If I had a rand for every time I’ve heard how important it to to love yourself, I would be a rich women by now. The thing is that the penny had never dropped so to speak, until recently. Lying in bed a few nights ago, I had quite an uncomfortable insight that helped me to get how central the love that we have for ourselves is to our experience of the world around us. In other words, the more you can love yourself, the happier and more positive your life will be.

So this is the thing. You can only give and receive as much love to the world around you, as you feel for yourself, and the reason is quite simple. Every single experience you have; everything you see and everything you don’t see; every opinion and judgement you have is a projection of who you believe you are. The world around you is a mirror showing you all the things you do and don’t believe about yourself. For instance if you believe you are a loving and beautiful person, you will find yourselves noticing that in others, perhaps because you attract more people like that, or just because you don’t have any negative beliefs about yourself in that regard that make you feel uncomfortable or shame when you see it in others, which of course probably makes you shy away from seeing it in the world around you at all.

To put it in another way, I’ll share how I got to a place where I really “got this.”

My husband and I have been on quite an accelerated journey of self-discovery and personal transformation and as my conciousness has grown bit by bit I have had the strength to start owning that the judgements and fears that I project onto others, are actually my own. But where this really got me was when I lay there and looked into the past and saw that so many of things that I had criticised; worried about; and judged my husband for were actually my own insecurities and fears about who I am. Like for instance, if I found myself worrying about financial security, I would typically start looking at my husband and worrying about or criticising him for not being “strong enough” or even for not “worrying” about it as much as me. The result is of course that I continue to project and create this ill feeling that in fact stems from a lack of trust in myself.

And it was standing in that place where I could see so clearly how I was projecting my own fears on to a person I love so deeply that it hit deep …

Everything starts with yourself and ends with yourself. You truly do influence and change the world around you positively, and by that I mean the world that YOU EXPERIENCE around you, by learning to love and forgive yourself more.

I am sure we can all agree that our opinion of anything depends on the framework or lens that we look through. And if you are looking through wounded eyes and a heart that carries personal shame, dislike or lack of respect to the self, it will cloud how clearly you can see things for what they are. It will cloud how absolutely you can love and receive love and it just gets in the way of seeing life for the miracle that it is.

Have the courage to look at where you believe yourself to be inadequate and persevere to forgive and change those beliefs. Because every time you are confronted with an experience that touches on those beliefs, you will re-act from that wounded place of fear and project it back out into the world around you.