Love: Where Does It Start?

by Lance Ekum on · 67 comments

Have a Heart Desaturated Free Creative Commons
Creative Commons License photo credit: Pink Sherbet Photography

"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection." ~ Buddha

This thing called love…

The month is September.  A sunny afternoon brings the desire to get out and explore.  Just a short drive and I'll be there.

We're getting ahead of ourselves, though.  Let's take a step back.

The day, I'm not sure.  There were many.  Let's say it is a mid-morning in June.  I'm hanging out in the sandbox, loading up a dumptruck with sand and dirt.  The grass, the trees, the plants…they are growing around me.  I don't notice.  The sand has my attention. 

I'm maybe eight years old.

Fast forward back to September. 

The sky is big, the shadows from the mountains an instant reminder of the vastness and grandeur of this land.  I start out along the "safe" routes.  Traveling down the highway, stopping at well-marked and easily accessible landmarks.  The tree lines, the waterfalls, the mountain peaks – views that are incredible to take in.

(am I really taking them in?)

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~ Robert Frost

Traveling along, I turn onto a much less traveled road.  The views more obscured and fewer places of "interest" has made this road less traveled.  I drive, wondering at what point I should abort this route and turn back.  Something (that little voice within) says "go a little further".  I happen upon a parking lot tucked back off the road.  Maybe two other cars are here, and it seems so quiet, so still, so peaceful.  A small pond is the playground for a couple of ducks.  A man is fishing nearby, and a mother and daughter are returning from a walk near the pond.  Another trail leads up into the deeper parts of the forest.

…the deeper parts of the forest…the deeper parts of me…

The crunching of leaves as I walk along this trail, that's all I hear.  When I stop, silence.  I wander, deeper into this part of the forest, none of it known to me, and all of it known to me.

I wander into a clearing, and the path and direction become not so clear.  I wander, not knowing I'm wandering off the trail.  Soon enough, it's clear I've found my way off anything resembling a trail.  There's a hill, and a stream down below.  The flowing water draws my attention, and I make my way toward it.  The carcass of some animal is near the stream.  The mountains surrounding me are no longer visible in the denseness of where I'm at.  Footsteps along the stream, as I feel really at peace being here.

…and then I stop.

My gaze turns back, back to that small hill which brought me the stream.  It's still there, except, it is different. Where was that rock I climbed over?  Wasn't there something that looked like a path, leading down to where I am?  None of that is here.

…and the sun is setting as a coolness begins to fill the air.

My heart begins to race a bit, as the thought of "lost" floats through my head.  Quickly and without much thought, I begin to travel back up that hill, looking for something familiar, something reassuring. 

Back to that sandbox for a moment. 

Everything around me, I know it's there – the grass, the trees, the plants.  I know, and I don't notice.

And to that forest deep within…

Today I'm keenly aware of the trees, the plants, the rocks.  I notice my footsteps..does anything look like what I saw just ten minutes earlier?  A sound…what was that?

And as quickly as it began, this feeling of unsassuredness…it passes.  A familiar sight, this big group of boulders, and the trail right around the corner.

Back to the Sandbox

That sandbox, it is like me.  There is love in that old box (or tire, as was the case for me).  What was outside, it was amazing and incredible.  When I was in that sandbox, though, I was focused on being in that sandbox.   I didn't really think about it – at eight years old it was just a sandbox.  (and so much more)  See, I think that intrinsically, we are love.  And at eight years old, while I didn't define it as such, I loved life…and that was something that started within.  Love the sandbox….love the world around me.  Love me…love the world around me.

And That September Day

That September day.  Just me, far from home and all alone.  Does love for self ever feel like that?  Has the love I feel for myself ever felt like that?

I'm reminded of a time a few years back – a time where love for me wasn't really present.  And with my own personal love (real, genuine love) not present, my outside view of the world (both near and far) was much more jaded, much more "seeing the negative", much less openly loving.

Like this visit to the mountain, love…it's like that.  There's this path, that is much like the surface of who we are.  Facial expressions.  Appearance.  Friendships.  Family.  Etc. Etc.  There's also a deeper part of us, too – that getting off of the path.  And these places "off the path", the inner part of who we are – they can maybe seem unknown, scary, unloved, ignored, new, exciting, off the wall, etc, etc. 

