Rethinking Our Ideas About Love For Our Children and Ourselves
The true meaning of Love is the ability to fully see, accept, and honor another for who they are. To harness the ability to step outside of ourselves and consistently connect with them. To love someone consciously is to commit to our own personal growth, becoming intimate with ourselves instead of demanding the other to meet our needs. It means we don’t ask them to love us back, and neither do we set conditions for how they should love us if they choose to do so. In other words, our feelings don’t come into the mix.
This may sound like self denial and even self deprivation. But it’s far from it!
This understanding of love challenges us to honor ourselves so that we feel fulfilled to the extent that the other person is set free from contributing to our fulfillment. It allows us to enjoy an expansive sense of self-love that brings us a feeling of wholeness. Then, it permits the other to bask in their own self-love. When we love ourselves at such depths, we emanate trust and a feeling of fulfillment toward all those whose lives we intersect with, especially our children.
To love ourselves means to be in constant communication with our inner light, while showing great compassion for our dark side. It means we know our flaws and limitations intimately, so that we are constantly feeling valued and loved. This allows all our parts to become integrated into a wholeness, so that we no longer see ourselves as wounded and hurt, and therefore, needy.
When we undertake the task to love ourselves with such deep insight, it’s only natural that we emit the same energy to all those around us, especially our children. We are now able to love them for their flaws and their glory with equal affinity and profound compassion. Instead of being fearful for them, as if they were lacking, we see them as all that they are. In other words, our appreciation for our own humanity translates into an appreciation of theirs. This frees our children from having to prove themselves worthy of our approval. Instead of them being afraid that we will reject them, they tune into another frequency altogether, one of self-acceptance.
Until our ability to live in a state of self-love is honed on a daily basis, our children will perceive our love for them as conditional, based in control and fear. This is why when parents come to me for coaching and speak of their great love for their children, I remind them that love and fear cannot exist in the same moment.