. I was stuck in codependent patterns that kept me feeling like a victim when in truth, I had the power to change it all when I became willing.
I stepped onto my of self-love in my rockbottom breakup three years ago and I became willing to listen to the spiritual teachings and created a consistent daily practice of prayer and meditation to apply the wisdom and experience its transformational power in my own life. My commitment and devotion to my practice–to myself, finally, was the beginning of a radical awakening I had not even anticipated. The impetus for beginning my meditation practice and having the willingness to connect with my spirit and the messages that the universe was trying to give me–was to simply break free from my suffering and maybe get the relationship I wanted–but I had no idea I was about to blast through my fears, find happiness within myself, and discover my mission on the planet. The path of self-love is the path of self-knowledge.
When I began to recognize my fear-based patterns and released them in my meditations, connecting daily with myself and going within to feel the love, I cleared the blocks to my wholeness and realized that nothing outside of me could make me feel whole or even make me feel bad–I was responsible for my feelings and I could choose to see love instead instead of all of my fear-based perceptions. My relationships skyrocketed to a whole new level and I could now experience freedom and deep connection.
Every relationship is a mirror of our internal space–our thoughts, beliefs and the relationship we have with ourselves. If we’re spending time with people who drain us or aren’t giving us the love we want, it’s our responsibility to look within and see where we are lacking self-love. Self-love also looks like taking actions that best serve us, so it’s helpful to create healthy boundaries, walk away from toxic relationships, say no sometimes, and be more assertive rather than “too nice”. Love does not sacrifice, choose conflict over peace, put yourself last, and it does not please others in order to be loved and accepted. Love takes courageous action on behalf of our truth, our heart’s desires and it honors who we really are rather than ignoring or pushing it aside.
Relationships are spiritual assignments given to us to show us where we have an opportunity to grow and expand more fully into who we really are. They hold up a mirror for us to see the way we might be treating ourselves. What we withhold from ourselves, we withhold from others and what we give to ourselves we give to others. When we practice self-love, everyone wins and we slowly dismantle painful patterns in relationships and within ourselves that kept us stuck and playing small.
On the other side of our fears and limiting patterns is our true, authentic self. As we process and release these old ideas we clear the blocks to who we really are and there is no greater reward or success than living in our truth, our fullness and our freedom.
I’ll leave you with this last thought: Save yourself. Be your own knight in shining armor and create your own life. Not because the man of your dreams doesn’t exist. But because he can only exist if you save yourself first.