Receiving Self-Love

The following song lyric by one half of the timeless Rodgers and Hammerstein duo is a sentiment that’s got me wondering this week about self-love.

Do we truly need to have an object of our affection before our love is real? Can we practice receiving self-love?

A bell is not a bell till you ring it. A song is not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.


Self-love is a topic I’ve wrapped my arms around! How does it feel to you when you have loving thoughts about another person? If the warm, inclusive feelings of love you experience are in your mind and filling you up right now, I suggest you are at a point of choice. You can offer that loving energy to your beloved, or/and, you can allow that loving energy to stay near your own body. This energy — the “I Love Energy” — can benefit one person at a time. It can be given to your true self.

The “I Love Energy” in Times of Stress

The object of our affection doesn’t always know or sense how we deeply feel about him or her, wouldn’t you agree? Unrequited love talks about this. Feeling ‘shut down’ in times of stress hides this energy. Another example is distracted parents who do not return a child’s enthusiastic devotion. Friends and lovers; they sometimes neglect us. Yet, when a well of love is part of our truth, it can be experienced firsthand and fully. In my way of thinking, “I love.” is a complete sentence.

self love

How did I come to this conclusion? Holistic health for me includes mindfulness and meditation. In both of these practices, I celebrate the relationship I have with my Creator/the Infinite. The unity between us is a two-way conversation. When I relax into my mindfulness practice, I am nurtured by the Infinite and I recognize my self-love as a healing power in all the situations that I will encounter during the day ahead.

What is your story when it comes to mindfulness? Whatever words you like to use to describe God or Creator, perhaps you also feel like you are a conduit of healing love? This sparkling I Love Energy emanates from me and toward me because I am guided and grounded in holy love.

  • I believe that when the love of self is a guiding human principal, the subsequent choices for self-care are elevated.
  • By loving ourselves, personal habits that harm our physical body fall by the wayside.
  • When we love ourselves, the thought pattern of self-talk starts to move toward affirmative declarations of respect, trust, and belonging.
  • When we love ourselves, all those who encounter us are nurtured by the centered energy that surrounds us. They are deeply attracted to our presence.

So how do we give love to others and at the same time, recognize our self-love?

Some people will only love those who love them first. It can feel risky to admit love in ways that seem unsafe. Common expressions of this are

  • “Will he say ‘no thanks’ to my love?”
  • “Is my love valuable?”
  • “Am I good enough?”

If protecting myself from a broken heart is the driving force in my decisions about whom to love and how to love, I do not consider my motivation to be true love.

At these times, I’d say my ego wants an iron-clad guarantee that self-protection is more important than love. For me, a better loving decision is made when I choose to extend love or loving-kindness to others from a place of “I Love” instead of “I Love You”. The difference is that all my loving energy is whole and complete without the need for permission, participation, or acceptance by another.

No one other than me is in charge of the degree to which I can experience love today!

My wish for all humankind is that we feel the healthy love that is a basic human right and gift. The loving attention of another human being of goodwill is one of the deepest pleasures in life. I will make sure that I extend that kind of healing love to myself and others today, and I believe that I will also receive that kind of love from others. I will put myself into the position to receive love, and I hope that you will, too.