by Julie Goodhart
Since I was a teenager, I was on an endless search for the true meaning of love. What did it truly mean to love myself and love others? Of all the books and articles I read or the advice/musings of others I received, none of it really felt true or made much sense. There was always something missing. In fact, this feeling that there is something not quite right, something missing in the world in general has been with me for as long as I can remember. As we all have probably done, I searched for the meaning of life. Why am I here on this planet in this body anyway? What is my purpose? Oh, and there’s a crap-load of stuff written on this topic out there! You can find any answer to this question you want if you look far enough.
So when my husband started reading to me excerpts from “The Way It Is” which he borrowed from a friend, I often felt “Yes, that’s right! This is the truth!” I could feel in my body the truth of the words even though it was so challenging to hear at times. I knew it so strongly that I couldn’t not know it or not see it, no matter what anyone else said or did around me. It feels like a blessing every day to have this knowingness inside.
Lest it sounds so easy for me, of course it’s not. I am challenged every day to be with me, to live gently, to express my truth. But at least now I know when I am not with myself and know when I’m not making loving choices. One of the most challenging lessons I’m still learning each and every day is what true love really means. That I cannot love – truly love – another person (even my closest loves like my husband and daughter!), if I don’t truly love my self first. That true love is to love equally every human being on the planet. That humanity comes first and in so doing, we include ourselves in the endless well of love that we hold. That the way to start loving your self is to first connect with your body, to feel what’s there to feel, to not run away from who we truly are.
There are many other things I’ve learned and am still learning; A few of them are to:
1. Not take myself too seriously; to laugh, be light
2. Trust myself
3. Honour every single person
4. See the beauty in everyone
5. Be gentle always
6. Not rush and slow down, to take the time I need,
7. Plan my life so that I don’t need to rush in the first place
8. Not take abuse of any kind from anyone
9. Honour and cherish my body by being loving about everything I put in it and everything I do with it
10. Allow myself to develop in my own time, on my own path, regardless of where others are at
11. Let others be, knowing that they are on their own path
12. Be willing to be totally honest with myself about where I’m at; and to lovingly accept me for me
13. Feel love, joy, harmony, stillness and truth in myself instead of seeking it outside of me, through things, experiences, other people.