You Can't Truly Love Another Until You Truly Love Yourself (What Does That Mean?)

by E. Raymond Rock - Date: 2007-03-23 - Word Count: 416 Share This!

When we look inside ourselves, we see a mess. If we don't see a mess, then we are more than likely crazy! There are those who think they are perfect (look out for them!), but usually we will admit that we are a jumble of competing desires. To truly love another means that we empathize with them completely; we understand them and identify with them. But how do we do this if we don't understand ourselves? Therefore, it seems imperative that we look at ourselves inside and out, and understand our motives. Only then can we begin to understand the other, and only then can we begin to love.

This seems, on the surface, a selfish thing to do; that is, to look at ourselves, but until we do, we will be lost in our illusions of life. Illusions are images, and when we live in images, we never live life directly and fully. Living life fully requires living life's realities, not its illusions.

Looking at ourselves causes pain, but pain is where character is forged, so this pain will be beneficial. It will be painful nevertheless, but this pain is a pain that ends all pain, unlike the happiness and joy we think holds off our pain, only to find disappointment time and again when our illusions of happiness and joy suddenly end.

Dismantling the tangled ball of a lifetime of misunderstandings is something few attempt or understand. Most merely sleepwalk through life never understanding why things don't work out for them or their relationships, so now you have a leg-up on most of humanity. Now you are on your way to unconditional love.

The words you have just read planted a seed, and the seed will someday grow. Life will be investigated more closely then, and your life will become open, a breath of fresh air will enter it. Relationships will become open as well, and there will be less fear of the other's motives, because when you understand your own motives, there can be no further secrets.

And someday, your mess inside will become calm and peaceful, and you will discover that the negative self you could never before love doesn't exist. This is where unconditional love happens, exactly at that point when you let your "self" go, and in letting it go, it no longer creates fear in you. Then you find yourself somehow loving yourself, and when your "self" is no longer taking up so much room, there is only the other.

Then you can truly love.

Related Tags: relationships, dating, love, self improvement, friends, marriage, spirituality, new age, self-help

E. Raymond Rock of Fort Myers, Florida is cofounder and principal teacher at the Southwest Florida Insight Center, His twenty-eight years of meditation experience has taken him across four continents, including two stopovers in Thailand where he practiced in the remote northeast forests as an ordained Theravada Buddhist monk. His book, A Year to Enlightenment (Career Press/New Page Books) is now available at major bookstores and online retailers. Visit

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