The truth is, like most things in life that we strive for, the answers are usually within. If we take a look at the reason we look for love in the first place we begin to notice things within ourselves that tell us we are not already love or loved. We might think we are not good enough, not attractive enough, don’t have a big enough sense of adventure or aren’t funny enough. It doesn’t matter what story we make up about ourselves, it’s these stories that make us look outside of ourselves for love. Think of it this way. Imagine there is a box and it represents you. At the bottom of that box is an infinite amount of love. Now take a whole bunch of dirty clothes that you don’t want or need anymore and put it in that box under the assumption that these clothes represent you and you need to hold on to them. Think for a moment about what that looks like and how it feels. Now realize something. Beneath all of the old, dirty and smelly clothes that you don’t need anymore and that you think represents you, there is love. So how do you get to it? You remove all of that which is hiding or covering up the love.
The stories of things you believe represent you or are you but are not because you are, at the core, love. “But in the movies it’s never like this! What about the fairy tales?” Who defines what love should look like between two people? How many times have you heard a mother say “I worry because I love.” Worrying means you love someone? Interesting definitions we have don’t we? The truth is we have through our own minds, ego’s and through external influences, created an idea of what is, what it looks like and how things should be in a loving relationship. But the reality is, most of this is all to appease the mind and ego and is rarely sustainable. True love is felt within both people, as complete and whole people on their own.
They come together and share lives, experiences, periods of time together and exchange that feeling of love with one another. It doesn’t matter whether someone is constantly doing something to show you or making sacrifices all the time, love IS. It’s unconditional and by this definition it means without condition. We don’t need A + B to = love. It’s simple love = love. Does this mean we can’t do nice things for others and exchange cute experiences with those we care for because suddenly this is showing our love in the wrong way? Absolutely not. It means now when you do these things they are simply out of the inspiration to do it and it isn’t going to fulfill lack that both people in the relationship are experiencing.
There are many ways to learn to love your authentic self, but mainly it comes back to the box analogy I used earlier.
The more we can observe the reasons we put ourselves down, think negatively about ourselves or think there is something not loveable about ourselves, the more we can see what is blocking or stopping us from loving our true authentic self. Write it down if you have to. Take the time to sit quietly on your own and think of the reasons why you don’t love yourself, feel self conscious or think something isn’t perfect about you. After you write down what you think these things are. Write down how you think each one got there. Did you see it in a movie? Learn it from friends or family? Does society look at things this way? After you have gone through each one, go back and choose to first accept that you once thought of yourself that way. It’s okay, at some point we have all been through these things and it’s often a normal part of personal development. Now realize how there is no real truth to the things you have mentioned about yourself as they are just perceptions created based on some false idea of who you think you are and what those things mean in terms of love.
The more you realize that you are not your appearance, career, hobbies and so forth, the more you begin to not rely on those things to love yourself. Try looking at yourself in the mirror, look in your eyes and tell yourself you love yourself multiple times. See how this makes you feel. Is it easy? Awkward? Uncomfortable? Ask yourself why and reflect again on the answers that come up.
The trick is the more you become aware of why you think these things about yourself, the more you realize they are stories and you begin to disempower them. From here it just takes continuing to disempower them as they creep back up as when you give them no truth and power, they dissipate because they are not true to begin with.
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