But Self-love First …

There are 96 different words for various expressions of love in Sanskrit, a 3,500-years old language of ancient India. American Sign Language has at least 4 different signs to connote love of a person, romantic love, love of a thing or place, and love of endearment. Are there that many kinds of love? What do you understand when you hear that word? Does it mean the same thing every time you hear or use this expression? The Bible [1st Corinthians 13] tells us that love is patient, kind, that it does not envy or boast and is not proud. It does not dishonor others. It is not self-seeking, is not easily angered nor keeps a record of wrongs. 1st John 4:8 tells us that God is love. Does it help or does it confuse the topic even further? What is God? What is love? We grow as human beings by making love a verb. Love is not just how or what you feel, love is how you see the world and what you do as a result of this perception. Love is not only an emotion that sustains and ensures the continuation of the human species, but it is also a set of actions. Today, of all days, ask yourself if you are being lived by love, with your heart and mind committed to being loving, or whether you are going about your affairs so that your needs are met? Are you doing things from love, or to get love? Is your motivation pure and unconditional love or are you being kind and loving so that you will be loved? Love does not mean doing loving things and then complaining about it. It is not doing loving things to get attention or to get your ego stroked. To truly live a life given by love is to make your life an act of devotion to the greater good and to your own evolution as a spiritual being. Being loving in all things, to all people, at all times, including to yourself can become your central practice for your growth and development. My definition of love consists of The Five C’s; Consciousness that demonstrates Care, Compassion, Commitment and Curiosity. Love is a consciousness that you embody that gives rise to these qualities in all you do and say. I also strongly believe that you cannot be loving to others without first loving yourself. But self-love is such a complex and often misunderstood notion. Loving yourself – what does that mean anyway? We have such an odd relationship with love in the first place, it’s even harder to have a mature, solid understanding of what it means to love yourself. Does it mean to take a scented, candlelight bath? Or an hour-long relaxing massage? Does it mean buying yourself a nice, expensive gift? Or maybe treat yourself without guilt to a double chocolate fudge cake with extra ice cream, strawberries on top and glass of champagne? Well, I have news for you – truly loving yourself means none of these. Self-indulgence does not mean self-love. Self-indulgence is nothing but glorifying and pacifying your ego with gifts, or attention, or other kinds of human appeasement. Consider this notion: You were born to be a unique expression of God. A “god seed” if you will. And your life can be designed to express this God seed throughout your lifetime – when you awaken to the truth of who you are.

God – not a man or a woman, not a person, but the animating life force, energy of the universe. It is the force that orchestrates all life,

all movement, in the entire cosmos! It is truly beyond our comprehension.

Loving yourself as the spiritual being that you are, means that you know yourself deeply to be your GodSelf Expression and then live your life in alignment with that knowing – living into the fullness of your highest and best nature, not your ego-personality.

No matter how deep is the darkness around you, you know that you are The Light, it’s within you and you shine no matter the circumstances.

You practice self-love by aligning your actions with your values and mission and understanding that your unique purpose in life is to grow in consciousness back to the divinity from which you came.

People are waking up to the fact that we all have a purpose and calling, what I call a “soulprint.” It is in living and fulfilling your soulprint that you live in love of yourself, God, and all humanity.

So today, on this day that we honor and remember the life of St. Valentine, may you live and love yourself and others as an expression of your soulprint, bringing your highest and best to all you do.

Go love the world.