Do you play it safe, and stay on the trails, the trails of you?  It's so nice, this path that's known, comfortable, familiar.  Except, are you missing out on something even greater – are you missing out on connecting fully with who you are and the real that comes from knowing you, seeing you, loving you?

…and I wander off the trail, the nicely marked trail called "my life"…

And I find these amazing things that are me.  (and maybe some things I don't really like all that well, too…the messy part)

That is me, though – all of these parts, and it's so much more than the clearly marked trail (the image we present to the outer world).

Self Love Is

…connecting with who I am

…the imperfect me, formed in perfection

…the nooks and crannies that are part of me, the things that no one sees and only I know

…the dark corners

…and the light

…is like a sandbox and veering off the trail

…starting within and going out

Here's How It Works For Me

When I choose to love me – the whole me – for who I am, it's a selfless love.  It's a selfless love as I'm connecting with me on a deeper and more personal level.  And when I do, I love the world around me more fully, more genuinely…

How about you?  When you choose to get off the clearly marked trail of "you", what do you see?  And do you love what you are being?

L O V E

…is beautiful…

Enjoyed reading my story of self-love?  Well, there’s more! You can also read the rest of the stories written by online personal development bloggers in a Self Love Stories Report. Evelyn Lim started the ball rolling by sharing her story in the post Self Love Story: Lessons from the Heart She had written it in response to an intuitive call to create greater Self Love Awareness.  Evelyn and I are compiling this report together, and it will be available as a free download soon!

Lance writes stories from his heart, aiming to inspire and motivate, as you align more fully with YOUR true peak. When he's not here, you can find him hanging out with his family, riding a bike, or just generally acting goofy.   Sign up for the Thoughts from the Treehouse newsletter and get additional inspiration in your email inbox!
Lance Ekum
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{ 65 comments… read them below or add one }

Evita May 10, 2011 at 11:16 am

Hi Lance

This line really stood out for me in this “self love is connecting with who I am”. This is so integral, for it takes us on a journey of who are we really? Who is this that we call “I”? Who are we? What do we stand for? How do we relate to all? and so many more questions.

As for me, yes I love getting off the clearly marked trail for it is there that I discover more about myself than I could perhaps ever imagine. And there love is, and there love begins and it is all so beautiful and so good.

Thanks for sharing more of your journey and loving it! I join you in loving what I am being. We need to start with self love I believe, if we are ever to transcend love on all levels to all others, human and non-human beings.
Evita´s Last Fabulous Post ..Earth Changes 8- How the Pursuit of Perfection is Limiting UsMy Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 6:53 am

Hi Evita,
Yes, this journey is one into someone we’ve known forever, and yet, continue to discover.

Wandering into the deeper parts of who we are, this is something that can be hard. (what might I find?) Still, as you know, “being” in these places, it so helps us to more fully know ourselves. And there is great beauty in that. And with acceptance (and love) of who we are (really are), we do become more genuinely outwardly loving – to all creatures that inhabit this earth…

Much love to you…dear friend,
Lance

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Tess The Bold Life May 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Hi Lance,

My recent commitment to meditating daily is keeping me more inner focused. I love me enough to mess up, let up, speak up, not keep up, step up, get up and keep loving me more. Only then can I learn to love others deeply. I can’t give what I don’t have. Thanks for your message of love.
Tess The Bold Life´s Last Fabulous Post ..I Feel BeautifulMy Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 6:55 am

Tess,
Meditation is something I’ve found to be so good for the inner-going, as well (now, to just do that more regularly for me!!!).

…I am enough…(I love this message I get as I read your wonderful thoughts here)

Love always,
Lance

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Melody | DeliberateReceiving May 10, 2011 at 1:42 pm

H Lance,

Just found your blog and loving it! To me, self love is the most important kind of love. It all starts with us – everyone else around us just mirrors what’s going on inside of us. If we can learn to unconditionally love ourselves, we automatically learn to unconditionally love others. We tend to expect so much of others. “If you do this or if you can be like this, then I can love you.” But unconditional love means that we can choose to love any time, not just when the “conditions” are right. And that starts with making the choice to love ourselves, warts and all. 🙂 Again, great post. Thanks for sharing your story.

