Self love is a term often banded about in spiritual enquiry and I touched on what it means to me in my blog post on vitality last week. It is not some selfish indulgence, as our minds might lead us to believe: in fact, it is quite the opposite. In order to love others fully and without judgment, conditions or limitations, we must first love ourselves in this way.
Millions of adults spend their hard earned money and time to read books and participate in seminars to develop life skills to create more success, happiness and fulfillment in their lives. However, one may ask, "Why wait!?". Shouldn't we be learning the basic skills of communication, goal-setting and planning from a young age?
We can look at some of the poorest poverty-stricken families in the world, yet they seem to find joy and happiness in their daily lives. Happiness doesn't come from outside of ourselves it comes from within. It's a mindset shift. It's a decision that no matter what is going on around us, you choose to look for happiness.
And you, that guy in high school I thought was the love of my life for about a week, whose face I don't even remember now. You, that girl who handed me a handkerchief when I was crying on the bus after finding out my best friend had passed away. And you, that old lady I helped walk home and who told me her life story in the process.
How effective do you think you'll be in creating a better year for yourself if you're too focused on what's been going wrong in your life so far? Yes, you may come up with a list of New Year's resolutions because you're keen to avoid another year like the one just gone but how easy do you think it'll be to keep those resolutions?
As a parent of children who are fortunate to live in comfortable circumstances, I don't want to have to cancel Christmas or deprive them of the things they want. I don't want to make them feel guilty for having a better life than the many less fortunate children in the world. At the same time, I do want them to know that not everyone in the world enjoys the same level of comfort and security as they do.
If I wasn't this unwell, I probably wouldn't have done any of the things that I have done since I was eighteen. If I was well enough to have gone to drama school in New York when I wanted to, I would have. Instead, I have had to constantly find new paths to follow that are right for me at any given time. And they have changed so many times.