as published in the Asian Age, 14th March 2013
It is said that without love, there would be no existence, for it is love that binds the molecules of this universe and keeps them together. No surprise then that we spend all our lives in manifesting love for ourselves in its various forms. We go through life looking for love outside of ourselves - in our parents, friends, teachers, and eventually our partners.
Jesus Christ says "Lay treasures in your heart, where none can steal it." Hindu philosophy speaks of different paths to the Divine, one of which is that of Bhakti, where one is full of love for the Divine who is within each one of us. Looking for love outside without first looking for it within leads us on a path of thorns where either one is frustrated by the inability to find someone who loves us the way we want to be loved, or when one does find someone, the fear of losing that love.
This affirmation by Louise Hay "The world is a work of art, and so am I" Is a first step to love. Each one of us is unique and that is reason enough to love ourselves. We love others despite their flaws so why not extend the courtesy to ourselves. We wait for others to love us, as proof that we are loveable. It's like the sun telling the flowers, "turn towards me and only then will I shine." The sacred secret of love is to shine with self love, it is a law of nature that the flame of love will attract lovers.
Sometimes self love is scary because we wonder whether then we will be too complacent to improve. On the other hand, when one loves oneself one is able to see clearly one's strengths and one's flaws. One then understands what needs to be worked on and can do it kindly to the best of one's capacity. The sacred secret to love is that it acts as a powerful motivator making one the best one can be and enabling us to bring out the best in others as well.
Another concern with self love is self forgiveness and the fear of repeating mistakes. When one loves oneself however, one is able to set healthy boundaries and take care of oneself. The sacred secret of love is the ability to protect ourselves and be free from fear.
"loving myself is selfish!". If one looked at this word another way it would read SELF IS H(ere). The same way as we are advised to put on our own oxygen masks and then help others, loving oneself enables us to better love and care for others. It is only when one feels love within that one can give it to another. The sacred secret to love is that it extends to include others as well as oneself.
Let us try it right now, place your hands on your heart and take three deep breaths, visualising a beautiful bubble of pink and golden light expanding to surround you. Now say love, love, love, thank you, thank you, thank you and take another deep breath. You can either open your eyes here or imagine the bubble of light expanding to include the entire Universe and repeat the words. Do this as often as you wish and discover for yourself the sacred secret of love!