The Nature of Developing Self-Love


  1. One of the optimal opportunities for teaching the principles of Spirituality comes when children are at the earliest possible age, the age when students may be the least interested.  At this juncture, however, newcomers to the earth are beginning the process of creating their destinies through the formation of their attitudes and the spirit that conveys them.  The early imprinting by others plays a central role in forming the behavior patterns that often remain dominant in their future.  Offer them the opportunity to decide what thoughts and attitudes will serve them.  For children, the natural way, when little training is offered, is to be attracted to what brings pleasure and to stay clear of what produces pain.  Physical training and saying “no” to rich foods, for example, may produce initial pain.  The pain of postponing gratification will lead to a discipline that will serve them well if they persevere. 

  2. Response patterns become established in early childhood and through a sequence of continued practice and reinforcement, these patterns become established as habits.  For example, we may develop a need to be popular or be the center of attention.  This need can take us into activities that will not enhance the spiritual evolutionary process.  For instance, taking off our clothes as a young woman for a harmless photo shoot may haunt us when we achieve a high profile position in our vocational field.  Taking drugs may prohibit our getting a security clearance.   Alcohol usage may surprise us by its addictive qualities.  Satisfying our curiosity regarding sexual expression can bring STDs, sterility, pregnancy or AIDS.  Our exposure to the illusionary power of a motorcycle can take us beyond the reasonable limits of safety, resulting in consequences that may severely limit our options. Teach values and  life enhancing guidance, not dos and don’ts.

  3. There is a Divine reason for every experience we encounter, BUT specific experiences are not pre-ordained by God.  Each episode occurs because God created a world that is constantly changing.  Many experiences are benign and do not challenge us.  Others, however, can evoke strong emotions, powerful defenses or inspire us because of their intense attractiveness.  These evocative circumstances have touched an aspect within us that may need polishing or desensitizing.  The moment we react to something with less than a measured response, we have revealed to the universe and ourselves our own neediness and, perhaps, vulnerability.  What stands in front of us is often quite neutral when viewed by someone whose growth areas lie elsewhere.  The experiences that strongly evoke responses in us have our name on them, and, if we fail at polishing these areas, they will return perhaps in forms we may not recognize.  When we learn the lesson, the strength of our former responses leaves us.  We become more immune to the stimulus.  This is self-love.

  4. We need to recognize that no one has the capacity to fail eternally while living in his or her solid form.  Through abuses, we can erode the health of our bodies and rob our minds of their capacity to think clearly; but the spirit/soul that resides within us remains unscathed.  We can only degrade ourselves, not erode the patience of God.  What cannot work will not.  God does not need to punish us for our ignorance; we are not punished for our sins but by them.

  5. Developing self-love means reviewing each day with an eye on what correctives to employ within the context of our next days events.  The goal is to prevent the formation of new self-limiting habits and to understand better those conditioned responses we have already cultivated.  Examples: Examine what you eat. Do you exercise your body every day?  Are you enhancing the use of your mind by thinking and reading?  How much time do you spend releasing issues that cannot expand your horizons or inspire your growth?  Are you confronting your fears?  What motivates/inspires you?  Reclaim the energy you have invested in issues, circumstances and personalities over which you have little or no control or which remain buried in your past.

  6. Remember that every aspect of life comes to you in a form that appears to require a response.  Fame and fortune, for example, can be just as problematic as dealing with mistakes in judgment.  You are not your sins, your creative genius or your wealth.  You are an enormous, ancient spirit that is recreating itself every moment as you reach for more refined skills for expanding your self-awareness and consciousness.  Your goal is to awaken, remember who you are and then create with that knowledge.  If you desire to stay in a cocoon or plateau on an island that creates the illusion of security, comfort and safety, you can do this with God’s blessing.  BUT, you need to know that you are resting, not growing.  God is patient.

  7. Learn to develop the art of trusting God rather than the personalities, Scriptures and institutions that will appear on your stage claiming to have authority.  Jesus warned about those who said, “The Kingdom is here or there.”  They will come and go.  Only you will remain. To link yourself with any of them will be a seduction evoked by your own need to be led rather than to lead.  Pay attention to this process; yet take responsibility for why you felt the compulsion to kneel before something that cannot make you any more whole than you already are.  This includes romantic inclinations and many spiritual endeavors.  We are whole from the moment we are born.  We are the ones who create the illusion that we are not.

  8. Develop a dynamic and energetic prayer life.  Work on conquering the habit of asking for things, even things that appear noble and appropriate.  Try celebrating life with gratitude for everything that has entered your life.  Learn to look upon God as a teacher/partner rather than a cosmic vending machine that has the power to fix things that have brought you sorrow, hostility or inconvenience.  Needy prayers communicate that God remains unaware of what you need and must to be asked before you are loved in the manner you find beneficial.  Learn to understand that the possibilities of your life are infinite.  Our tendency is to define everything from the pain of the moment, an experience some use as an excuse to end their lives.  Keep your energy flowing away from you.  Attempting to analyze the reasons why certain events have happened may only serve to frustrate you and further limit your options.  Such speculation will only encourage further confusion and create the illusion that your life is a failure.  No life is a failure; it is only asleep to the possibilities that await those who persevere.

  9. You cannot enhance the will of God by any other means than by releasing your will to the flow of Divine energy.   The greatest love of self is to recognize the illusions of the world for what they are and to trust God for everything you understand and do not understand.