“You can never love another person unless you are equally involved in the beautiful but difficult spiritual work of learning to love yourself. There is within each of us, at the soul level, an enriching fountain of love.” – John O’Donohue
Since quitting my day job a couple years ago and following my calling, I've been focused on creating the life I want. I've been revamping old beliefs, learning to trust that the universe really will provide for me and mine, and becoming more fully myself. My specific wishes - for a steady income, an addition on our home, travel, and the like - have been refined to an overall desire to be happy. I've learned that when we focus on being happy, the circumstances we want will naturally flow to us.
Yet somehow there has seemed to be a blockage, something holding me back from the full expression of my creativity and happiness. Something that prevents me from allowing my dreams to come true. Just this week, I read the words of a woman who, in the same situation, had decided to focus on self-love. She wrote, "I didn't have to concentrate on being happy too much because I already was. I found, however, there was another factor in the equation. Unless you really love yourself and believe yourself to be a worthwhile and wonderful person, you will sabotage your happiness." Aha!
Self-love isn't something that comes naturally to me. I was a shy and awkward child and I absorbed a lot of that "I don't fit in" energy, and felt bad about it. These days I value the fact that I'm a weird and funky person. And yet I still tend to criticize myself a lot and wish I could do better - which works well for urging me to grow and change as a person...but can be harsh. And, apparently, can block the very growth I'm looking for. The author went on to describe how she had changed her beliefs about herself by writing up a series of positive statements about herself and reading them each night before she went to sleep. I'm going to try it. I'll let you know how it goes.