agape

I don’t think I have ever taken a crack at talking about “self-love” because it is so overused. I don’t know when “self-love” became trendy but now “self-love” is conflated with “self-care” and has so many different meanings that I can’t keep track of. Thus, I rarely ever use the phrase in my daily life since it could mean a wide range of things to a lot of people. I also noticed that I never gave much thought to what this means for me personally. When I began thinking about how I really define “self-love”, I quickly realized that for me it really has nothing to do with a bubble bath or creating a list of one hundred things you “like” about yourself. I do believe it is important to define it for yourself so whenever you use the words or hear them you aren’t associating it with someone else’s meaning. We all need to be respectful of however we all choose to invite “self-love” into our own lives, this is just my own interpretation. The only two things I question with respect to how we usually define this concept is that: a) we make it all about us and b) we think this looks generally the same for everyone. You may be thinking, “well isn’t it called ‘self-love’ so shouldn’t it be all about us?” Yes and no. For me, it depends on how you define yourself or rather, what you identify with. Both of these issues are very intimately connected (when I say “issues”, I mean the reason why I personally haven’t felt connected to the traditional meaning behind “self-love” in the past). I was having a conversation with my mom the other day about some problems my younger sister was having with her roommates. My mom noted that when she was their age that the whole situation wouldn’t have even happened because friends just don’t do that to one another. I pointed out that how my mom was at twenty isn’t how people are at twenty now. For some reason those who are in their late teens and early twenties now are far more selfish than when my mom was that age in the eighties. It isn’t necessarily a bad thing because we are forming our own identities at that age, discovering our own space in the world… there are just too many other factors. Life now is not the same as it was forty years ago. When people approach “self-love” unconsciously and don’t develop their own relationship with it, it can easily lead to them forgetting about the people that surround them. I do believe that you need to make yourself the priority, just not your third dimensional self a.k.a your ego, mind, etc. Making your third dimensional self the center of your universe inherently separates you from the universal community. When you are identifying with your third dimensional identity it makes it really tough to be connected to the force that connects us all. How do we not do this? This can be prevented by taking a deep dive into what you believe “self-love” really means to you. This is such an important step that I think so many people miss because we aren’t used to really taking the time to think about every word, thought, concept, philosophy, etc. that is introduced to us. I have noticed that those who have really taken a look into what “self-love” means to them knows that it isn’t actually about them at all.

So then what does it mean? I think there is a difference between loving yourself as your physical-material-self and then loving yourself as Love* a.k.a your Higher Self etc. (all equal interpretations listed at the end). Your physical-self has a beginning and an end. Your body, mind, etc. will all pass away at some point because we have a limited amount of time on this planet. No matter what you believe about the soul, past lives, parallel lives, etc., let’s assume your physical-self is only here within this world and timeline for so long (I believe you can question everything but there becomes a point where it would be really hard to write this without a place of consensus to begin). When you make that the center of your universe, without any surprises, you become the center of your universe. You make all of your decisions based on what will benefit you up until the day you die. This is one way to live which is why I do believe all interpretations of “self-love” are correct. The question is rather, “how do you want to live?” Do you want to live your life making your material-identity the center of your world? Disconnection plagues us because this is how so many people choose to interact and interpret the energy (everything) that surrounds them. I don’t believe there is much power here because the physical-self is finite. Disconnection only gets you so far and this is where all of your energy is going. What happens when you put all of your energy and focus into something that is finite? The answer is pretty simple: the physical, limited aspects of this experience are all that matter to you. I am not just talking about money, cars, houses, or random household items. I am also talking about your mind, identity, third dimensional experiences, memories, concepts of time, etc. There is a beginning and end to all of these things. When you move on, all of these third dimensional aspects of life disappear. They are all defined by clear boundaries of space and time. Again, your third dimensional existence isn’t a problem. In fact, it is the only way I am able to write this and you are able to read it. I am talking about the mindset that is associated with placing value in a life/identity that is defined by the boundaries of space and time. It separates you from the abundance of power you have within yourself. Your life and existence has been confined to all of these finite boundaries. Putting your energy into something that is finite only gets you so far. What happens when you reach those limits? There isn’t as much room for expansion and no room for expansion beyond you. Now, what if you made Love/Higher Self/Unconditional Love/God the center of your existence? What happens then? For everyone who feels that nature connects us all, what if you put Nature at the center? The most important promise I ever made to myself was to choose Love every single day for the rest of my life. Unconditional Love is an infinite powersource. There are no limits to how you can express Love or what you are able to transform into Love.

