It is said that you can't truly love another until you love yourself.
So, what does that mean?
When we say we love someone, it more than likely encompasses a whole host of feelings and experiences... in part or in whole, depending on the relationship: affection, attachment, compassion, connection, trust, empathy, fulfillment, concern. Can we truly feel those things for an 'other', even if we do not or cannot direct some of those qualities toward ourselves?
It is also said by some that our relationships with others really only exist in our interpretations of them. And so, in that regard, our relationships are really projections of ourselves. Chew on that for a moment.
It's complex isn't it?
Our relationships with others serve our needs for connection.. we are, after all social beings, and to take that further, we provide necessary catalysts for each other's growth and evolution. We need others to reflect back to us what we project, so that we don't get stuck in static stories about 'who we are'. Our 'truths' need to be continually challenged and tested... and in this process they morph and evolve and gain depth and dimension, and teach us a great deal about what is really reality, and about our underlying One-ness.
Sometimes, though, our relationships are relied on to satisfy long-unmet needs ... to fill in those holes where self-love is absent. At this point, love looks more like attachment, and becomes connected to our needs around self-preservation. We may fear that losing this particular connection will leave us deficient and lacking, even unable to go on in some cases.
Throughout this month, I intend to explore this topic in-depth, and have invited some others to join me with guest posts of their own.
Please, weigh in on this conversation...