When we think of love, we usually think about romantic love. Romantic love is great, but there is a love even greater than that. A love that will allow you to grow more, be more, and love more. Whitney Houston sang about it and when you listen to the words of her song, The Greatest Love, it makes so much sense. Sadly, few people realize that all the happiness they search for they can find within and this love of self will open you up to even greater experiences with others.
Most of us search for a happiness provided by external circumstances, but nothing - absolutely nothing - can ever make us happy unless we have the greatest love of all, the love of self.
Why does loving yourself seem so difficult?
First, we try to live up to other people’s standards. Society and Media are the two biggest culprits to our illusions of how we should act and look, of what we should acquire or possess. We get pulled in every direction as these standards change with the seasons and the trends. It is a vicious circle that can never be fulfilled as the standards are ever changing. Worst, these goals are completely superficial and can never fill the void inside.
STOP!!! Take a minute and shut all that noise out. Take a blank page and write down the things that actually make YOU happy. Leave the outside world out of this reflection. Pay no attention to what others may think.
1- What are the things that make you feel good? Remember there are no right or wrong answers. Be true and honest with yourself.
2- How can you include more of these things in your life?
Once you have answered those two questions, make a plan to start including more of the things that make you happy. If there are obstacles in the way such, as time or money - the most common ones, take a look at everything that is currently in your life and eliminate the things that do not bring you value. Some examples could be reducing the amount of time spent watching television or getting up earlier to give yourself more time. If your obstacle is money, look at all your expenses and find an area you can cut or reduce. There are many blogs and programs that can help you figure out the budget and time management aspects. One particular book I recommend to gain control over your finances is Money, Master the Game by Tony Robbins.
Why do we look to the outside world to make us happy?
We are constantly bombarded with ads trying to sell us something new. The marketing is done in such a way as to make you feel like you NEED whatever they are selling. Marketers are playing with your feelings and your self-esteem in order to get your money. It’s all part of the rat-race that companies and money hungry people are putting ahead of everything else. But the truth is that there is no amount of money or material goods that can atone you.
Living the traditional model
Then we have the pressures from society to follow a certain model. Too often we are made to feel bad if we are not following the traditional model of the “happy couple” or “happy family”. So much pressure is put upon all of us to be in a relationship or to be the “perfect” parent. Who decided what the norms are? And why would we want everyone to follow the same path? If you take a moment to think about it, it makes absolutely no sense.
Our world is so much richer from the diversity of the people that occupy this amazing planet. If we were all the same our planet would look something like Mars Needs Moms or WALL-E. I certainly would not want to live like either of those groups. In the first movie, the whole planet is run military style and all the males are rejected and in the second movie, they are living an eternal life of leisure - all-inclusive vacation style. Either may seem interesting for a short period of time, but neither is sustainable.
Is being single really that bad?
Then we have the people that are not in a relationship feeling the pressure from society. To all the single people out there, you have the greatest love. Whitney Houston said it best; “Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all…” If you are single it is because you love yourself enough not to settle. You are still hopeful and looking for a great love. Respect for self is great love for self.
Let’s learn to be lovers again. Lovers of self and lovers of our partner, if we are lucky enough to have found someone with whom to share our greatest Love. Love is something we must nurture every single day.
Dream - Believe - Plan - Execute - Become - Share