Hugs,
Melody
Melody | DeliberateReceiving´s Last Fabulous Post ..How Can You Be So Unrealistic!My Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 6:59 am

Hi Melody,
It’s great to “meet” you!

I love this thought you have shared – about how others are mirrors of us (on the inside). What a wonderful way to look at love – and to know that how we love outwardly, it’s a sign of how we love inwardly.

In a world with human emotions and everything that goes with it, unconditional love is no small task. Still, that’s it – when we start with this internally, it is so much more possible out to the world around us.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and it is wonderful having you here in this space.

Peace and love,
Lance

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Joe Wilner -shakeoffthegrind May 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Lance,

Hi, this is a wonderful story and message about connecting with who we really are. One of the most difficult things in the world is accepting who we are and really loving ourselves. We all go through life being told so many destructive messages and little by little our belief system prevents us from thinking we deserve love. I think this is why it’s so tough to travel off the path and really connect with our true and loving nature. We have never experienced this part of us and it’s scary to feel such true love when we have never done so before. Sorry, got a little deep here, but the post really connected with me.

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:04 am

Joe,
Those destructive messages – from friends all the way to the media, and everywhere in between – yes, these can so easily touch our belief system, and how we treat ourselves. And, like a vicious circle, it’s all too easy to, ourselves, go out and do that to others, too. Breaking that circle, it starts with looking into the deeper recesses of who we are – and being accepting of what is there. Then – we’re more truly able to go out and share the love out to those around us (and create a new, life-giving circle).

Joe, thanks so much for sharing your thoughts – which really connect with me, also.

Peace, love, and inner joy,
Lance

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Tia Sparkles Singh May 10, 2011 at 4:33 pm

Omg Lancikins, you are back!! This is fantastic 🙂 And what a beautiful post this is. I’ve been talking a lot about self love lately – and reading Brene Brown’s book “The gifts of imperfection – Your guide to a wholehearted life” where she talks about what makes the happiest people in the world so happy.

Two things – believing that they deserve to be happy and loved + being vulnerable.

This is what I posted on FB recently: “Compassion starts with self – today, be kind to yourself. When it seems like things are falling apart, step back, hug yourself and take a break. Nurture yourself, know that you’re doing your best, love your inner child and eat chocolate chip cookies. You are more worthy and deserving of your love and kindness than anyone you know. I believe in you. Do you?”

I believe that self love comes from believing that we are worthy of that love first. And I believe that we ARE WORTHY JUST BY VIRTUE OF BEING BORN. We don’t have to do ANYTHING different or be anyone other than who we are to be worthy of love.

And as always, it starts with home. Self love is key. Happy to be back on the journey with you, my joyful friend!
Tia Sparkles Singh´s Last Fabulous Post ..A Scanner’s Resume- How to tell if you’re oneMy Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:17 am

Tia-liscious!!
That Brene Brown book sounds wonderful!! (and I recently watched a TED talk by her – so, so good as well). Maybe it’s time for me to get to the bookstore…

Wait! Self-love includes chocolate chip cookies! Okay…I’m officially declaring that I WILL love myself more!!

On a more serious note – do we believe in ourselves? Without that love for who we are, without us knowing and accepting all the bits that make us us – it’s so much harder to believe in our own amazing, gorgeous, talented selves. (and we are ALL those words – amazing, gorgeous, talented)

Tia, thank you to YOU for being born, for being you, for the love you scatter so beautifully…

Big love and big hugs,
Lance

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Henway May 10, 2011 at 7:16 pm

For me, loving myself is all about expressing who I really am, without shame. It means being honest, even if it means being vulnerable. It means not being self conscious. It means following my intuition and being my own guru
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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:19 am

Henway,
That’s such a beautiful way to look at loving yourself. And, the more each of us do this, the more love that is shared freely in this world (and that is beauty magnified).

Much love to you,
Lance

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Lynn May 11, 2011 at 7:07 am

That Buddha was a smart man. Indeed – we should all practice loving ourselves. It’s hard sometimes, but it’s the first step toward loving others.
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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:20 am

Lynn,
Yep, that Buddha guy, he was filled with much wisdom!

