As philosopher Eric Fromm states in The Art of Loving, “What matters in relation to love is the faith in one’s own love; in its ability to produce love in others. We are only capable of knowing and caring for another if we are also capable of understanding caring and knowing ourselves.” In other words, the most powerful way to attract and experience great love, is to embody it.
Being in an authentic relationship requires us to first open our hearts and then unconditionally love ourselves. When we love ourselves, we become our own safe haven, where we are free to fully express love which is the essence of who we are. Loving ourselves without qualification or conditions is the foundation for developing a positive, healthy, committed and mutually loving relationship with another person.
Not loving yourself directly impacts the thoughts and feelings you have, the choices you make, the relationships you select, and how you perceive and approach every life situation. Feeling that you are unlovable occurs as a result of your disconnection from your true being. When you disconnect from yourself, you are more likely to take things to heart, and then blame or attack others-a reaction that follows because you feel insecure, unlovable or not good enough.
When you block the flow of love with yourself, you ultimately threaten the experience of authentic love in your relationships. For example, you may have seen couples giving each other a broken heart on a necklace as a symbol of their love. Although wearing this symbol may be endearing, it implies that the only way you can be complete is with your “missing half.” Since you cannot have a fulfilling relationship unless you feel complete in yourself, however, it is not surprising that many people still feel incomplete even with their “other half.”
In contrast, self-love leads to acceptance of the intrinsically spiritual nature of your being. Deeper than your patterns, identity or roles you play in life is your true being-your essence, authenticity and sense of oneness. You can experience a sense of being while with a child, friend, partner, coworker, stranger, or even a dog by opening your heart. This allows pure love to flow through you. Through these soul-hearted connections with others, you can see that you are no longer separate but rather one in the collective flow of genuine love.