Many of us search for years if not our entire lives for love. We’re convinced — or at least hopeful — that it’s out there, somewhere.
As the Waylon Jennings song laments, however, most of us are “looking for love in all the wrong places.”
Tragically, not many of us would think to look in the mirror for love. Or, if we do consider it, we usually dismiss self-love as mere narcissism. We are certainly urged to do so by many of our leaders and social institutions. The constant message: Self-love is selfish.
Nothing could be further from a fundamental spiritual truth. Most of us are aware that a great rabbi two thousand of years ago admonished his listeners to love their neighbors. Yet we generally ignore the phrase that followed this teaching.
In other words, Jesus gave as much weight to self-love as he did to loving others. The two are equally important and depend on each other. Hence the phrasing, “… love thy neighbor as thyself.”
What most of us do not yet realize is that many of our problems and issues with loving others and being loved in return stem directly from our problems with loving ourselves.
Since we have not yet laid claim to genuine self-love, we do not truly possess love to give to anyone else. If we do not own something, we cannot give it or even share it, much as we may want or try to do so.
Living without self-love, we struggle as best we can with our own and others’ ambivalence, fear of commitment, unsatisfying serial relationships, and lifelong loneliness.
Indeed, much of the childish, self-absorbed antics of modern dating and relationships are the effects of our lack of real self-love. All we have to offer, in its absence, is the appearance of love: the form without the substance; the longing without the fulfillment.
So what now? Where and how do serious spiritual seekers separate the chaff of self-absorption from the kernel of genuine self-love?
Those expecting to journey to exotic locales most likely will be disappointed. All we need do, really, is venture inward, to our own hearts. The heart space within our own consciousness is unique and critical to our spiritual development. It is the one place within self where mind, body, spirit, and feeling meet.
Only within our own hearts may we find our own self-love, reconnect with it, and experience its healing embrace. Only within our own hearts do we reconnect fully with the Divine, however we imagine that energy to be.
Only then we will even be ready to give real love to others and be open for love to manifest in our lives.
This journey to and within the heart is the most critical spiritual voyage we can make, and it will yield benefits not only for us, but for everyone our lives touch.
There are, however, many obstacles to making this voyage and during the journey, should we begin anyway. These barriers and hindrances are by no means insurmountable, but it’s best to recognize them so they delay us no longer than necessary.
The first is fear. Being socialized to reject self-focus, we also have been taught subtly and overtly that there’s something scary inside that we best avoid altogether. Lending credence to our conditioned hesitation is an ill-defined jumble of emotions that we experience like a boil. It’s very painful even to touch, much less open up and explore.
The ultimate barrier is self-judgment and all the attendant denials we put in place to cover it up. Self-judgment is incredibly painful because it wounds the very fabric of our consciousness. That is why we hide from ourselves through denial.
The electromagnetic energy field that is our self-awareness (consciousness) vibrates in a unique pattern within certain range of frequencies. Self-judgment does not vibrate, however. Whenever we judge against self, that non-vibrating self-judgment becomes lodged in the magnetic emotional component of our energy field and literally gums it up. Self-judgment slows, warps, and even stops the vibration of the energies surrounding it.
The immediate result of self-judgment and blocked energy flow is emotional pain along with feelings of isolation and alienation. Self-judgments also manifest as physical disease, emotional disorders, and repetitive patterns of self-destructive emotions and the resulting behaviors.
Another effect of self-judgment in consciousness can be a kundalini experience. Divine love-energy (Chi) is meant to flow continually and easily through our own energy fields. It enters through the crown chakra, flows down the spine, loops up through the root chakra, and exits via the third eye chakra.
Because self-judgments obstruct this path in all of us, our energy flow is much reduced and often halted in certain areas of the energy field. When we try to force that energy through the chakras without having released self-judgment, we experience the kundalini effect, which can lead to all manner of not so positive consequences.
We are much better off going to our heart space and releasing self-judgments, allowing that love-energy to flow again naturally, instead of trying to cram it through self-judgment barriers.
In short, it is self-judgment hidden from our conscious awareness that prevents us from fully loving who we really are. The tragic irony here: Our essence is love. We do not have to create love or look for it out there, somewhere. We are love, but our experience of our true selves is diminished and hamstrung constantly by the presence of self-judgment in our energy fields.
Self-judgment is the lie; love is the truth of our being and existence. Our true freedom and healing is available to us provided we know to go to our heart space and are prepared to release self-judgment once we get there.
Candace (C.L.) Talmadge is an energy-healer and author. For a free ebook about healing through judgment release, visit www.greenstoneofhealing.com and sign up for the newsletter. Join a community about healing the pain of loss from death at www.facebook.com/thehealingcircle.