…love me, love the world…

Thank you so, so much for all your wonderful support!

Much love,
Lance

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Giulietta Nardone May 11, 2011 at 9:15 am

Hi Lance,

Beautiful thoughts. And Robert Frost’s words always reach out and make my life feel richer.

I believe we enter the world loving ourselves and spend the next several decades being groomed not to. Kinda like breaking the spirit of a wild horse to make him ridable. If we’re all pitted against each other, it makes it hard for us to band together and create a world that benefits all rather than a few.

I love getting lost, too. It’s the whole point of going on vacation somewhere new to “get off the trail” as you say. Do not have a GPS system and don’t want one. Love the thrill of opening up a map and finding obscure roads to travel. Sometimes I want to take the long, meandering route and find that path Mr. Frost talks about. Who knows what I’ll find there? It won’t be billboards …

I don’t want these gadgets to live my life for me …

Thanks! G.

p.s. Hi Tia! Got that book, too. Good stuff. Love “letting go of numbness.” Let’s feel our lives, every delicious morsel.
Giulietta Nardone´s Last Fabulous Post ..Own Up To ItMy Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:28 am

Hi Giulietta,
These words by Robert Frost, especially, are ones that I find such peace and comfort in…

It’s sad – how we can start our life in love and then slowly began a descent away from this wonderful place. Is it possible to change this? I’m not sure. I’d like to think it is possible, that if we each truly focused on loving ourselves even just a little bit more, we can reverse this cycle and fill the world with love. Is that wishful thinking? I don’t know – maybe it is.

Still, it’s where I (you) can start, right? We start with ourselves, and from there just if others are somehow moved by our own loving, it starts to spread. I believe that is possible…

The obscure roads (the real roads) can be some of the best moments as we wander and discover newness off the beaten path… (and such is life…)

Giulietta, it is such a joy to have you here and soaking in your very meaningful thoughts.

Much love and big hugs,
Lance

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Debbie @ Happy Maker May 11, 2011 at 11:29 am

Wonderful story Lance. I like the way to use the forest as an example of getting of the trail of “you”. Sometimes we are scared to see the “real me”. When we do search for the real person in us, that is when we do learn to love and except who we are and can move forward.

As for finding myself in the mountains (even though I live very close to them), I wouldn’t try that, because I would get lost. My sense of direction is very bad. There would be a national news flash that I was lost in the mountain.

You see I love myself enough to know that my common sense is kicking in and letting me know, this isn’t a good idea, because I would get lost. We can love ourselves and challenge ourselves, but also know when we need help from others, because of our own limitations. I do get off the trail in other ways and it is fun and can be scary, but that is the fun part. We do learn about ourselves when we try new things. It is like being a child in that sand box. We always need to take the time to explore ourselves to grow into the person we are meant to be.
Thanks you Lance for this great way of finding the love we deserve to have for ourselves.
Blessing to you,
Debbie

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:33 am

Debbie,
Ha!! (your story about living close to the mountains yet how easy it would be to get lost, really lost!)

And it’s such a wonderful point you bring up – knowing our limitations (and being okay with them) is truly self-love. When we can go from this, to putting our trust in others, that’s love going out from us into the world. And how beautiful that is…

Much love,
Lance

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Chris Edgar May 11, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Hi Lance — thanks for this — I think there’s much wisdom in your willingness to acknowledge that there have been times when you haven’t been so loving to yourself — in my experience at least, sharing that sort of thing takes a lot of compassion and trust for myself (in other words, it takes self-love) to do.

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:36 am

Hi Chris,
Thank you. Just a few short years ago, would I have been able to have said this? No way. And that’s because the self-love just wasn’t there. So, I love this point you have shared – about how self love is also about seeing, truly seeing, where self-love hasn’t always been so loving.

It’s a journey, and one I hope I’m moving more fully into each day…

Love, peace, and wisdom,
Lance

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Jody - Fit at 53 May 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm

It is a tough balance for sure. Self love is a hard thing. As women, we are taught to give to others first or at least my generation was taught that & then we get all these messages that we are not good enough… it is a hard road but one that must be learned – still learning!
Jody – Fit at 53´s Last Fabulous Post ..What I See in the Mirror – Part 1My Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 7:44 am

Hi Jody,
Such a great point – this idea that we’re (and women especially) taught to give to others – and how maybe that’s a bit backwards. If we start with ourselves, then what we give to others is more genuine, more fulfilling, more meaningful.

