Loving is never easy. We live in a culture and time where we are made to feel separate. Religion, money, politics and race have all been leveraged to keep us apart and dissatisfied and unloved. And let’s face it; life is tough. So anything we can do to validate our self-worth and connect us through love is a good thing. But it has to start with loving ourselves.
I’d loved and lost many times when I finally realized what had been missing. Before I could truly love another person, I needed to learn how to love myself. And, for most of us, that’s no easy task. I’m not referring to narcissism or ego. There is too much of that in our world already. I mean loving yourself as our all being a part of oneness, universal consciousness, or God.
For years, no matter how much I tried or wanted it to be so, the world did not feel like a loving place. My relationships with family, friends and lovers felt forced or lacking in some way. Years went by. The clock kept ticking. Something had to change. Guy’s Guys are seekers, so I decided to delve into the concept of love and see if I could figure out how I could be a more loving individual and make my world a more loving place.
After digesting piles of spiritual books, interviewing and working with metaphysical authors, healers and spiritual personalities, I had an epiphany. I realized that I’d spent my life looking for love in all the wrong places. Whether it was the love of a woman, a friend or my family, I was looking externally. Whether this was a cry for respect or validation, my focus was pointed in the wrong direction. I realized that if I wanted to change, I needed to start by looking inside. And I am glad I did. Over the past few years, my life has changed for the better. Although I still have a long road to travel, at least I’ve made the first step on a more righteous path. Now I truly love myself, and it has made a tremendous difference in how I see the world and my fellow men and women. So allow me to share with you, The Guys’ Guy’s Guide to Self Love.
1. Forgive yourself. If you decide to stop reading here, but take this notion to heart, you will be ahead of the game. The world is a tough place and our media is always pointing out our shortcomings and how lacking we are as individuals. Of course we can’t always be right. We screw up. We fail. That’s okay, amigo. We are all on a journey and each one of us is exactly where we need to be to learn what is necessary to raise our individual frequency. Messing up is part of how we learn.
If you have a hard time forgiving yourself, how can you forgive others? If you don’t love yourself, how can you really love anyone else?
2. Be grateful. I’ve mentioned this in a number of previous blog posts, but it’s so important and so easy to do. It makes a major difference in how you view yourself and the world. This morning I was holding my young son on a shelf next to a window. It was raining hard and the droplets dotted and dripped down the pane. My son pointed at them. He pointed to the window frame, and then to the rubber seal that held the window in place. I told him what each thing was and I found myself feeling very appreciative that we were safe and sound in a warm dry condo building while a torrential rain poured outside. In many parts of the world, people still don’t have proper shelter. They still scramble to avoid the elements and find a place where it is warm and dry. Seems like a small thing, but it’s not a small thing for some less fortunate souls. So, count your many blessings, no matter how small they may be or how easy they are to overlook. It makes a big difference in how you see your world. Being grateful helps us become more loving of ourselves and our surroundings. I’m not exactly sure how the math works, but it does work out this way when you are appreciative.
3. Release fear. Many spiritual seers and pundits claim that our lives boil down to one choice. It’s the choice between love and fear. I’ve chosen fear a lot, and I am sure other people do also. Now I’m slowly, but surely shifting my frequency more based on love than fear, and it is making a major difference on my life. Again I’m not sure how it works, but choosing love really works for me.
When I choose a path of love, I also choose to love and respect myself. Next time you are challenged and need to take action ask yourself if your actions are coming from a place of love or fear. Then see how you feel in your heart after you make your decision, regardless of which path you choose.
4. Let things go. Control, fear and anger make a deadly trio that can poison our minds. Think about where you were five or ten years ago and all of the things that seemed so important. How many of them are still mission critical? That job, that girl, that race you ran. They’re all in the past now, replaced by a new list of things to keep you needy and on edge. My advice? Do your thing the best you can and then let go. Each night when I plunk my head on the pillow, I state my gratitude for all the good things in my life. Then I mentally compile all of the challenges that are on my mind. I offer it all to the universe, knowing that I am loved and that everything will work out in a way that is best for me. This nightly process has taken a great weight of my shoulders. I sleep better and feel calmer inside. I’ve heard this is called, “let go and let God”. Well-stated.
5. Acknowledge your self-worth. As simple as this sounds, many folks do not feel that they deserve to have blessings bestowed on them. They feel guilty or have been told that they are not worthy. We all came here carrying a bit of that divine spark, so we are all equally deserving of good will and love. And that means EVERYBODY. So, the best way to begin is to acknowledge yourself as part of God and deserving of love.
Maybe I’ve gotten a tad spiritual this week, but I have a responsibility. A Guy’s Guy believes that in a world where men and women are at their best, everyone wins. Learn to love yourself.
This week’s Guy’s Guys of the Week are all of my 130 guests on Guy’s Guy Radio. Each person has shared a passion, lesson or journey to help others. Thanks to all. And please check out the weekly podcasts on Blog Talk Radio and iTunes.