In last week’s newsletter we talked about the challenges our relationships with other people often present. And about how can we make those relationships more loving. But we did not talk directly about the most important relationship of all.
What do you think is your most important relationship? I could ask that question to ten different people and get ten different answers. But I’d be willing to bet none of them would be the “right” answer.
You have probably often 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.
We always teach 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 so much used, often carelessly?
We 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. Or in All That Is. All That Is is our definition of God or Goddess. That definition includes all creation.
There are “negatives” and “positives” in everything and everyone. No exceptions. While we do not define negative or positive as “good or bad,” most of your society today chooses to use such labels.
Labels are always 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.
Many of you simply do not faithfully attend to your own needs and desires. Yet if you don’t take care of yourself first, you’re not much good to anyone else.
Does that sound selfish?
Well, it is selfish. Or, better, self-ish — focusing on, and loving, yourself. Even some of your mainstream religions tell you to love God and others as you love yourself.
But that message gets muddled, and part of it gets lost, in the mass consciousness. The part that gets lost is the part about loving yourself. As if that’s some kind of horrible sin.
And that has often resulted in your belief in the value of self-sacrifice. You cannot, so this belief goes, do good (for God or for others) unless you put yourself, as it were, at the bottom of the totem pole.
That is exactly the opposite of the way it should be. You are at the top of the totem pole. You take care of yourself first.
And then, from that centered place of peace and power within yourself, you are best empowered to do the good, to do the service you are urged to do by your society, your religions, your governments, your teachers, etc.
If you are miserable in your life because of self-neglect — and all misery is rooted in self-neglect — you cannot be much good to another.
In this way of nurturing and loving yourself, you will find within you a growing sense of joy and empowerment.
When you are feeling joyful and powerful, you will not only be taking care of yourself. You will also be the best you can be for others.
We say teach your loved ones, those under your care — and most of all, yourself — only selfishness.
Make a commitment to take care of yourself. For it is only when you appreciate and adore yourself first that you are empowered to fully appreciate, adore, and unconditionally love others.
Life is supposed to be fun. It’s supposed to feel good. And the key is taking care of yourself, first and always. You are your most important relationship.