The quality of your love is the quality of your life…first, the quality of your love for yourself.
Ripped Reminder May 1, 2017
Love can be simple and/or complex, pure and/or used as a tool, abounding and/or taken away, overflowing and/or denied, unconditional and/or conditional. Many say that love is the ultimate universal and divine vibration, and IS what our souls are.
About 10 years ago (age 34-ish), I called my father to ask him if he ever loved me and if he was ever proud of me. It’s not that I think he didn’t/wasn’t, I just couldn’t remember him saying it, or hugging me; and I’m not saying he didn’t do any of these things, I just couldn’t remember them. Ever since then, my Dad makes it a distinct point when we talk to say, “Remember! I love you! Unconditionally!” And yet, for some strange reason, it just didn’t sink in…until today.
Today – this morning – I watched another Teal Swan YouTube video, this one entitled, “Integration” (https://youtu.be/QKudmMWgo70; see below for key points). After I watched it I recalled my challenge with loving unconditionally, and then I realized the header of this post: I cannot truly love anything or anyone else unconditionally, nor feel unconditional love from another, until I love myself unconditionally first – NO MATTER WHAT! So, of course, off I went to my 5th zumba class, and there I tested out this realization.
You see, I am NOT a superb Zumbarian. And I have a history of having a ‘fixed mindset’ (Carol Dweck, Mindset; great book). So therefore, you can imagine that every time I miss a step I would give myself a little mental jab to the rib cage and would mentally push away the parts of me that I felt were inept, not coordinated, and not Latin (I came to find out that most of zumba is to Latin music – which I love but my feet weren’t grown that way!). But today, I went in saying, “I will keep those parts close to me today that I normally get frustrated with and want to compartmentalize and “fix,” and I will love them and thank them for being here and for trying. I love myself unconditionally – NO MATTER WHAT – and so I will do so now too!” I even created a tiny incantation: “Every step I try, is Love of I.” And my experience changed…just like that. I finally experienced unconditional love – and it started with unconditional love for myself including all that I did (including the plethora of wrong steps and, well, falling into the wall a few times), thought and felt. Most times, I simply accepted it when I missed steps, and moved right on to catching up. The times I got frustrated, I didn’t push anything away and instead thanked myself for showing up, being there, and trying. THIS is what I want to model for my daughter. THIS is a lifting vibration that I feel in my soul and resonates with others. THIS then had a ripple effect…
- I stopped looking for ‘mess-ups’ by others, and instead felt genuinely happy for each soul that too was in that zumba room working it out just like me
- The times when most people could probably see me (see me mess up), I assumed they were thinking kind thoughts like, “He’s trying so hard; that’s so cool,” or thinking nothing at all about me and instead, “Crap, this is hard!”
- I smiled, instead of looking confused and perhaps frustrated
- Later in the day I went to a company meeting with lost of folks, and was at ease while providing thoughts, some levity here and there, and requests, without immediate self-judgement
- And when I got home, I had a really pleasant evening with my wife and daughter doing nothing particularly eventful, but still quite special
- I can joyfully say, “Love you unconditionally too, Dad!”
I still look forward to continuing to develop me in all kinds of ways, and those who want my help to develop themselves, but I do so with unconditional love for all that I am, do, think, feel, and all that I am not, do not do, think not, and feel not. There are SO many reasons to love myself unconditionally, and thus you too.
So I ask you…
- What about you have you been trying to reject? What about it can you love and/or learn from? Can you bring it closer to you, and evolve it further if you want to, knowing that it is already loving part of you that you can appreciate fully?
- What does it feel like when you accept the truth of unconditional love…of yourself first?
Notes and some of my deductions from Teal Swan’s video mentioned above:
- Love is to love something as it is, and to pull it closer to yourself, to see it as part of yourself, to no longer exclude it from you
- Loving is not done selectively
- Loving is not done conditionally
- When it comes to love, there are no exceptions whatsoever
- Especially love those things that you push away from yourself
- See your “adversaries” (of which there are perhaps none actually) as part of yourself, and invite them in
- Understand that society has taught us that aspects of us are not lovable or acceptable, and thus must be excluded; when we do this we fragment ourselves and initiate hatred towards these parts of ourselves (or disappointment, self-loathing, anger, etc)
- When we label a specific thing about ourselves or others as “good” (e.g., “good girl! good boy!”) we establish that there are then parts of us and others that are “bad” and unlovable
- All things are ultimately love, even fear (fear is a reaction to the actual or perceived loss of something you want to hold on to out of love), and so to cast away ANYTHING is to cast away love, including things that you have been taught to interpret as pitiful, reprehensible, or disappointing about yourself
- Focusing us on a duality of good against evil is a time-tested trap that captures most of humanity; and unfortunately, evil is depicted in many forms, including our basic “human condition” versus “divine perfection” – yes, we are taught to hate parts of ourselves as evil
- THIS MUST STOP – and here’s how:
- No longer want to get rid of the things you don’t like about yourself or separate yourself from them; stop wanting to get rid of the things about yourself that you think are unacceptable
- No longer label parts of yourself as “good”…or “bad” – and love the wholeness and oneness of yourself
- Love all that you don’t want – especially things about yourself
- Pull all aspects of yourself closer to yourself
- Unconditional love of those things we want to push away from ourselves – including aspects of ourselves
- If necessary, find at least many things that you can love (and/or learn) from everything you aren’t currently thrilled with about yourself
- Hold everything as part of yourself; exclude nothing about yourself from yourself