Self Love: Part 1

So, those of you that have been hanging with me for a while know that I have been joyously participating in J’s Love Project. It has been wonderful and challenging, and through it I have learned some great things about showing love. The latest part of the project, however, has me effectively hiding in a corner.

May is the month of self love, and I have to admit I don’t do that very well. I like to think that I love others better than I love myself. I’m finding, however, that the degree to which I love myself affects the degree to which I love others. I’m sure there is some axiom, proverb, life lesson or something that would explain it, but I don’t need a lesson – I already have that piece down.

In the focus for May, the activity is to write a love letter to myself. I’ve read those of some that have participated, and saw how courageous their letters are. Truthfully, I’m not ready. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a couple recent failures… well, what I call failures, that are affecting my ability to love myself. Still, when I think about it deeply, maybe the only reason I am considering them failures is because I really do love. I mean, if I didn’t love with the intensity that I do, then I wouldn’t care if I failed others or not. I would just do what was convenient for me, whether others liked it our not.

Love can be hard. Self love, harder. You can’t hide behind a facade when it comes to self love, because you know you. Intimately. But, as hard as it is, it is worth it to accept the challenge. Real love loves when things are not pretty, when failures occur, when life doesn’t hand you awards.
In fact, that’s when you know that you are really loved. When love endures past the stuph…

So, this is part 1: realizing that I have to love myself in spite of the failures that have been positioned right in front of my face, and that I have to love myself to effectively love others. Part 2 will be the letter, written sometime this month.

Here’s a couple of great letters from those who already engaged the challenge:

http://estrella05azul.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/dear-self/

http://zebrasounds.net/2011/05/08/dear-j/

I would encourage you to take the challenge for yourself. After all, you really are worth it.

8 Replies to “Self Love: Part 1”

  1. Love your post, Kenneth, it’s so honest! Realizing that you’re worth all that love you should be giving yourself is half the battle so to say.
    Self love doesn’t come easily for me either, but I realized that I do love myself more than I thought I did – because I can love the people around me, or continents and oceans away from me, so much it sometimes scares me.
    Courageous is the right word for my love letter because I like the definition of courage being not the absence of fear but what we do despite feeling fear. I definitely felt fear while writing my letter!

    I look forward to reading your love letter sometime this month! πŸ™‚

    Take care,
    ~ Estrella

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  2. I can certainly relate to seeming failures affecting how we view ourselves. And I think you are right about it feeling that way precisely because we care, we love. It would be sooo much easier to cut off caring. But the world has enough of that, I think, and dealing with the situation I am lately, I know it got that way because of lack of love, for self, for others, believing love was not. So I’ll keep truckin’ on with love. In the end, it just feels better. I look forward to your letter. Write it…you’ll be amazed at what it gives you :).

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  3. I guess it’s up to me to give the tough love. πŸ˜‰

    I don’t believe you don’t love you. A love letter doesn’t have to be congratulatory, though I think you have much to congratulate yourself on. Even just within this post, the idea that your sense of self is inextricably tied to your service to others is pretty damn noble. But I don’t want to argue about whether you deserve praise. People are way too good at deflection for me to ever win that argument.

    Here’s what I want to say. My love letter is all about what I wish for me. What I want to stop being afraid of, what I want to reach for, celebrate, surrender to. I think if you sat down to write to yourself as you would to a friend, to tell yourself not about the you that is but about the you that is possible, the things you wish for your wounded self (the courage to love yourself through failure, for instance), you’ll find it’s not as hard as you think. And if you let yourself truly feel your own words, it can be a transformative experience.

    Hiding is so not an option, k. We only get to do this life once.

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    1. Tough love… I love it! (no pun intended πŸ™‚ )
      You’re right, its not just about praise and niceties, and stuff like that. My tendency, however is to tie my concept of love to the acceptance by others, and my ability to give myself to them, effectively putting the cart before the horse. My not being ready was the internal struggle to really sit down and understand what it means to love myself, and see how that can be and/or is expressed. At the same time, that means dismantling some of the old tapes that have played in my head to allow the true expression of self love to emerge.

      So, I’m spending time giving the concept some thought before writing it. In the mean time, ill take all the tough love I can get πŸ˜‰

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  4. Seriously? You mean love isn’t dependent upon what we do? And we’re worth it just because of who we are? Wow! Who’d’ve thunk it?

    Not mocking what you and j are saying, brother mine. Just offering a smile as the vehicle for the profound idea of unconditional acceptance to ride upon as it moves into our hearts and minds. I’m so glad both of you are pushing this wonderful reality out into the world for the rest of us to see, ponder on and (hopefully) accept.

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    1. Hi sis,
      Love without limits or conditions is such a novel concept. When we can grab onto it, not only for others, but for ourselves… wow! It’s fun, exciting, scary, and exhilarating to step into this project,and see the many expressions of love real time. I’m learning… its great to share with wonderful people like you too πŸ™‚

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