“The feeling that you want to feel already exists inside yourself.”

I no longer remember where I read that statement, but I remember how intrigued I was by the implication. “What does this mean?”, I silently questioned, “That the feelings of happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and BEING LOVED are already inside of me? I don’t need anything on the outside to happen in order for me to feel those feelings?” And so my existential dialog on self-love began…

I wasn’t really getting it. Actually, I found it very difficult to wrap my mind around the concept, but somehow the statement was begging for me to try.

So the happiness and pleasure that I want to feel are emotions that already exist inside of myself and there is a way I can produce those feelings without an outside stimulus? Hmmmmm – okay, I can see how that might be doable, challenging, but doable. But feeling loved? I can feel that without someone else loving me?”

This idea was mind-blowing and my dialog continued…

How can this be true?”

And then another thought started worming its way into my consciousness….what would it feel like if I gave myself the acceptance, respect, admiration, and love that I’m seeking from outside – specifically, from a romantic partner? What would that feel like? And just for a moment…. I allowed it…suddenly an expansive, heart-bursting flood of joy washed over me – pure happiness. Wow! I really felt that! And it was amazing! I genuinely had a brief glimpse of what it would feel like to unconditionally and fully love myself! The sudden understanding that fully accepting and loving myself would create real feelings of happiness and fulfillment in me seemed like an amazing secret that I had just discovered.

The quote is accurate; it is possible to feel all of those feelings that we long to feel, right now. And I had another revelatory thought – how can I possibly expect someone else to accept things about me that I have not yet accepted about myself? How many times do I get on the scale and berate myself for weighing more than my ideal? How many times do I look into the mirror and have an uncomplimentary thought about the face that looks back at me? How crazy it is to seek a partner who will focus on my ‘inner beauty’ and ignore the extra pounds and wrinkles when I don’t even do that for myself? Isn’t it illogical to demand something of a partner that we are unable to give?

So here we are dear readers, at what for me is a life-changing revelation – I’ve got to love myself fully and unconditionally before I go out looking for someone else to do it. And with that unconditional love for myself will come all the happiness, joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction that I am seeking – plus the awesome feeling of being loved. Any other love that comes my way will be icing on the cake.

Try it, dear reader. Try it right now – give yourself a minute of unconditionally accepting everything about yourself exactly the way it is right now…tell me if you don’t feel it, too….