The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, September 24, 2010

Self love

Several times over the last month, the concept of Self Love has surfaced—on my blogs, on Twitter, on the entire social networking “thing” and I wanted to address it directly. And we’ll look at how it relates to writing, relationships, success, health, and fitness.
This is HUGE, and we have to address it to create a foundation for our other efforts. There are only two core emotional issues: Love and Fear. It is time to speak of love.

Let’s look at Self-Love from the perspective of relationships first. If you’re a writer, apply this to your characters, and your own life. For the rest of you, the applications should be obvious.
I was working with a client during the last month who wants to prepare himself to find love. This is a smart, attractive, good guy with addiction patterns around sex, alcohol, and food. He had a nightmare relationship with his mother, and currently has serious panic attacks and night terrors.
He has no foundation to stand on. When he thinks of a relationship, it is: “what kind of woman could love me?” Or “will they all turn into Mom?” Good Lord, can you see where this leads?
1) Self-fulfilling prophesies: seeking out doomed relationships to reinforce a pre-existing belief pattern.
2) Deliberately trashing good relationships—“testing” love partners to destruction. After all, if a relationship worked out, that would destroy the toxic self image…and your self image will fight for its life like you won’t believe.
3) Seeking out unavailable relationships. Only opening to intimacy if the person is unavailable: married, living in another town, emotionally distant, etc.
The answer to all of these is to find the love you seek WITHIN you first, to connect with your own heart space to the point that you overflow with affection for the entire world. People who genuinely love themselves are not egotistical. They do not place themselves above others. In learning to forgive their own failures and weaknesses, they gain great compassion for the rest of the world.
The core, the first step, is loving yourself. You will NEVER get the feeling of acceptance and healing you want from outside yourself until you have prepared the soil of your heart.
For all of you, I urge you to spend 15-20 minutes a day just listening to the miracle of your heartbeat. Journal about the emotions that arise. This path will take you all the way home, I promise you.
Do the Work!


Pagan Topologist said...

This topic is always fascinating to me. I was probably in my fifties before I began slowly working through this. When I was a child, it was made clear to me that self-hatred was the only moral option. Loving oneself was a manifestation of the sin of pride, one of the seven deadly sins. I suspect that this is taught to most children, although I cannot be sure.

Some guy said...

I always wonder when I hear that idea that self-love has to come first. Personally, my perception is that it was someone else loving me who taught me self-love, not the other way 'round. (Of course it's been a while and it may have worn off... ;0))

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post Steve!

T. Thorn Coyle said...

I have not visited you blog for awhile, but seeing you recent comment on Mushtaq's page drew me here again. While scrolling through and reading your recent (excellent) posts, I had to laugh when I got to this one. Sure enough, I also wrote about self-love last month:

T. Thorn Coyle said...

Sorry, my iPad somehow turned a couple of my "your"s into "you"s