Live Loved – it’s my favourite tag. But I realise it sounds a bit glib and clichéd. I’m sure that those who are familiar with my work, however, would realise I wouldn’t say something that lame without having a good reason!
On the surface it’s simply saying live as though you are loved. But there’s a lot more to it than that!
It’s not “as though” you are loved – it’s “from a place of” love. Love from God? (some Christians use the expression to mean that God loves us so we should live with that as our foundation), Love from others?
It’s love from ourselves – love from the core of our being – self love – self worth. It’s recognising that external love in any form can only ever be an affirmation at best and a crutch at worst. Until we discover our own sense of beauty and wholeness – unconditional acceptance of our entire being as it is – treating ourselves as we would treat someone we love – we will never really understand the power of love.
That’s a pretty radical statement, and I can hear all the objections screaming at me as I type this, lol. We are taught through the media and religion that we are really crap and need something outside of us to make us better. We need “stuff”, we need “romance” (someone who completes us and makes us whole), we need God (because we are born broken and sinful). You get the idea. And yet we say that kids are born so perfect and innocent, full of love and trust.
Everything we experience from birth shapes our entire self image, and that is then passed on to our children and society in a self perpetuating cycle of self denigration.
But what is there in me that really is loveable?
Let’s turn the question around – who told you that you aren’t loveable? We are taught to judge ourselves harshly, and judge each other. Sure we have the obvious judgement around actions that are destructive and affect our personal safety, but I’m talking about our internal judgements. We are presented with some elusive goal of “perfection”. We are lead to believe we are never good enough and the road to this goal is a carrot dangling in front of us that we can never reach. We struggle with guilt, shame and remorse, always comparing ourselves to the perfection that eludes us all.
Wholeness is not achieved by cutting off a portion of one’s being, but by integration of the contraries Carl Jung
So the question really becomes about simply recognising everything that makes us who we are without judgement and accepting it. From that place – and that place ONLY – will we ever grow past what we perceive as flaws. When we try to wrestle with our “demons” we give them power and they become the centre of our focus. But if we allow the “bad” to simply be a part of who we are and unconditionally accept it to the point where we refuse to judge it any longer, we can love ourselves – right now! The paradox then becomes clear, that change will begin from the inside out. We treat ourselves as someone we love – really love! Someone who we would pamper and express our undying love for, shower with affirmations of their worth and beauty and constantly affirm, completely disregarding (and not even noticing) their faults.
Yep, it’s a paradox, and flies in the face of all we are taught. But it works. In fact it’s the only thing that works. If we give the focus to change and growth over to an external force (God or another person) we are abdicating our central and exclusive role in the process. We must do this for ourselves. In fact some of the doctrines of religious beliefs that say things like “more of Christ and less of me”, “I’m a sinner saved by grace” etc are actually very destructive.
So when I say Live Loved, I’m saying to let go of all self judgement, unconditionally accept yourself right this second, and treat yourself as you would treat a lover, because you are love incarnate.