If happiness in life and love reside in the health of our relationships, then the most fundamental and important one has to be the relationship we have to ourself. Though often overlooked, the soundness of every other relationship we have does rely heavily on the stability of this one—not something we might think about too often, but fundamentally true.
It is ironic, then, that living as we do in a society which has a tendency to stress the importance of the individual over the collective, that so many suffer a tragically low sense of self worth. The Dalai Lama has reportedly expressed astonishment over this fact on many occasions when he has given talks in the West and been presented with this as a persistent problem of many in the crowd. Reversing this troubling trend begins the moment we decide we are worth taking the trouble to get to know and love.
Getting to know and love ourself requires a journey inward. Too often our energies are directed outward looking for signs of worth from others. Seeking the approval and approbation of others is understandable on one level, but not a very good way to truly get to know ourself and ascertain our worth. Replacing outer connectedness with inner connectedness is a better way. It’s not about being superior to anyone else, nor about self-presentation. Getting to know and love ourself is about authenticity, personal integrity and self-possession—deepening into more of who we are.
Connectedness to self is simultaneously a connectedness to Life in general—a collaborative effort and way of being that is far more genuine, rich, compelling and substantial than any approval seeking behaviour even has potential to be.
With self worth in place, beauty, fulfillment and genuine expression in the design and execution of our life become more intuitive—a natural extension of this love.
What could engender more happiness than that?
And what a gift.