Love Thyself

Have you learned how to love yourself yet?

Question: If you do not love yourself, how could you ever expect anyone else to love you? Before we can give and receive love, we must first start by working on ourselves. We must first become the kind of person that makes us lovable to others.

Have you ever listened to what people say when they have just fallen in love? They often say, “he makes me so happy” or “she makes me so happy” or “I just could not live without (him or her) because (he or she) makes my life worth living.”

Question: What’s wrong with these statements?
Answer: Nobody else can “make us happy.” We make our own selves happy. We know ourselves better than anyone else, right? Well, if we cannot figure out how to make our own selves happy, how could we ever expect anyone else to figure it out?

When people get divorced, we often hear them say, “He didn’t make me happy!” or “She didn’t make me happy!” I never thought that was a legitimate reason for getting a divorce, and I wondered where people get the idea that it’s their partner’s responsibility to make and/or keep them happy in the first place. That’s a burden we should never put on anyone else.  That’s our own responsibility because the truth is that happiness comes from within each and every one of us. It’s a choice, not something we get from anyone or anything else. Our happiness depends entirely on ourselves, period.

Then where did we get the idea that happiness is something we must hunt down, find and capture?  Perhaps it’s because the Declaration of Independence refers to the pursuit of happiness.  But what does that actually mean? It means that we have a  fundamental right to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes us happy, as long as we don’t do anything illegal or violate the rights of others. But happiness is not something we can get from anybody else and it’s not something we can buy in a bottle from a store.

Some people might think that they have to be wealthy to be happy. Yet, we often hear people say, “Money cannot buy happiness.” I have to admit that most of the people who say “Money cannot buy happiness” are dirt poor and I thought they might be just saying that to convince themselves to feel better and more satisfied with what they have. However, that does not always ring true because some of the happiest people I’ve met are poor and do not have a lot of materialistic possessions.

Question: What do you need to be happy? What makes some people to choose happiness, while others choose to be miserable? Why would anyone choose to be miserable? Could it be that we need a relationship with God to be happy?

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