Love Is a Choice by John Cali

Many years ago Spirit gave me their definition of love, and it’s the definition I’ve stayed with ever since: “Love is a choice to see the divinity in all beings.”

So what does that really mean?

For me, it means love is not a feeling, an emotion – which is the way I used to view it. And many folks still do. Certainly we feel emotion around a person or an animal we love. But true love goes beyond the feelings, the emotions.

Here’s Spirit.

As John said, true love goes beyond the feelings and emotions.

Many of you have been taught to believe love must begin with, or be based on, your relationships with other people. But that is never where true, unconditional love begins.

True love begins with your relationship with yourself. You cannot ever truly love another unless you first love yourself. There are no exceptions to that.

To begin a relationship with another without first being grounded in your deep love for yourself is a prescription for disaster. When you go into a love relationship without self-love as your foundation, you can get yourself into various messes. For example, that which you call co-dependency.

That never works. To be truly loving with others you have to be head-over-heels in love with yourself, first and always. You have to be able to look in the mirror, deep into your own eyes and say “I love you” – “I adore you.” And mean it!

That kind of love is the only solid foundation for real loving relationships with others. Love yourself first. All the rest will follow. See the divinity in yourself and then you will see it in all others, all beings, all that is.

From that place you will be empowered to live a life filled with love, joy, peace. You will radiate that love energy out to all those around you, to the world, to the universe, to us in these realms of Spirit.

You will be a powerful force, a powerful beacon of light. You will feel it deep within your being, and others will feel it simply by being in your presence.

You are love. You are God. In your presence others will know they too are love, they are God.

Love, true love, is the most powerful force in the universe.


How do you define love? How has your definition of love affected your life, positively or negatively? Please comment below.

14 Responses

  1. Micki

    Tis true, and it might take some time but when you do love yourself, relationships with others are complete. Thank you John and Spirit. Huge Hugs 🙂

  2. Kathelena

    John, that phrase has been an important one for me as well, and something that I share with others and remind myself of when I’m feeling hurt, angry, or fearful. I’m so glad you’re highlighting it again!

    As Chris suggests, I do and have done the mirror exercise. It was very very difficult at first. I had great difficulty even looking into my own eyes, let alone saying something as heartfelt as “I love you.” Tears would stream down my face. Often I was so overcome with emotion I had to look away. What I learned is the depth of which I loathed every aspect of myself, while still trying to love others. As you say, it was a recipe for disaster. It wore me out. I would get angry or hurt or slighted at the tiniest negative comment from another, always jumping to my own defense and blaming them for hurting me. Instead what was at the root of all that anger was/is me believing I’m not worthy. My anger was off the chart. But being the “civilized” and compassionate human that I was raised to be, I stuffed away all the anger and hurt rather than hurt others with it. It was exhausting! Over time I stayed as far away from people as I possibly could while still maintaining a semi-normal kind of life style. That’s no way to enjoy life, let me tell you!

    But over time, through forgiving myself, appreciating myself, watching my own self-talk and doing as Chris suggested, I’ve been able to finally love myself. It works. Now I can love and appreciate others easily, without being drained or draining them. In fact, it’s very energizing!

    Anita Moorjani makes a distinction between “being loving” and “being love.” I think it’s a distinction that speaks to the heart of what you’re saying here. Through loving yourself you become love. I don’t know that there’s any other way. I, along with many others who know the secret, will hold the love for each and every human being on the planet until each one realizes how deeply worthy they are, and can love themselves as God does, because, as
    you and Spirit often remind us, they are God also!

    With love and appreciation,


    • John Cali

      Thanks so much, Kathelena, for sharing your inspiring story — and for having the courage to share it.

      I think most of us, to varying degrees, have had to learn how to truly love ourselves. But if we’re on a conscious spiritual path, then we have no choice except to learn self-love. And then, as you so wisely observed, “Through loving yourself you become love. (Emphasis mine)

      As you also said, there is no other way. This is the only path to peace on earth — first finding the peace and love within ourselves.

      Thank you again, my dear, for your sharing.


  3. Reinis

    Beautiful, John, simply beautiful! And so true. Thank you! 🙂

  4. George

    Yes, I have always thought of loving your neighbor as yourself. And you can love your neighbor, then, only if you love yourself as the example of how to love your neighbor. I am not yet perfect at doing this but I believe I am on the right track,

    Love to all,

    • John Cali

      Thank you, George. BTW, I think you’re getting pretty close to perfect. 🙂

      Love, John

  5. Frédéric

    Beautiful, as always… 🙂

    Much love,

  6. Canron

    I do not love myself like you say I must in order to love others. This is undoubtedly because of some beliefs or habits of thought, likely addictions. Just saying the words does not cut it for me.
    Looking back I can remember certain times when I made a decision to follow inspiration, not because it was something that I actually wanted but because I knew deep down that I had no choice, that it had to be that way, that it could not be different no matter what, willy-nilly as they say. The thought which I try to ignore is that I am either being very brave and intelligent or I am being very stupid, all the while not really knowing if it is the one or the other. Even the results of these choices years down the line sometimes are positive and sometimes are negative. It seems the best I can do is to start believing that none of it is really important and simply to not stay attached to negative feelings or thoughts. It is like being the producer of a play who is so talented that he knows he can do no wrong and so goes whichever way the wind blows.

    So, all is well.

  7. Chris

    No matter one’s spiritual beliefs, this article goes straight to the bone. This one you “can take to the bank” … seriously. If you don’t think you love yourself enough or at all, for that matter, try this. Look into those gorgeous eyes of yours (oh, yes indeed they are) and say ” I adore you.”
    May need practice, might like to use a different word(s). And it may take several such mini-sessions but it works, I promise!
    Go ahead. Focus on those eyes and bring on the love. You’ve got nothing to lose. Yeah, it feels a bit odd at first but, hey, nobody’s watching. It’ just you and you!

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