Updated: Jan 3
As we pursue self-knowledge or get to know who we truly are, we will be faced with a choice. We will face that choice again and again. We will need to choose whether or not to love and accept what we come to know.
In order to learn who we are, we must face ourselves. Facing ourselves is one of the most difficult things we will ever do. In facing our self we face our insecurities, our trauma, and things that we may perceive as flaws. We face the guilt and shame that we’ve been carrying. We face all of the ways in which we cope with, and avoid, facing all of this.
We lose the ability to blame the outside world for all of our uncomfortable feelings, and instead come to understand that they come from within. We learn that our feelings are completely within our control, leaving us with the full responsibility of them. This process is extremely painful and terrifying. It is only through choosing to love and accept ourselves that we are liberated from pain and fear.
open the self to the other-self without hesitation
Most of us have difficulty being fully open to others. When we are fully open we are vulnerable. We are exposed. We have all been hurt, some more than others, many of us have become traumatised and learned not to trust. We learned to remain defensive and keep our hearts closed to protect ourselves. We learned that being open meant giving people the opportunity to hurt us. The more open we were, and the more we offered ourselves and our love to others, the more it hurt in the end.
We were hurt because we believed that if they didn’t love us back it meant that we did not deserve their love. We believed that if we did not deserve their love, perhaps we did not deserve anyone’s love. We learned that we were unworthy of love.
When we learn to love ourselves, we learn that we are lovable whether our other selves validate that in the physical realm or not. We learn that love is to be given unconditionally. Expecting our other selves to validate our worth, and only being willing to love them if they do is a condition.
Learning to love ourselves teaches us to open ourselves to others fearlessly, and love unconditionally.
5 reasons we might be less STO that we may think
We are trying to prove our own worth
We give and give waiting for others to validate us by noticing our martyrism. We want others to see and remind us that we are good. That we have value. Because without that validation we doubt our own worth.
Our intention is not to truly be of service, but to be seen as someone who serves. We may truly be a kind, giving, and caring person who helps others without any recognition, however, we may secretly be hoping that others, whether it be the person we are helping, the outside world, or even source, see that we are good in a constant attempt to prove it to ourselves.
Learning to love ourselves teaches us to validate ourselves, to believe in our own inherent worth, and to be completely independent of validation from others. Only then can our intention truly be about serving the other person and not ourselves.
We know best
Throughout our journey of awakening and growth, we often see others who are not in the same place as us, and we can get caught in believing that we know more, or that we know best and force our will onto others in an attempt to help or even save them.
We might try to make them act in a way we believe they should act, or become something we believe they should be. With the intention of helping, we try to force others to conform to what we want or believe is right. In doing so we are denying them of their own free will. That does not serve them.
We are acting out of fear and a lack of trust. We don’t trust that they can make the best decisions for themselves. We don’t trust their journey. We don’t trust that the Universe will take care of them in the way that serves their highest good.
We fear that they will have pain, or repercussions if they don’t do things the way we believe they should be done. However, their path may involve that pain and those repercussions for a reason.
This lack of trust in them, the process and the Universe is a projection of our own fears, and beliefs. The more you love yourself, the more you allow others to be themselves.
We have conditions, not standards
When we do for others and expect a thank you or some form of reciprocation we giving or with expectations. When we decide to stop doing for others because we have decided that they don’t deserve it, this is giving with conditions. But don’t we deserve to stand up for ourselves? Don’t we deserve to have standards? Absolutely.
The difference between conditions and standards is the difference between treating them as if they do not deserve our kindness and treating ourselves like we do not deserve our own kindness. We can give to others freely and love them unconditionally, while also maintaining healthy boundaries and respecting ourselves. The difference is in whether we are giving and doing out of love or out of fear.
When we are focused on feeling sorry for ourselves because people do not give as much to us, or others don’t love us as much as we love them, or as much as we believe we deserve to be loved, we are in our ego. We are focussed on our self. We're focussed on serving our own ego by obtaining validation from the outside world.
Part of loving yourself is learning to validate your self. It’s knowing that you are worthy of love whether the outside world gives us evidence to support that or not. The outside world is only a mirror that reflects back to us what we already believe, or what the Universe wants us to see.