And that’s a great reminder for everyone – it’s not about giving just because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do. It’s about giving from a place deep within…

Much love to you,
Lance

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Megan "JoyGirl!" Bord May 12, 2011 at 8:59 am

Lance, I was so touched reading this that I had to read it twice, and then other parts a third time. My first thought was, “Lance hasn’t always been this open, loving, embrace-the-world guy we see today?!” Thank you for being transparent. It reminds me that we’re all walking on roads that twist and turn, and we’re constantly evolving.

This topic of self-love is one that is near and dear to me, especially lately. And especially with, as you said, “the imperfect me, formed in perfection” and the so-called dark corners, which I’m learning to love and find grace in. That’s a major lesson a friend imparted on me this winter: seeing the grace in everything. Or as he says, it’s all “way,” meaning how we were meant to make our way through this world. The light, the dark, the uncertainty and doubt, the assuredness… Self-love and “the all” are one and the same.

Lance, this piece was so inspired — felt like it came straight from your heart; the heart that is ALL.

Thank you, dear friend, and love to you.

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm

Hi Megan,
So…the answer is “no”. I have not always been loving (to myself for sure, and to others as well). And this is a journey that continues – because some days I really get this, and love flows easily. And other days, it can be a bit of a struggle… (that constant evolution)

“The all” –> I like that. The “all” of us – it is all (for lack of a different word) (grin) of what makes up our being. And then, to tie this all in with grace…Megan, that is beautiful. It is, because grace is beautiful. I’m reminded of my Maker, and it’s with His (Her) grace that my life will be eternal (and there’s something deeply assuring in that). Now, when I can see that in myself, it’s like I’m seeing the Divine within…

As I type this, I’m reminded of a book I read last year – “The Shack” – a spiritual novel that was a moving account of the love a greater Being has for me (for you, for us). And if there’s this greater Love who cares deeply for me, when I care and love for me too, I honor the creation of my life, my being…

Megan, you are love. And what a sweet, sweet gift that is.

Loving you lots and lots,
Lance
xoxo

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J.D. Meier May 12, 2011 at 10:09 am

Beautiful reminder of how we can either spiral up or spiral down depending on how we focus and make meaning along our journey.

Sometimes all it really takes is remembering the feeling of what we already know to breathe life back into our sails.
J.D. Meier´s Last Fabulous Post ..Pursuit- Passion- and Perils- The Story of One Young EntrepreneurMy Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 4:00 pm

JD,
And that’s a meaning that comes from within that makes all the difference.

Love, like the wind in our sails, lifts us up in amazing ways.

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Naomi Estment May 12, 2011 at 10:56 am

Wonderful post, beautiful pic and perfect Buddha quote, thank you Lance! I’ve recently returned to writing ‘morning pages’ as per “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, and find it incredibly helpful for tuning in. Your message resonates powerfully 🙂
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Lance May 12, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Naomi,
Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

I’ve heard much good about writing morning pages, although I have never done this (perhaps I will try it…). Tuning in (to self) is so good, and so connecting to a deeper part of who we are. So, so wonderful…

Love to you,
Lance

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Galen Pearl May 12, 2011 at 2:20 pm

The older I get, it seems I’m off the trail more than I’m on it. In fact, I don’t even know where the trail is anymore. I thought this year was going in one direction, then it took off in another. Yes, I was momentarily agitated and disoriented, but then the new direction seemed fine.

I always enjoy your posts, but reading this one was a lyrical, poetic, almost ethereal experience. It sort of took me out of where I was. Hard to describe. What comes to mind is a passage from the 23rd Psalm.
“He invites me to lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside the still water.” Very nice.
Galen Pearl´s Last Fabulous Post ..Speak Wisely – PSMy Profile

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Lance May 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Galen,
And I love what you have shared – about how you have veered off your “planned” trail…the new direction, though, is good (and will continue, I’m sure, to be a blessing to you).

