Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Self Love

“It is not masturbation, it's sex with someone I love”
Woody Allen
Calm down you perverts, this is not what you think it is.
This is very serious stuff.

I’ve been thinking about my predicament:
On one hand I hold my self to a very high standard and that is stopping me from full self love. – I don’t believe, and more important I don’t feel that I am worth that kind of love.
On the other hand I believe, I know, that I will never fully and unconditionally love others if I can’t love myself. – It goes hand in hand.
And then, there is that big question:
If I don’t, can’t, love myself how can I expect that others could and would love me?

I had to go down to my basic percepts of love:
Love is an absolute.
Unconditional love is the only true love.
“IF” is the mark of the beast – In other words “conditioning” is the base of dysfunctional love.
EG: “IF you love me you would marry me, or buy me things” or “IF you love me you would have sex with me, or me and your sister, or whatever”

So basically you don’t love somebody fully and unconditionally if you expect something in return other than love.
In other words: “You should love yourself just the way you are because yourself loves you just the way you are.”

I know, I know, it doesn’t make any sense, but then again loving one self doesn’t make any sense either.
We are in love with an image of a better, perfect self and because of that image we will never be satisfied with the person we are.
But being the person we are doesn’t have anything to do with love – or at least it shouldn’t.
“You should love yourself just the way you are because yourself loves you just the way you are.”

There is no logical reason or conditional circumstance for loving.
If love is unconditional you should love yourself just because you love yourself, PERIOD.
Just like Woody Allen!


mickael said...

hi Buddha,

last few posts here discuss some useful stuff. yet they are short of one last step. :)

remember old dusty boring nonsense called buddhist sutras? when i saw diamond sutra at the first time about 3 years ago it made fine sense. lucky me - crazy fool. :) normal human of western attitude see them nonsense, cold, dead, unrealistic. normal human of western attitude does not get free.

so, what is the step? all is one. one is all. brick wall works not only for another person. whenever i feel uneasy, it's a brick wall. my hand laid every brick. to love myself i have to disassemble the wall which is i am. quite crazy. :)

good luck.

Ted Bagley said...

Love does turn into silly talk, eh?
Self-love= The conditioned unconditional

This Brazen Teacher said...

Isn't it Buddha that said:

Truly you can search the world over and never find someone more worthy of your love... than yourself.

Buddha said...

@ Mickael – Yes, you are quite right.
We westerners are wired differently from early childhood.
It takes us twice the effort to change but we don’t give up easily either.

@ Ted – He, he, he!
You hit the nail in the head!

@ Brazen Teacher – Actually I can think of a couple people more worthy of my love… but my wife wouldn’t agree :(

AngelBaby said...

Maybe if you think of it this way it will help - In Gods eyes you are perfect and whole, just pure love. The Angels see you as pure love too so how can you not love yourself? Stop looking for all of your faults and just look at the good, it will be easy to love yourself if you do this.

Love and Blessings,

Diego said...

This really ought to be in the Power of Forgiveness area, but as forgiveness and self-love really go hand in hand, I thought it would be as appropriate here as there.

Thank you buddha for the opportunity!

A few nights ago I was watching Federico Fellini’s great film 8 ½, and I realized the film was an attempt to tell a man’s life story minus lies, a confession, with absolution given to the discretion of the viewer.

BuddhaofHollywood asked for someone to tell a personal history. This is my attempt.

I would like to be able to tell a simple tale of a vicious addict parent that beat their spouse and that I ended up, like Buddha, living up, or rather down, to the standard set by the most dysfunctional role model present. The truth just isn’t that simple.

In my life opposites like light and dark have been locked in combat seemingly from the beginning. My Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘forgive’ in this way: stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw or mistake. That seems to mean that forgiveness is always self-aimed. So where do I begin?

How do I forgive myself for recognizing I’ve been the target and the perpetrator, of offense? How do I forgive myself for being resentful of my own and other’s flaws? How do I forgive myself both my anger and resentfulness when mistakes of others or myself cause suffering? What kind of person have I become by not being forgiving? What kind of person would I become by learning forgiveness?

I am not even sure what the internal mechanism might be for learning forgiveness but I know this: telling the truth sometimes hurts but it is much less painful in the long run than the fog of lies we tell to protect ourselves from our ‘real’ stories.

In the end it will not matter if your parents were addicts or axe murderers; it will matter if YOU are an addict or an axe murderer, or a liar, or a thief, or an excuse maker for why you didn’t do the thing you should have done when it needed doing. It wasn’t your fault that no one listened but it was your fault you spoke in a whisper so no one could hear.

Every true teacher in history has said the same thing over and over, the Buddha, Jesus and all the rest, be compassionate, be kind, be loving, recognize when you can and cannot be effective, understand that following the sense of a teaching rather than some literal meaning is important to understanding your own well-being and the well-being of everyone around you.

Just like everyone else I am a product of parental offenses, flaws and mistakes. No matter how much I would like to be the product of some other family, system, nation, culture, tradition, etc., this is not possible. That I cannot change any of that causes anger and resentment. Understanding this does not necessarily mean I understand how to forgive, however much I would like to understand it, but I do believe I can choose to strive for that understanding.

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

I think there's a difference though between people who have accepted who they are and achieved some semblance of balance with that and the ultra-confident-i'm-so-great self-love that some people seem to put out.

I suspect the latter is often a facade.

Talon said...

Acceptance of our beautiful imperfections...

Yeah, self-love is definitely key. When it gets to self-adoration I get a little worried - lol!

Aggie said...

One day, maybe we will love ourselves entirely - which would then lead us to accept and love others unconditionally.

Buddha said...

@Angel – I can’t because I am not angel :)

@ Diego – True, we do not have a choice over our past but we do have a choice over the moment of now.
I stopped rationalizing forgiveness because you can rationalize anything any way you want.
It is not a reason but a choice you have to make and when you will be ready I’m sure you will make that choice.

@ Pixie – I know a person just like that.
She drives me nuts with her holier than thou attitude.
I call it spiritual masturbation :)

@ Talon – You got it friend.
Stop trying to be perfect and start being happy!

docmarc said...

Beautiful post. Very well said. Thank you.