There are no limits with who or what you can connect to through Love. All of our relationships with Love are very different. It is very valuable to know how Love communicates to you. There are infinite, multidimensional languages that Love can use to speak to use. They may involve dimensions of seeing, feeling, knowing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, etc. to name a few. You will know which one yours is when you are able to connect to the Love within yourself and thus the Love within everyone else. My personal language is a combination of feeling and knowing. It allows me to connect to myself as Love and the Love within everyone else. Once you discover your own unique Love language, your world is never the same. Everything transforms. Love will become your greatest teacher. Love will allow you to understand other people and the role that they play in your life from a place of Love. Love will show you how other people are able to show up as your teacher and you are always doing the same for other people in your life. Nothing I am saying is new. If you don’t connect to the way that I am saying this then I am just not speaking your language. Taking the time to discover your Love language is important because you won’t understand Love until you understand the way you understand Love. You need to be connected to Love in order for Love to be the priority in your life. For example, there are so many different ways to say “your loved one is a teacher in your life”. This is the same to me as: a) “your loved one was in your past life and incarnated with you to show you this”, b) “your loved one is your soulmate”, c) having a vision of the past life you shared with your loved one, d) hearing from your spirit guides that your loved one is meant to show you someone and so on. The reason why they all translate to the same thing to me is because I don’t know God through seeing, hearing, etc. God/Love/Higher Self doesn’t have any of those descriptive dimensions i.e. God could look or sound like anything. I recognize Love through feeling and knowing. For someone who recognizes Love through seeing, now God has a visual dimension. I don’t necessarily believe in past lives, soul mates, spirit guides etc., I believe in the way they make me feel when I connect to that narrative. I believe in all of them and none of them at the same time. How? I believe that either all exist together or they don’t at all. Since God could look, sound, etc. like anything, the only thing that makes a difference to me is how I feel about it. They are all describing the same core essence so none of those interpretations are more or less correct. You could describe Love in any way that you want. I can only determine whether an interpretation has a space in my life based on what I feel and know. This is where you need to be your own detective and ask yourself what it is you feel connected to. Your world will make a lot of sense when you are able to allow Love in. That is a choice that you need to make and a relationship you need to cultivate. You (Higher Self) will become your own teacher of your own Love language when you are able to receive the information with an open heart.

When you allow Love in your world transforms into a space of compassion, patience, community, friendship, connection, empathy, love, beauty, understanding, clarity, healing and harmony. Love creates space for all of these things. The only way to have your world be a space of all of these essences is to always be creating from a space of Love. You need to commit. You will never see yourself as separate again because you will not be able to stop seeing the Love within yourself and everyone else. Now everything that you can possibly perceive, including what you can’t, is Love. The wonderful thing about putting Love at the center of our life is that you are automatically holding space for your material-identity, every other material-identity, your Higher Self, everyone else’s Higher Self, and everything else in all of existence. I truly believe Love is the only legitimate healer on this planet. We outsource so much for other people to “show us the way”, tell us what we are meant to do with our lives, tell us how we are meant to heal, etc. I have done this and I only wish someone told me along the way that I didn’t need to. The last healer I had was remarkable because she told me that I shouldn’t need to ever see her again. When we were finished with the session I knew that she was right, I didn’t need anyone else to show me how to Love ever again. That doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from one another. Everyone has something beautiful to offer as an expression of Love. The only difference between me and her is that she was used to showing up for herself for thirty plus years. We are both equal channels of Love. She has just been in her power for decades, being her own healer and I haven’t even lived that long. We all have the ability to channel Love as our healer which is the same thing as showing up for ourselves with Love, showing up in this world as Love, blessing everyone with Unconditional Love, allowing Love to always move through us and making Love the center of our life practice. I love the classic Disney movies, despite that they may be a bit problematic now, because the core theme connecting them is that Love is able to conquer anything. I say Love is the only genuine healer because Love heals anything and everything you can imagine if you are willing to hold a space for it. For example, many people go to a wide range of healers that speak their own languages e.g. astrology, numerology, human design, shamanism, crystals, reiki, etc. to figure out what they are meant to be doing here or what their “purpose” is. If you really pay attention, they aren’t telling you anything that you don’t already know if you know the Love within yourself before going to them. I have received readings from two people that have studied shamanism and another that reads the Akashic Records. They all spoke very different spiritual languages but they all managed to tell me the exact same thing. Despite the readings being very physically different, they all read my heart. I got the same feeling when I received all three of them. All three readings at their core were exactly the same. These readings are my favorite of all time because they showed me three things: a) I already knew these things about myself, b) true healers are reflecting the Love you already know is inside you, and c) we are all able to connect to the Love within everyone in mysterious ways. I don’t know how they were able to say essentially the same thing about me (it is eerily spot on) but that is one of the great Mysteries of the Universe. The most important thing that these spectacular women did for me was show me that if I showed up with Love for what I already knew within myself, I wouldn’t have needed them in the first place. If I were able to be honest with myself about who I am as an expression of Love, I wouldn’t have needed someone else to show me in order for me to accept it.

