36. TO LOVE OURSELVES

The central highland in Iceland - Rout 208

We crave for love and affection.  From our parents, relatives, and friends, from everywhere.  All our being is about the love and care we need and miss, and little else.  And if we do not have the love of others, then our existence is all about the love that we desire but do not get.

And we always seek it outside ourselves.  We give others little help here and there, take care of children for friends and relatives and visit the sick.  We are so loving, so caring and good and in return we get recognition, positive strokes.  A small light to warm us.  That is all.
We harvest only a small light which tickles our vanity for a while, but gives no true warmth.  And that which tickles our vanity is not real love or caring.  Why is it so difficult to find real love?

What we desire is not to be found outside of ourselves.  No matter how much we want to find it, out there amongst the people, it is not there. We must turn to ourselves.  Inwards.  That is where the love is, within ourselves, lost in the search for it, the yearning for it.

The truth is life.  And life is us.  All its love is also us.  Love is nowhere else to be found.
We do not find love in charitable activities no matter what its nature is.  We must know that when we do good, charitable work, to gain recognition, we are serving our own needs.  Nothing else.
We can never find love outside of ourselves.  We must discover it within us.

We must love ourselves.  Not because of our importance or actions, but only because we are.  To exist is enough.
But we do not love ourselves, we cannot, because we believe that we do not deserve love.  We have a great guilt and shame, we feel we are not good enough as we are and believe we need to change, to become better and then we will deserves love.
Perhaps this is the much-talked-of original sin, we are given soon after we are born and follows us for life.  Upbringing, discipline and shame, that all is based on the idea that we are not good enough, as we are, and aims to change us, make us something, obedient, honorable, better, just not good enough as we are.

It goes without saying that while we hold on to these ideas about ourselves, we are trapped in our own delusions.  It is not possible to turn on the light where no light source is.

We have to view ourselves, peel off us all the layers of shame, guilt and grief, we have to see what lies behind it all, we have to see the me that keeps us trapped in delusions, so it can be nourished by our shame and guilt and create from it importance, the hope of something better and more and more valuable.  We have to make peace with ourselves.  Forgive ourselves for all the stupidity and ideas about ourselves.  We cannot expect others to love us if we do not love ourselves.  And what is more, if we do not love ourselves we cannot accept love from others.
We have to turn on the spark, and love ourselves first, then follow the rest, family, friends, all the people.

When we let go and accept ourselves, for it alone to be, no matter what it is, then rises up the love within us and then we do not need love and care from the environment, but have the love within us to radiate and give from us, out into the environment.
We must know that he who lets love rise within him will also radiate it from him.  To love oneself is to love others and all.

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