Self-love With a Soft Heart
I feel incredibly honored to have been asked by Luke to guest blog for this site. So much so that it actually paralyzed me. I wanted my post to be perfect and live up to the standards already set forth in his and other guest posts, so I ended up using that as a reason to procrastinate. Then I remembered that this topic is about the Love Culture Revolution and self love, and thought, anything I write will be just exactly what needs to be said and read. And then, as part of my self love, I had to reiterate it to myself a couple of times before I believed it. :)
I want to express how important it is to proceed through life with a soft heart.
And by that, I mean to be kind to oneself so that the kindness is easily passed on to others. Almost without conscious thought.
There are so many unhappy things happening in the world and so many people relate to others in harsh, unloving ways, often to get their point across. What they may not realize is that their strategy may actually be having the reverse affect on the person/people on the receiving end of the message. They are not treading softly through life.
Please don’t misunderstand. I am not suggesting that we all walk around like pushovers and whisper our thoughts, beliefs, feelings. In fact, I’m suggesting the opposite. I’m suggesting that we proceed and proclaim/sing/speak our thoughts, beliefs and feelings. I’m suggesting that we proceed by checking and rechecking our value systems and standing up for our beliefs.
I’m suggesting we do this through love.
Do you realize that when love is behind a message, it’s almost entirely impossible for it to have a sharp edge and impact? Think about a mother who loses her child at the mall for a minute or two. When she finds her child, she may yell and cry and scold the child. But most often, those actions come from a place of deep love and fear of loss, not anger or control. Children aren’t often scarred emotionally from that experience because they can sense on a cellular level that their mom was simply acting out of love. It’s subtle, but obvious to our sub-conscious.
That said, if you can honestly share your opinion with others while coming from a place of love, you’re message will be received. This doesn’t guarantee that the recipient will agree with your opinion but they are disarmed and will more likely consider your stance.
Your acceptance of their opinion, same or different than yours, would come from a place of love. It is possible to accept and love someone with different political, spiritual and other values we hold dear, when you approach it with a soft heart.
The ultimate goal is to enrich our love of self in order to increase our enjoyment of our life.
So, what are other ways we can do this, besides approaching others with a soft heart?
One thing I have noticed about many people is that when they criticize another, they are often focusing on a trait that they don’t particularly accept about themselves. It’s rather interesting to see this play out. The man who calls another manipulative or controlling often displays those traits himself. The woman who focuses on another woman’s insecurities and judges her for it, often suffers from insecurity herself.
So, let’s reframe it.
As part of the Love Culture Revolution and our quest for self-love, let’s start complimenting others on their “beauties”. Beauties being admirable character traits, talents, physical beauty, inner beauty….you name it.
For some people it’s awfully hard to give someone else a compliment, for fear that it diminishes their own favorable traits. That may stem from a place of insecurity. For example, a woman may have self talk that says “If I point out my girlfriend’s talent, the people around me may focus on her and not me”, so she refrains from giving out a very deserving compliment. Interestingly enough, if she were to check in with herself, I would guess that her holding back would actually not feel congruent. We inherently feel the need to empower others but our own limitations often get in the way.
The gift is this: By empowering others, by complimenting them, appreciating them, acknowledging them, we are empowering, complimenting, appreciating and acknowledging ourselves. And once we begin to believe in the beauty of ourselves, we will continue to want to pass that love on to others.
It will become natural. And as the love is given out and received, it grows and grows and grows.
Don’t worry about giving away all of your love. Love expands and the more that you give the more that comes back to you.
It really starts at “home” and home is where your heart is. Start there and work your way outwards.