Imagine moving through life with Love not only as your healer but also as your guide. Remember the example about languages and spirit guides before? I believe all spirit guides are different dimensions or aspects of Love i.e. they are Love translated into different languages, Love from a specific perspective, Love cast through a specific lens, Love in the form of a narrative, one of Love’s many different manifestations, etc. No matter how you interpret it, your Higher Self/God/Love is always there to guide you. They only thing you need to remember is that at the end of the day, you are the one who is guiding you. You are not separate from Love. Love is you and you are Love. You have been create from Love. You are an expression of Love. You will receive yourself as an expression of Love through your multidimensional Love language, whatever that may be. Think in the past how you may have been guided by love. When was it? How did you receive Love’s message? These are all clues to how you are guiding yourself. You need to trust yourself as Love in order to show up as your own guide. I rarely ask for advice from other people. I began to notice that 96% of the time when I would even begin to ask someone a question, I already knew the answer. Love is the only guide you need when it comes to matters of the heart. Remember, the Love within other people is always guiding you and the Love within you is guiding them. However, it is important to remain humble. I do ask for advice when it pertains to the material world. I don’t know everything from a third dimensional perspective. You bet that when it comes to money or taxes, I will be sitting with my mother soaking in all of her knowledge. I don’t know anything about buying/owning a house, life insurance, or cooking a turkey. Love isn’t solely a third dimensional force, it comes through third dimensional forms. I may know the world through Love but I don’t know everything about the world. It took me awhile to distinguish this. I am very open when it comes to receiving the Wisdom that comes in the form of people, situations etc. We all know Love and Love is infused everywhere in this world. However, we aren’t all aware of the infinite possibilities of material information all at once. Some people have the gift of clairaudience where they can speak languages they have never heard or say specific things about people that no one else knows. It is possible to know unknown material information. I don’t know how that is possible, it is another part to the Mystery. We all have something that is unknown to us. We need to be aware of this and find our own humble ways of engaging with what is unknown to us. A lot of third dimensional information is unknown to me. I may know the Love within everything but I don’t know everything. See the difference? My father would always say that it is important to know what you don’t know so you can remain curious and ask questions. There is a way to balance allowing Love to your guide while remaining open, loving, and curious to the unknown. This balance will allow you to sense the earthly as the heavenly and the heavenly as the earthly.

Devoting yourself to Love is an initiation that greatly expands your capacity to show up as an expression of Love and Love within this world. This initiation can come in any form and your life will not be the same. This world is made of Love. Thus, you can discover Love anywhere. Everyone and everything is a portal to Love. I haven’t taken a science class in years so bear with me, but consider a pot of boiling water. You place the pot on the stove waiting for it to boil. You are probably staring at it because somehow it always manages to take forever. You know when the water is ready to cook your dinner because it suddenly starts to transform into gas. The water transforms into gas in an instant. This is how quickly your world changes. You may have been unable to perceive Love before but now it is all you see. Do not use this as a way to “spiritually bypass” your way through life. Everything is Love but that doesn’t mean everything is “love and light” all the time. When I say the word “Love”, I mean it in the most grounded way possible. Love holds space for the “light” and “dark”. You have the ability to transform both into Love in your life (read more here). Love shows up in any and every form. There is Love within all of the beauty and pain in your life. This doesn’t mean you should gloss over the pain in your life and say “well it’s all love so it’s all good”. You are dishonoring this form of Love by dismissing it. You are also blocking the form of medicine Love is appearing in to show you something unknown. If we overlook the darker forms of Love by not confronting or making space for them in our lives, we are not available to the true Love and medicine that follows. Love is inherently simple, but not every form of Love is simple and pretty. Love can be uncomfortable, but not always. When Love is uncomfortable it is trying to show you a new manifestation that you may not have been able to access otherwise. Love is always expanding our world to include new realities, perceptions, languages, understandings, etc. Love is a choice. You choose to see Love wherever you want to. If you choose to bypass certain forms, you are missing out on the medicine it has to offer you. You are also missing out on these exquisite dimensions of yourself that requires you to show up without reservation and judgement. Ultimately, you are missing out on true expansion into the unknown. If you judge the way Love shows up, you are judging yourself as Love. Love contains everything: good and bad, beautiful and ugly, “spiritual” and mundane, known and unknown, possible and impossible, existent non-existent, real and unreal, true and untrue, etc. Choosing Love means choosing seeing everything for what it really is: Love. If you try to pick and choose which aspects of existence are Love, you will never know the full extent of yourself and power as a capacity to show up with Love

