the greatest love of all
Sometimes it can be hard to understand what this whole thing (i.e. life) is all about. Things happen and we find ourselves in situations where stuff doesn’t make any sense. We strive to find our purpose, our meaning, our reason for being here. We yearn to understand who we are, how we think, what we feel. We want to know what was the reason for this or that. So much yearning for knowledge and understanding to ultimately know why. Why why why. But what if the reason for us being here, the ultimate purpose of our existence is simply to (re) learn to love ourselves?
We are born loving ourselves, with deep compassion for who we are. We marvel at ourselves in the mirror, loving what we see. We laugh at ourselves constantly. We prioritise playing and joy over everything else. We ask for what we need when we need it, knowing we deserve it. We love everyone around us, knowing that they are just as special and as wonderful as us.
Then we start growing up and things change. We start getting angry or disappointed in ourselves for not being able to do things, for not being smart, fast or talented enough. We start hating the way we look and reject parts of our bodies for being too big, small, fat or thin. We forget how to play and have fun, thinking it frivolous and silly. We lose sight of what we want or need and instead start presenting as someone who we think the people around us want us to be. We get further and further away from the essence of us who deep, deep down inside really truly loves ourselves – warts and all. This happens to all of us and, although painful, the separation from our true self is meant to be. What is also meant to be is the journey back.
Challenging things happen in life. It can be easy to believe that other people never have to face the same struggle that you do but it’s not true, everyone is on a journey and everyone faces the shit sometimes. Relationships start, falter and sometimes end. We experience money problems and job losses. Different health issues come up. It can be really easy to experience any of these things and decide it is our fault. We are losers or failures or hopeless or pathetic. That of course these things will happen because of the deficiencies we carry. Maybe you’ve tried a million things to make your situation better. You’ve pondered over it tirelessly, it’s kept you up in the middle of the night and nothing changes and you don’t know what to do. You also don’t know why it has to be like this, why you have to face what you face.
What if the reason for the struggle you face is simply for you to learn to love yourself. Bringing forgiveness to yourself and compassion for your situation when things feel really bad is a way you can really relearn to love yourself. Acknowledging that there is nothing wrong with you in your darkest hour and being honest with yourself about how hard it is for you is a way to love yourself. Accepting that you are trying your best is a way to love yourself. Being aware of and understanding what you need, even if you can’t have it right now is also a way to love and care for yourself. Being aware of your tendency to blame yourself or think there is something wrong with you when things go bad, is a step in the right direction of learning to loving yourself.
Many people believe that the reason we are here is the relationships we have, others think it’s the knowledge we gain or maybe it’s the mark we leave. But don’t all of these things still come back to you truly learning to love yourself. Isn’t creating healthy and loving relationships the best gift you can give yourself? Isn’t honouring and nurturing your gifts, talents and passions and applying these to your life work a way to love yourself? Isn’t increasing your knowledge and understanding and following your curiosity to wherever it takes you, a way to love yourself? I know Whitney would agree with me.