In order to do this, we must come to a place where we hold our self in the absolute highest regard, such as a devoted mother for her child. This is not to be confused with a narcissistic or ego-inflating type of love, as if you can do no wrong. No, no… It means loving our self so much that we are eager and able to hold our self responsible because we want to see our self grow. We compassionately hold our own hand as we are learning to navigate something new and we empathetically pick our self up when we fall. We practice being kind, loving, forgiving, and understanding to this precious self in which we inhabit. Through all of our downfalls, our missteps and errors, our unhappiness, anger, resentment, jealousy and greed… We learn to love our self through each of these unique expressions, as they play out within us, and slowly guide our self towards a better way of being in the world.
Learning to love our self is the point of initiation into a very new world. Learning to love our self means to understand why we are how we are, because not everything we learned through our upbringing will be supportive of our highest self. Some, if not most, of what we learned is actually quite detrimental. Through this process of learning to love our self, we are required to figure out how and what we’ve learned, what is ours and what is not, what we can shed and what we desire to keep. This is a process that continues over and over again, like a slow, tender refinement, until the true self, our soul self, begins to take the lead and guide us even further into the next steps of our evolution.
When we love our self enough to KNOW our self (KNOW THYSELF!), we will come to understand how to love others, more naturally and wholly. You see, others are not all that different than we are. They were born onto this planet, into a circumstance, experienced things, learned through these things, developed personality and thoughts based on those upbringings, and move through the world searching for security and safety and acceptance. How this plays out varies significantly, but when we come to know our self through the journey of self-understanding, we come to find that none of the things we think makes us who we are really is what it seems.
The way we typically begin to understand this is by coming to understand our faults. Although we may have been repeatedly reminded of who we are when we were growing up, repeated by the institutions and people who raised us, and even what we’ve told our self to make sense of our self in relation to other people, it’s just not true to what we really are underneath the programming. It is when we begin to understand this notion, and start the process of removing this programming, we build compassion and empathy for ourselves. We practice and learn forgiveness. We learn understanding and wisdom. We learn to let go and open ourselves to greater possibilities of existence.
This process is not easy. It is not all flowers and rainbows. To understand the layers we have accumulated in order to exist in this world, and why and how we allow our beliefs to direct the way we move through life can be a very extreme shock to our system. It is scary, and sometimes painful. But it is also filled with wonder, and awe, and more gratitude than you ever thought possible.
Love yourself, love thy neighbor, change the world… because one by one we will be come, the keys that open the door to the new kingdom.