When you choose yourself as Love every day it is reflected everywhere in your life. This is what self-Love means to me: seeing and choosing yourself as an expression of Love, connecting to the Love within yourself, connecting to the Love within everything that exists, and knowing Love as your healer so you can show up with the power of Love. I have experienced what happens when you don’t choose Love. It definitely wasn’t pretty but I learned just how important this is (read more here). When you choose to see the Love within yourself, you are choosing to see the Love within other people, every situation, etc. Loves creates within itself. When you see the Love everywhere in your life, you receive Love. You are then inspired to create more. By giving yourself Love, you receive Love. When you are giving yourself Love by allowing space for it in your life, you are also giving it to others. Those people are also inspired by Love, recognize themselves as Love and now Love is spreading everywhere. By the way, choosing Love is a lifestyle choice. You may choose Love but not everyone will understand this choice. It doesn’t make you better than anyone else. If you want to invite the power of Love in your life, that is up to you. It is meant for different people at different times within this third dimensional experience. Choosing a life of Unconditional Love is one of service, reverence, and honor to the Love within yourself and everyone else. Choose Love because you want to live this way. Do not be consumed by righteousness.

You do not need Love from anyone else but yourself. The only thing you need to do is shift your perspective and see yourself who you really are. You are all the Love and support you need. If someone is showing you Love, they are showing you the Love you contain within yourself. Do not give away this power to anyone else. This may seem harder at first because you aren’t used to it. Remember: the only difference between you and anyone else is the amount of practice you have showing up for yourself as Love. No one has more or less access. Love comes through with the same strength for everyone. Do you know the metaphor of Love and the sun? Love is the same as the sun. The sun does not pick and choose whom to give warmth and sunshine, everyone gets it equally. I don’t know who to give credit for this metaphor because I don’t think the person I heard it from came up with it, but I didn’t either. Love comes through for everyone. You just need to show up for yourself and receive it.

Love comes in infinite forms. A key part of receiving Love is being available to the Love that is weaved into every moment. This is true abundance (an entirely different conversation). Be open to all of the shapes Love can take, whether they are known or unknown to you. When you are open to Love in the form of the unknown, you are protected by Love everyday. What does this look like? We are constantly in situations and spaces that are unknown to us. You can approach those instances knowing that even though you know Love, you don’t know its infinite manifestations. This includes the manifestations within and outside of your language. There are infinite unknown Love languages. Love can surprise you if you are open. You don’t need to know how Love will show up to you, you just need to know that it will. It may not be in a way you predict, but if you are open you will receive it.

Find a way to connect to yourself as Love. Your expression of Love is not the same as mine. “Love” throughout this piece is a placeholder where you can insert your own meaning. You can sense when you meet someone whether they are connected to the Love within themselves or not. Devotion to Love means knowing the core essence of Love within yourself. How would you describe yourself when you are an expression of Love? Everyone and everything is “spiritual”, another word that I think has been misconstrued. Not all spiritual practices look the same, but they are spiritual if they are infused with Love. How do you connect to Love? How do you know Love? I know Love through writing (surprise, surprise). I connect to myself as Love and the Love in the world through writing. What allows you to connect to yourself, the world and Love? This is you and what you need to be doing. You don’t need to make it your occupation, it does, however, need to be a part of your life. It needs to be a part of your life so you can Love yourself and Love others. If none of this appeals to you, well I doubt you would still be reading, consider this a gentle invitation to asses what is at the center of your life. What does loving yourself mean? How can you love yourself everyday? It doesn’t have to be anything like how I am describing it but you journey through this world with yourself in every single moment. Aren’t you curious about how you choose to show up for yourself and others?

Making Love the center of your universe allows for new Love to show up everywhere. There is Love everywhere, waiting to be discovered. Whether it is the Love within yourself, loved ones, people you don’t like as much, strangers you haven’t met yet, nature, adventures you have yet to take, the unknown, etc. there is always new Love waiting to be unearthed. Your capacity to Love will expand beyond what you can currently imagine as you open up to Love’s infinite forms. There is new Love wherever you go, you just need to begin with yourself.

with Love, katie

*Love/Higher Self/God/Source/Spirit/Creation/Consciousness/Unmanifested/The Eternal/Soul/Everything/Nothing/All That Is/Infinity/The Unknown/The Witness/Being/Existence… you fill in the blank…

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