And Psalm 23 is a special one to me, and one I studied as part of a group study a couple of years ago. So meaningful to let these words soak in – and hearing the passage you’ve shared today – reminds me that there is a God who loves me (loves you, loves all), and He is there for us wherever we wander…

Galen, thank you so much for sharing all that you have.

Love to you,
Lance

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Jannie Funster May 12, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I’m glad you love you, Lance. You are awesome!

I do love me too, and things always go better when I am gentle on me. When I put the guitar in the car. When I get on that stage. When I realize people want to hear what I have to share.

Embrace our dark to bring us to the light.

All is golden and glorious in this gift of a day.

xoxo
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Lance May 12, 2011 at 8:54 pm

Jannie!!!!
And I’m super duper extra glad you love YOU!!! Awesomeness squared!

Happy strumming, sweet friend…your light shines so, so bright…

Big love,
Lance
xxooxxoo

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David Stevens May 12, 2011 at 6:44 pm

Hi Lance,
Good to see you’re back. I am still learning the ‘self love thing’. However I am fully accepting of myself & proud to be myself. Once you ‘master’ this, accepting & loving others comes easily.
Be good to yourself
David
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Lance May 12, 2011 at 8:56 pm

David,
Thanks!! It’s great to be back!

Self love, it really is a journey – as we continue to know ourselves more and more. And that’s it, as we love ourselves…the love for others just becomes so genuine.

Love, peace, and acceptance,
Lance

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Evelyn Lim May 13, 2011 at 12:50 am

What a wonderful comeback LOL! It’s a beautiful post. I enjoyed the little poem very much!

I’m thrilled that you are joining me in my project on Self-Love. It seems that your post has connected with your readers on many levels. As I’ve already shared, you embody love. And this will be the perfect topic for you to share with others about.
Evelyn Lim´s Last Fabulous Post ..Self Love Series- 101 Loving Yourself QuotesMy Profile

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Lance May 13, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Hi Evelyn,
Thank you!!

And this just feels so right for me, to join you on this project of self love. Evelyn, I know how much you truly ARE love, and that is so, so beautiful.

Big hugs and lots of love to you, dear friend…
Lance

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suzen May 13, 2011 at 9:12 am

Hi Lance! Wow, this was a fantastic post! Read it twice! Me thinks you’ve done yourself proud here – and it is becoming clear that the time away from blogging had you cooking on those back burners. Great question where does love begin – I’m sure I cannot answer that but I do know that is all I want to think about these days, love, just love. I went back to school to get all certified in nutrition/counseling/coaching – and surely I eat right – but I think what I THINK ABOUT has more to do with my current state of health than anything I eat or don’t eat! It’s not as much what you eat but what is eating you! Kinda profound when ya think about it!
Hugs
suZen

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Lance May 13, 2011 at 7:46 pm

Hi Suzen!
That time away, it was so good for me. And as I’m acclimating myself back into this space, I come here with a deeper sense of peace. From that, I believe I am writing more fully from my heart. So, thank you, very deeply, for your wonderful and caring words.

Love that thought – “what is eating you”. Our diets are so much more than just the food we consume, it’s a deeper part of the “why” behind what we eat. Suzen, I know that you ARE love, and what a wonderful place to come from as you focus on helping others with nutritional habits.

Much, much love to you,
Lance

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Christian Hollingsworth May 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

The clearly marked trail and path of Christian. Such an interesting concept. I sit here on my back deck in late afternoon while I write this – and I look off into the beautiful, pine-tree covered ravine behind my home. Birds chirp in the background, the sound of children laughing inside the house. Do I like myself and what I’ve become? Am I grateful for this life? Certainly. Yes.

Although, am I always happy with my choices? No. I know I’ve been given much and I could achieve more than I already have. But that’s something you need to get past, and work on today. Because today is a new day. A present.
Christian Hollingsworth´s Last Fabulous Post ..“Mom- stop teaching me about blogging!”My Profile

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Lance May 13, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Christian,
That sounds like a wonderful view off of your deck…enjoy!

And this is our life – for each of us. The paths may not always be what we might have envisioned. Still, they are ours. And we always have the choice of our attitude in any circumstance. Christian, I feel very much that your attitude is one of gratefulness…and that is truly a gift.