The more you love yourself, the less validation you need, and the more you can focus on selflessly serving others.
We Are Nice for the Wrong Reasons
Some of the most giving and empathetic people, the ones who sacrifice the most, the ones who let others walk all over them, give us the impression that they are the ultimate example of service to others. However, there is something beneath their generosity that is keeping them in a service-to-self energy.
Sometimes we do nice things, give, or say yes because we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t. We might not even be aware that we are acting out of fear because the fear is deeply ingrained in our subconscious.
We might be afraid that if we say no, or don’t do what they ask, or give them what they want that they might reject us, become upset with us, or leave us. They might not like us anymore if we don’t. We feel unworthy of them if we do not over give.
We are not focused on what will serve them, we are focussed on how it will affect us. How we will feel, what we could gain or lose. We fear that if we don’t pretend to be the person they want us to be, or fulfil their needs they won’t love us.
If we really are in a dynamic where their love for us is conditional then they don’t really love us anyway. Real love is “I want the best for you” not “what can you do for me”. The best way to find out if someone really loves you is to unapologetically be yourself and see if they are still around.
Maybe you know something about someone that you are scared to tell them because they might get hurt, or they might get upset with you. If it is in their best interest to know then the right thing to do is to tell them even if it makes them cry. Even if they decide to never speak to you again.
So do we want to avoid hurting their feelings because it’s best for them, or because we are afraid about what they will think of us if we do? When we make decisions based on who might get mad at us, or dislike us, or leave us we are making decisions that serve ourselves.
When we learn to truly love ourselves we learn to be unapologetically our self without fear of being left or rejected. We learn that we are worthy of love as we are, and those who can’t see that are welcome to leave to clear the space in our life for those who can.
We Don’t Allow People Their Pain
It’s easy to rationalize our decisions by saying things like, “but it would have hurt their feelings”, believing that it serves them to avoid hurting them. It may have hurt their feelings, but if you know that telling them would give them the information they need to make better decisions for themselves, or to avoid a bigger problem, that’s what’s important. That’s what serves them. Pain gives us the opportunity for growth. We learn from pain.
Preventing someone from having the opportunity to learn a great lesson because you are afraid of how it will affect you is STS. What many of us don’t realize is that we often don’t want to hurt others because we don’t want to feel bad for it. We don’t want to feel the guilt, or we don’t want to feel responsible for their pain. Again, when we act based on what WE want, and not what’s best for the other person we are being STS.
We might be afraid that they will suffer in some way. We might feel like if we can help then it is our responsibility to do so. We might feel obliged. We might fear being a bad person if we don’t.
What we don’t necessarily see is that it may be in their greater good to allow them to experience what they are feeling. If a drug addict cries to you about how they need money, and you know they are going to use that money to buy drugs do you believe it’s for their greatest good to give them the money?
They may be in great pain if they don’t get those drugs. Withdrawal is painful, but that pain is something they need to experience for their greatest good. If you don’t allow them to feel their pain, to struggle and allow them to hit bottom so that they can find their way out and heal, then you are not serving them.
We learn through pain. The universe gives us painful lessons to encourage us to learn the lesson. When you alleviate their pain for them you may likely be prolonging their suffering in the long run. Serving them may be to allow them to feel their pain. To allow them to struggle.
We often give people money, instead of giving them the opportunity to earn it. When we give them the money without any effort on their part we may be preventing them from feeling like they have control over their own lives. We might leave them feeling that they are at the mercy of other people’s generosity. We may be removing their opportunity to believe in themselves and feel the satisfaction of achieving something.
When we make choices to give and do for others, we are often not serving them, we are serving our self because we are alleviating our guilt. We are alleviating the empathetic pain we feel when we see them struggle. It is not for us to alleviate their pain for them, but to shift our perspective about their pain and the need for it.
When we learn to love ourselves, we learn to heal our shame and guilt, and we learn to stop taking responsibility for other people. We learn to support them from a place of true unconditional love as a reflection of the true unconditional love we have for ourselves. We learn to truly want the best for them.
The love of the creator loves all unconditionally.
You are part of that all.
Seek and share the unconditional love for all…
For yourself as well as your other-selves.