We use the word love quite often. I love this. I love that. I love him. I love her. But I rarely hear I love myself. That seems to be forbidden in our culture. Small children express self-love, but that's soon discouraged as wrong, and guilt begins to cover up our most beautiful quality. We're told to love others, but how can we truly love others if we don't feel that love for ourself? Our world begins within us.
True love is not ego. It's that deep knowing inside that we are innately lovable. We're just made that way. But many of us are unaware of that love that longs to be expressed, or we're afraid to express it. Fear blocks our freedom to be who and what we really are in a world of judgmental eyes, including our own. The most unkind and unhappy people I've known in my life were those who felt the least love for themselves. When we truly love ourself, we love the world. Maybe we need to re-learn who and what we truly are and walk in love and peace.
There is a book being released this month that could help us choose a more loving path. It's 8 Habits of Love: Open your heart, Open Your Mind by Reverend Ed Bacon. Reverend Bacon has been a guest on Oprah's show and is now a regular guest on her radio series. His book also received a beautiful review by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Next week, I will be interviewing Reverend Bacon on my blog.
Reverend Bacon's book is written for all people of any faith to stir that seed of love within us and to develop our walk in love and peace. He says that all humankind is connected through the energy of love, and we each carry within us the capacity to love deeply, unconditionally, and fearlessly. He speaks of the critical role of love as a liberating, joy-filled, and guiding force. It is through practicing the Habits of Love that we can transform our lives by freeing ourselves from fear. These Habits of Love can become habitual, and thus change the way we think and behave, fundamentally altering our interactions with those we love most dearly, those we barely know, and the world at large.
Each one of us is special and unique. No two are exactly alike. Yet we all share in our deep need to love and be loved. Just think ... if we learned to walk in love, as love, there would truly be peace on earth and good will for all people.
I wish you love.