MCMXC A.D.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0hKs4jdVSI&list=PLJ_47mujD4JImJ2Bo332YVgnrdOyFHBjD
A mother loves her newborn child without reservation, and romantic love, in its first stages of infatuation, can make the beloved seem perfect. But most of us doubt that love without reservation, love completely forgiving and accepting, exists in our everyday lives. Looking in the mirror, all of us see too many flaws and remember too many past wounds and failings to love ourselves without also putting a limit on that love.
In order to expand the love you experience now into unconditional love, you need to involve a spiritual element. There is a path to unconditional love, as with any spiritual aspiration, and on this path there is a beginning, middle and end. Let me describe each a little to give you an idea of how the path unfolds.
Beginning: You see yourself as wanting and needing love, usually more than you are receiving. You feel insecure about being lovable, but your ego is there to boost you (or not). You love others, for the most part, according to how much they love you or appeal to your sense of romance, sexuality and compatibility. Relationships involve a constant negotiation between what you want and what your partner wants. The words that apply to this love include the following: passion, attachment, dependency, merging, romance, mutual need, liking and compatibility.
Middle: When you aspire to a higher kind of love, ego and neediness begin to count for much less. You feel that love can be a healing force that binds everyone. You can love someone else without needing anything from him or her. Such love begins to be less personal and attached. Your awareness expands, and you feel less insecure. Love becomes more mature and peaceful. Relationships involve mutual appreciation; there are fewer conflicts between two defensive personalities. The words that apply to this love include the following: idealistic, calm, unselfish, giving, empathic, forgiving and accepting.
End: When all limitations are left behind, love becomes unconditional. You feel that it emerges from a spiritual source inside yourself. This is more than a feeling; you’ve tapped into a universal aspect of Being. No longer do you have a personal stake in the people you love. Pure compassion is possible now and a sense of belonging to the human family. Relationships involve no struggle or contending needs and wants. Love becomes a self-sufficient state of fulfillment. The words that apply to this love include the following: blissful, transcendent, saintly, luminous, ecstatic
What does it mean to love ourselves first?
For me, it means taking care of my inner peace first. I turn my attention 180 degrees inwards, away from the 3d world, away from all thoughts and emotions, and then I look at awareness itself. That is how I find the place of inner peace. Unconditional inner peace. Peace and joy no matter what the circumstances are.
Inner peace is our real nature.
At first, I thought that inner peace is just another emotional state. But, no! It is our real nature. Being there means being Home.
Inner peace is the place of power.
I realized that wishes tended to be fulfilled promptly when I was in inner peace. I thought, ‘Cool, this is like having a magic wand!’ Whereas when I was in a state of emotional turmoil, weird and annoying things started to happen (- my specialities seem to be broken electrical appliances when I am angry).
If I am not at peace and instead get reactive to the events around me, this emotional state will be the very cause for the next round of disasters. It is as if the universe says, “Dear child, you like feeling angry and upset? Well, let’s see what I can do for you.” And, boom, like a rabbit out of the wizard’s hat, there will be another round of problems.
Inner peace is the place from which intuition comes.
The inner wise voice of guidance can be heard or felt more clearly if we are at peace. Whereas, when there is emotional turmoil, the still small voice is inaccessible.
Inner peace is the place from which love fills us.
We can only give what we have received. We are like a garden hose nozzle with water flowing through. In order to water the plants, the nozzle first needs to receive the water from the source. It can only let out as much water as it has received before. I can only give love when I have received it before. I receive love from inside when I am at peace. If people don’t find this place of connection to Source, then they can behave clingy in relationships. There will always be searching for fulfillment coming from the outside.