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"Learning to love yourself" might actually be "the greatest love of all." A March 2014 survey by psychologists who study happiness has identified “ten keys to happier living” and daily habits that make people genuinely happy. In an unexpected finding, the psychologists at the University of Hertfordshire who performed the survey found that the habit which corresponded most closely with being happy — and satisfied with overall life — is self-acceptance. Unfortunately, self-acceptance was also the "happiness habit" that participants in the survey practiced the least.
(Psychology Today, posted 8 March 2014, accessed 10 March 2014)

Self-love comes more naturally to those who have been attachment parented. They have been provided by their carers and tribe with the emotional nutrients that are the basis for self-love. But self-love is a talent everyone can acquire. When you have self-love, you can save the world with Love!

Here are two excerpts from a Paul Solomon talk on audio tape, 'A Time for Love':-

"You cannot love others until you love yourself. A person who loves himself, a person who recognises his value and his worth, and is love, can enter a love relationship saying "I love you" - and that means I care for you exactly as you are, and recognise your right to be exactly what you are, not requiring that you... change or meet any of my expectations - I love you exactly as you are. And, even if you don't love me in return, I still love you. The only person who can say that is one who is already secure in his love." (Side two, ±1m)
"There are so few people in our culture who have grown up knowing that it is all right to love me. Most people are love-starved. We have been taught in our culture, especially men, especially fathers, it's not masculine to love, it's not masculine to express your love. And so, we as men take it for granted that others know that we love them. Or we find little ways to sort of hint or express "I love you" without really ever saying it, or without being warm enough to show it. And, as a result of that, we have children growing up, never feeling quite sure that they're loved. And so they enter relationships that they think are love relationships, when they are really entering relationships to get someone else to prove his love for self. If I don't love myself, I have a great need to be loved - and when I enter a love relationship, I'm going to be trying to get you to prove that you love me constantly, which puts a drain on the relationship. Now, look at almost any marriage and you'll find a drain going one way or the other. One of the partners is not sure that he is loved, and is constantly doing things to get the other to prove that he does love. That is leeching in love relationships. And it isn't done just in marriage relationships. It's done in friendship relationships, it's done in teacher-student relationships." (Side one, ±8m)

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More on Self-Love

Rumi says, "
Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it." The barriers may have been built less by yourself and more by the way society neglects attachment parenting - yet you still need to dismantle them.

And when 
Eric Butterworth says, "Your basic need is not to be loved, but to love" ('Forming Relationships & The Healing of Hurt' audio tape, side one, 5m17s), he is saying a similar thing to Rumi.  I would add that, in utero and as a youngling, your basic need is to be loved. It is from that foundation that you can readily fulfil the basic need to love. When the absence of attachment parenting disrupts these early years, at the time when you need to be loved, it consequently disrupts the basic need to love. Then the disrupted person still seeks the love foundation they never got properly, making it difficult for them to love when mature.

Eric Butterworth also says:

"There's a common belief that when I find the right person, my loneliness will be over, my life will be full and fulfilled... But loneliness is not just being alone. Actually, it is completely psychological, a deficiency of the Spirit. It can only be corrected when we overcome that deficiency. Loneliness comes not because we haven't found the right friend, but because we haven't found ourselves. So, before we can do much about forming a relationship with another person, we must first of all form a good relationship with ourselves."
('Forming Relationships & The Healing of Hurt' audio tape, side one, 2m17s) 


Ask yourself:-
Do I love my Spirit? Am I somehow helping others? This can be as simple as signing petitions.
Do I love my mind? Do I often fill it with uplifting thoughts? How can I equip it to help myself and others?
Do I love my emotions? Can I see how brilliant they can be at guiding me to my dreams? My heart/gut can tell me what path to take (e.g. see here)!
Do I love my physical body? Do I give it enough quality sleep? Do I feed it organic, cruelty-free, healthy food? Do I exercise it enough? Do I relax it (e.g. aromatherapy bath)? Do I often pay attention to where there may be tension in my body, and consciously tell that part to relax, or breathe into it, or tense it then relax it? Do I pleasure my body? Give or get yourself a massage. Perhaps do the simple tantric exercise below, which is the essence of all Tantra practice: 

Make love to yourself, masturbating. Stop at the point just before orgasm. Then put your attention to your heart, letting the energy go up to the heart. Repeat the cycle until there seems to be no more energy, or you feel like stopping. You can fantasise and orgasm. You are only required to delay any orgasm, letting the energy rise to the heart first. Do daily for at least three months. This is likely to increase your personal magnetism, the most important ingredient of sexuality. Also this can enhance your vitality, aliveness, enthusiasm, looks, creativity. (Adapted from Masturbation, Tantra and Self-Love by Margo Woods)



"The worst loneliness is not to be comfortable with yourself."
(Mark Twain)


"Your relationship to yourself determines the contribution you are able to make towards your own happiness and that of the world around you." (Jeddah Mali)

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." (Buddha)

Patch Adams, famous holistic doctor, credits everything that comes from him is because of self-love. On waking, he suggests chanting "I love me" for half-an-hour until it's clear to you. (Cited here, posted 15 July 2015, accessed 16 December 2015)

"Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love." (Martin Luther King Jr.)

In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act. (Seen on internet)


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