Love, peace, and presence,
Lance

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Sibyl - alternaview May 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm

Lance: Wow… what an amazing post and what an amazing message. This post has so much wisdom and so many great insights. I loved the way you ended it and what you said about selfless love. What a great post. Life really is a journey.

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Lance May 14, 2011 at 6:22 am

Sibyl,
Great to see you here today! (and thank you)

Life is a journey, and when we are more connected to love…the journey is one that is more meaningful (both inwardly and outwardly).

Big love,
Lance

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Angela Artemis May 15, 2011 at 9:27 am

Hi Lance,
I don’t know how I overlooked this post. I love this message and how you’ve shared your beautiful journey with us! It’s really helpful to know that everyone is on the same journey of learning to love themselves and to love their lives. What a gift we’ve been given. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us Lance.
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Lance May 15, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Hi Angela,
I love this thought – that we’re all on this journey together. Indeed, we are…on this journey of loving ourselves. And while we are all at different places on that journey (from a lack of self-love all the way through a deep and personal love for self)..we are truly all on that journey. And when we “see” that…see it in our fellow souls out there in this world…perhaps that gives each of us a deeper and more compassionate heart. What a wonderful thing that is…

Much love to you, dear friend,
Lance

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Little Lessons Under the Big Sky May 15, 2011 at 9:56 am

My dear Lance,
Did this ever resonate with me! You have an amazing ability to put thoughts and insights into poetry that speaks right to my heart!

Of course the lessons here are many. The sandbox is a perfect place to start….and stepping out of it, the possibilities for love and life are as many as the grains of sand within the box:)

So happy to start my day reading your beauty in words!
Love,
Jen
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Lance May 15, 2011 at 10:10 pm

Jen,
I’m smiling (from my heart) as I read this. And these mountains I was in…they were mountains not so far from you – a part of the Rocky Mountains in northern Colorado.

I know, also, how deeply you connect with nature. So, having you here and reading this today is especially meaningful to me.

Love is such a wonderful thing, and when that love starts from within…I know that the love I share outwardly just feels so much more genuine, so much more real, so much more from my heart…

Jen, you truly are a gift in my life and to this community here.

Love to you from deep in my heart,
Lance

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KCLAnderson (Karen) May 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

I have written about this very same concept…having come to realize that I didn’t love myself, and thus could not love anything else, and then understanding what that really meant, and then practicing self love and seeing myself and everything around me with new eyes. I like to say that we’re all basically love magnifiers…we love ourselves and so we love others and so we love ourselves and so we love others and so on and on and on and on. The more we love, the more we love. It always grows, never diminishes.

I was having a conversation about this with my brother who believes that we have to love others, specifically Jesus/God, before we can love ourselves. I don’t necessarily disagree, but as that was not my experience, I don’t think it’s true. Where ever it starts, all that matters is that we love.

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Lance May 15, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Karen,
Thank you so much for sharing a glimpse of your own personal story – and what love has meant for you as this journey more deeply into self-love has become a part of you. And I love that – love magnifiers!! It’s like an amazing and beautiful circle that just continues to magnify love!

My personal thoughts on faith (Jesus/God) are perhaps somewhat of a mix. I believe that I was created by a God that loves me beyond measure. And if that God created me, I believe He is also a part of me. So, in choosing to love myself, I choose to love God/Jesus (because I see Him as a part of me). I’m not sure if that makes any sense – although I know it does for me. And perhaps that’s what really matters – that it makes sense/feels right for each of us personally. (and that is is love)

Karen, thank you so much for these wonderful words today.

Love and hugs,
Lance

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KCLAnderson (Karen) May 16, 2011 at 7:44 am

It makes absolutely sense! In fact, you are the first person to express it similarly to the way I do. I also feel that God is a part of me! It took me a very long time to believe in God because of the way God was taught to me…as being something outside of myself. It was one simple line from the book Eat Pray Love that did it for me: “God dwells within you as you yourself, just the way you are.” I don’t align myself with any particular religion and that helps me believe even more. I know that for some, this is at best “foreign” and at worst “blastphemous” but it’s what I believe…and yes, it is love.

I hadn’t been over to your blog in a while because somehow it disappeared from my blog reader (but now it’s back and I am glad!)

