You know how people say "you can't love another until you love yourself”? I’ve heard that forever and only in fleeting moments have I really understand what that means.
Unconditional love is one of these things our unmanaged minds make super difficult: we’re so hard on ourselves and our brain has a tendency to think that if we looked, spoke, and acted a certain way THEEEN we are lovable and worthy. So we treat others around us the same way. In order to be loved by us we have these little silent and ridiculous agreements for others around us. We’d never say them out loud, but they dictate how we act and think. Like they need to…
✅ think like and agree with us
✅ love/like us back
✅ sacrifice for us
✅ be nice all the time
I mean this list could be a mile long, right!
The thing is unconditional love never requires us to sacrifice love for ourselves. You don’t need the people around you to act or think a certain way in order to receive your love. You can love anyone anywhere when you are solid with yourself, because you have room for them to be exactly who they are. This is why love doesn’t exist without truth. It’s also why unconditional love has to start with you being honest about what you want and who you are. It has to start with you loving yourself unconditionally.
Where are you lying to yourself? To others? What are you allowing in life that you’re not taking responsibility for?
The more we lie to ourselves and slip into people pleasing mode (i.e. making the anticipated feelings of others a scapegoat for our truth and desires), the further away we move from our truth, and more accustomed we get to loving self and others conditionally. I see this play out in a big way for clients who are disconnected from themselves completely. They don’t know what they want anymore because they don’t want to “hurt someone else”, make a fuss, or be inconvenient. It’s a sneaky way of people pleasing those around them, and avoiding the discomfort of sharing the truth.
Gag, right? This is not loving self… it’s more like using your loves as an excuse! Ewww. I never want to be someones excuse or reason to play small. That kind of “love” feels like resentment and hiding things as opposed to feeling like vulnerability, honesty and capital T Truth. Seem like more Capital T truth in our relationships would add to excitement and intimacy and really deep connections to boot.
Down deep we want those we love to be exactly who they are. To try on their desires with us baring witness. Sharing that vulnerable truth inside of themselves with us and be able to support and encourage them. What a gift to be apart of! But unconditional love has to start with ourselves - we have to give air to our desires and our true selves in order to love others just as they are too.
I’m not a fan of being manipulated, are you? I don’t want anyone lying to me about what they think, want or hiding the truth of who they are. If we loved unconditionally, we’d have to practice loving ourselves even when we made a mistake or just wanted to say no. That would require us offering compassion, empathy and love without strings to ourselves. THEN we’d be able give it more freely to others.
Actions of self or others don’t drive the feeling of love. Our thoughts do. Unconditional love doesn’t require anyone to do anything. It’s a decision we make. Over and over. The lizard brain is apt to have a laundry list of requirements for yourself and your lovies, but what if you let yourself drop that list? And you just loved yourself like you are? Loved them like they are.? What if we put the truth back in love?
I know this is unconditional love is a bit difficult to grasp. ButI dare you to try to practice feeling love for others no matter what today. ❤️