Today we’re revisiting a post we wrote years ago.
How often have you heard it said “Think only of others.” – “Love others unconditionally.” – “Put others before yourself.” – “Be of service to others.” – etc. etc.?
Those are noble-sounding sentiments. But they will guarantee you a life of misery and joylessness.
Many times, you’ve heard us, and others, say you cannot serve another unless you first serve yourself, you cannot love another if you do not first love yourself.
If you do much commercial flying, you probably know one version of this routine: Your airline companies always tell you if cabin pressure fails and you need an oxygen mask, always attend to your need first before helping your children or others who may depend on you.
So what is “unconditional love,” this term that is so much bandied about these days?
We would define unconditional love as the choice to see the divinity in all beings. Or, put another way, the choice to look only for the positive in others—to look for, and focus on, only the beauty, the strength, the good in those beings around you. And to look for the beauty, the strength, the good in all of life.
There are negatives and positives in everything and everyone. No exceptions.
While we would not define negative or positive as “good or bad,” most of your society today chooses to use such labels.
And, as with all labels, those labels are limiting, and ultimately useless, to any who accept them unthinkingly. Once you label yourself or another, you have limited and diminished (at least in your own mind) your or their greater being, power, and divinity.
The only possible way you can ignore the divinity, the positive, in another is to ignore it in yourself. You serve absolutely no one – not any of your fellow beings, human or non-human—not the Universe—not All That Is—no one, no thing—if you do not serve yourself first.
So, yes, teach your loved ones, those under your care—and most of all, yourself—only selfishness.
For it is only when you appreciate and adore yourself first that you are empowered to fully appreciate and adore—and unconditionally love—others.
Then you, and those whose lives you touch, will know pleasure and passion in every present moment.
Copyright © 2004 by John Cali
Edited by Berna Copray
In this video, Hay House author and teacher Cheryl Richardson shares her favorite self-care suggestions.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.