XXOO
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KCLAnderson (Karen) May 16, 2011 at 7:45 am

“Blasphemous” not “blastphemous” LOL!!
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Lance May 16, 2011 at 1:27 pm

Love this!

And…it’s so great having you here.

Big love,
Lance

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Marianne May 15, 2011 at 10:31 pm

What a beautiful allegory! I’ve been thinking a lot about this sort of thing lately, and am inclined to concur with you that self-love is the ultimate path to learning to love others.
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Lance May 16, 2011 at 7:28 am

Hi Marianne,
Mmmm…self-love and moving out from there into love for others. It’s such a beautiful thing…

Much love to you,
Lance

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Ajen May 16, 2011 at 1:11 am

Yum yum yummy… this post had so much food for thought!

I love this statement: “Self-Love is the imperfect me wrapped in perfection”.

This represents my personally held philosophy, which is dual in nature. I believe that we are on a path towards perfection and yet we are perfection. It is like a person who holds that proverbial acorn up to air, squints and it and says, “yes, this IS an acorn”, while another person replies, “no sir, that’s a tree.”

May we all see that the beautiful element of potentiality allows us to love the actual realities of our life.

Thank you for sharing Lance…

Love and Light

Ajen
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Lance May 16, 2011 at 7:32 am

Ajen,
I just love the acorn example you have shared! Yes, that is us – in our imperfectly perfect (and perfectly imperfect) states. And when we see ourselves as such, love for self becomes such a greater part of our being.

Thank you so much, Ajen, for this today…I’m soaking up your words and letting them just “be” within me.

Much love always,
Lance

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Delena Silverfox May 16, 2011 at 6:31 am

If you’ve ever heard of Genpo Roshi, then maybe you’ve also heard of his Big Mind exercise? He has a great way of getting you in touch with your inner Universal Love; it’s really great.

This article reminded me of it. Maybe I’ll see if I can dig it out of whatever box it’s still sitting in and listen to it again. It’s a great meditation.

Delena
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Lance May 16, 2011 at 7:33 am

Delena,
I have not heard of Genpo Roshi – so thank you for sharing that here. I’ll definitely check his material out!

Much love to you,
Lance

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Beverley May 17, 2011 at 5:41 am

As children, I think, we are more ourselves than we are as adults. Not sure what happens in between [life??] but we definately lose that deep connection we have with ourselves and the moment we are in as we get older…..then after a certain point we spend the rest of our days trying to love ourself and our moments as we did when we were younger. Go figure 😉
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Lance May 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

Beverly,
It’s like there is this inherent wisdom in us when we are born…wisdom that connects us to what truly matters (to love). And then we drift…

May we all continue to drift back to the beautiful wisdom of our early years, and to a deep love for who we are…

Thanks Beverly, these words you wrote really spoke to me.

Much love,
Lance

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waterpearls May 18, 2011 at 9:03 am

Hi Lance,
It is a very nice and interesting post.I enjoy reading it,no doubt you are a great writer,keep writing such a beautiful posts.
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Sandra May 23, 2011 at 9:25 pm

Ah, love began with God and grew to embrace the world. It’s only because of Christ, I love myself and am grateful for that which is both blessing and gift.

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Lance May 23, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Sandra,
What a gift this Savior was (is)!

This reminds me of how I believe that God, and Christ, are within me. So, when I choose to love myself, I am also choosing to love God (love Christ).

Thanks so much for your very wonderful thoughts…

Much love,
Lance

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Andrew Walker May 27, 2011 at 3:15 am

Hi Lance,
I am a bit of losing the meaning of loving of myself. I mean I don’t really feel it. Are there any ways to feel it?
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Lance May 27, 2011 at 12:56 pm

Andrew,
I find one of the best ways for me to love myself is for me to just pause. And in that pause – free from the *noise* that can be in our lives…just “be” with me. And in that being – really seeing the good in who I am (it’s there in me, and it’s there in you).

That’s a great question – because it can be easy to I love myself – but am I really – or am I just giving the term lip service…

Thanks so much for being here.

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Andrew Walker June 14, 2011 at 8:46 am

Thanks for your advice! Giving time to be alone will let me see more of myself. Once I realized who I am, then I can start loving someone else.
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