A Path to the Self - Three Ways to Create Balance in Love
The world's sacred traditions teach that love is the way of life. You are worthy of love. You have a basic right to love and be loved. With a balanced center you can express love for yourself and others. Love is your divine nature and love is your greatest lesson to learn.
Love is essential for your well-being and spiritual growth. An inability to find love or the loss of love causes a profound wound. A heart heavy with grief becomes closed to feelings and aliveness. Acknowledging and expressing grief opens the heart to compassion. Compassion is simple kindness toward yourself and others.
Create a balanced center from which you can express love.
Two essential kinds of relationships require balance: the relationship with self and the relationship with others. Prime areas of internal balance exist between mind and body and mind and spirit. Both areas benefit from inner listening to the body's subtle messages. As you pay attention to your feelings, you grow your relationship with your true Self. Healthy lasting relationships with others require this balance within you. Developing both kinds of relationships leads toward your wholeness as a person.
Balance is not static, but requires dynamic flexibility over time in different ways. You experience lack of inner balance as pressure, frustration and stress. Loss of inner balance leads to resentment and lack of openness and goodwill toward others. Love is the common bond of our fallible humanity. With love and respect for the smaller self, you can embrace and heal the larger world around you.
Make a conscious daily commitment to treat yourself with love.
Simply treat yourself as you would treat anyone else you love with respect, honesty and compassion. Honor your boundaries and speak your truths. Allow yourself quiet time for reflection and renewal. You need this space to know your heartfelt desires, hopes and fears.
Pay attention to your feelings as messages from the inner You.
Part of knowing yourself involves the task of self-acceptance. You may want different things at different times in your life. Or even different things at the same time. Honor your individuality. Accept the diverse aspects of yourself. See them as opportunities for growth and renewal.
A purposeful life involves self-care. Some key principles include: stress management, healthy foods, regular exercise, meditation and mindfulness practices and sufficient sleep. Every day you make choices about how to create a life that engages you. Treat yourself as if you matter.
Choose healthy relationships that honor a balance between freedom and attachment.
Balance in your personal relationships has importance. Often times a struggle exists between the human need for attachment and the spiritual need for freedom. Spirit resists constriction and limitation. It wants to expand into a wider connection with all life.
Relationships do matter. The power of connection promotes your well-being. It has a profound impact on the quality of your life. But not all relationships offer these benefits. Know yourself well. Consider your need for connection and your need for self-care. Reflect on which relationships nurture you and which ones drain your energy.
Three key concepts help in building strong relationships. Laugh and have fun together. Laughter creates a sense of connection. Be yourself. Authenticity affects personal relationships and self-esteem. Set boundaries and cut back on obligations. Taking care of you impacts how you feel and react to others. Good relationships are ones where you enjoy spending time with those you love. They enhance your life, increase your happiness and promote your well-being.
The secular world considers love a sentimental idea. The world's sacred traditions regard love as the basis for all your thoughts, words and actions. It shows in your respect for yourself, for others, for all creation. Love is the bond that holds the world together. It heals the myth of separation from each other, from nature and the divine. Walks in nature help you sense a oneness with all life. You feel connected to something much larger than you.
About the Author
Mary Beth Ford, Ed. D., is the author of Wisdom from the Gardens-Life Lessons and creator of the CD Garden Wisdom-5 Ways to Grow in Life Balance and Joy. She specializes in the area of life balance, which she describes as balance between outer world and inner Self. In her work Mary Beth shares five powerful garden lessons for living with balance and joy. She helps busy people live with Spirit in the world. Using nature images she offers us a new way of seeing ourselves and our world.