March 17, 2018: Dev Thoughts: Why Self Love is the Origin of Happiness

Life is a series of push and pull, stress and comfort, pain and healing.

Each and everyday, we take on the demands of our lives. This is a hard world, full of much suffering and misunderstanding. The material world is valued, and the inner world is not. Money is coveted, love is left to chance.

True love is just a dream that can only be found if you’re lucky.

These are the lies we’re told.

It is difficult to live like this, taking on the burdens of life everyday, while gradually losing sight of what matters most.

The negative energy we take on is something that we try to balance with comfort in our lives. But even seeking comfort is shamed and devalued as weakness. And so the burdens build and build, with no relief in sight.

If it builds too long, too deeply, without comfort, it turns into a heavy numb feeling in our chest that we can’t shake. It’s our bodies trying to protect us, telling us that we’ve had enough. Some people call this depression.

Others avoid this by trying to fill themselves with pleasure. We all have many different ways of filling ourselves. Food, material items, alcohol, drugs, sex. Vices, they’re called by some. Seeking out others or other things to ease our pain. We do this because we’ve lost touch with ourselves, with the soul inside. Isn’t there something you’re trying to fill yourself with right now, to fill the imagined void inside?

It’s alright, though. It’s understandable. Just accept it. The fact is, we live in a material world that encourages us to nourish our physical needs, and ignore that of the soul. So we don’t know how to use connection with ourselves to comfort ourselves.

In truth, we’re all connected to each other and the world around us, and therefore could find the love we seek within. This is why the concept of “self love” has become valued in recent years. It is embracing your connection to yourself, to the world around you – some might call this your innate connection to the divine. But if you’re not in connection with yourself, you will seek out comforts outside of yourself, or fall to depression. And become lost.

This is the case of what’s happening to most of the world. People who have found what some would call spirituality seem to have an inner peace and strength they can draw on in times of comfort. This is because they have learned about themselves, embraced themselves, and practice self love. You cannot have a connection to higher things than the physical world if you do not love yourself.

To love oneself is to understand oneself, and to accept oneself. To accept ones desires and dreams as well. It is standing fearless against all of your qualities, not judging them, but only accepting them as they are. Denying yourself, hating yourself…This will only leave you cold and empty. You do not need to act on your desires, but only accept them. You may even come to embrace certain qualities about yourself in time. This is what self love is. Animals do this naturally, without thinking. Babies and young children do as well.

It is adult humans who have thrown themselves out of balance, who have made things more complicated than they needed to be. This is what causes suffering in the world. What causes people to try to fill themselves with things, when only love in all its forms can satisfy the human soul. This is why people say not to seek out love until you love yourself. Then, you won’t try to draw on the love within someone else, but be content in your own. You can’t be satisfied with anything in this world, not even someone else’s love, if you cannot even accept yourself wholly.

It is a journey to acceptance, not something that happens all at once, or even once. It is difficult in a world that encourages you to hate yourself, and throw away what makes you happy. But it starts with believing that when we are born, that we are all equally deserving of happiness. Your value is no less than anyone else, and you yourself harbor just as much potential in your soul as anyone else. It is you who is limiting yourself by serving the demands of the world, instead of listening to the desires of your own soul. And if you find that you don’t like what it is saying, you are then free to change yourself, however you will. But first, you must listen and accept your inner self and needs.

Having other friends who also love you and support you definitely makes the journey more pleasant, as having good companions on any journey would. But you can begin it on your own at any time and reap the rewards immediately. Once you’ve begun it, you will begin to find comfort and strength from within, and the negative events and feelings in your life will begin to diminish. Your life will slowly come into balance. There are setbacks of course, when the world makes you feel like you are less than you are, and you can begin to slip back into the self hate cycle.

But if you come back to where you started, you will find you can regain your footing easier and easier every time. Because the world is constantly fighting our will to survive and love, self acceptance and love is something that must be constantly practiced and maintained, but it does get easier as you learn the way to finding yourself.

There is a saying: fear is the opposite of love. If you are making actions out of fear, it will only lead to destruction. If you are making actions out of love, it can only lead to creation. Fear is the first step towards hate. Acceptance is the first step toward love. If you can learn and remember this you never have to worry about losing yourself, or losing your way. No matter what happens in your life, you will always have yourself. And its within yourself, that everything else can spread out and bloom, like flowery branches from a tree. Everything begins with you.

So “you” must be accept that you are already whole and complete and worthy in order to bring more of the same things into your life. You cannot build a good foundation on anything less.

Loving yourself means that you’ll find a sense of peace and strength that will enable you to begin the real journey to find true happiness. It can begun at any time, even right this second. Your soul is waiting for you to do so. The only person stopping you from taking that journey is you. Everything you want right now to stop happening, or start happening, the stresses you have, the comfort you seek, the goals you want to achieve, everything that has happened or will happen…

It all begins with you. We are all born with equal souls, so don’t give over your power to anyone else in the world. No matter what kind of situation you are in, no one can control the true self inside of you. Strengthen yourself for the journey of life by beginning or returning to that journey to self acceptance, so that you might find eternal peace and love. I hope that you won’t waste your life looking for happiness somewhere else, because the seeds of it are within yourself, waiting for you to nourish them right now.

When there is no enemy within, enemies outside cannot hurt you.
— African Proverb

 

You can also find a more personal blog here about this subject, written by my long-time writing partner and friend, Egle.