This year, though, there is a new dimension to my Valentine’s Day reflections, beyond such traditional stories of passionate romance. I have been thinking about all of the messages we get about love in context of my life coaching practice. When I consider the love stories that shape our lives, and think about what love means to the many different clients with whom I work, I am reminded of one very simple lesson that I have learned from those who have had the most success in this area – that of cultivating our relationships with ourselves first, in order to fully open our hearts to others.
Wait, you say…..self first? Before others? Okay, so maybe it sounds a little selfish, but think about it for a moment.
Have you ever attended a yoga class, where you can visibly see a sense of peace and self-worth transcend every human spirit in the room, and then notice how those yogis lovingly approach the people around them afterward?
Have you ever been around someone who confidently follows his dreams, no matter what obstacles seem to be in his way? And just how much joy he is able to share with the world around him as a result of feeling happy with his own track in life?
Did you ever notice what happens when your child feels totally on top of her game? When she can take the extraordinary energy that she feels inside of her to brighten up your life with a sincere smile or warm hug?
All of these situations have one thing in common: when people feel centered, confident and capable, truly feeling love for themselves, they have more joy and kindness (aka, love) to share with the rest of the world.
By honoring the self, it seems like there is limitless potential to love others freely and deeply. From my experience, it seems that if we all cultivated the most important relationship we have first – the one with our own spirit - we would create the very energy that brightens the world around us – the energy that defines the experience of love. If we love ourselves first, we can show love to our spouses, our children, our siblings and parents, our colleagues, friends, neighbors – even the perfect strangers who cross paths with us. It seems to me that the love we feel within can shine in so many exciting ways, and reach countless people. As long as we first have a solid foundation of self-love.
So, this Valentine’s Day, I hope we can all learn to love ourselves a little more, knowing that it will create the foundation we need to radiate more love to the rest of the world. So give yourself permission to get out there and do something that makes you feel the kind of self-love that will no doubt illuminate the lives of those around you. Because, ultimately, it is love that makes us feel ALIVE.
Marybeth Cale is a life coach and executive coach who works with clients to promote greater success, purpose, passion and satisfaction in business, life and love. Call 845.876.2220 for free coaching strategy session.
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