My journey into self-love has been a long one. I thought I loved myself when I had a husband, a nice home, and a great job in my twenties. When I realized who I truly was and what I was called to do, my life fell apart and I found out how desperately I had needed the external validation.

I spent my thirties learning to truly love myself by getting in relationships that reflected all the areas where I did not! I spent my forties learning to love a different aspect of “Self” – the Divine within. I am now in my fifties learning to love “Self” as all – the Divine within everyone and everything. It has been quite a journey!

Last year I went for my annual blessing from Amma Karunamayi. She is known in India as an incarnation of the Divine Mother and a living saint. Her blessings are extremely powerful. At the time, there was a person in my life I loved very much. Instead of asking for a blessing for his soul to “be the one,” I simply asked Amma for a blessing to help me have the most loving relationship possible. I already knew he didn’t feel the same about me, so I was hoping our friendship would deepen into one as beautiful as many of the other friendships in my life. I was using him as a template for manifesting love at the time, knowing full well the universe delivers the essence of what we wish for, if not the form.

Instead, within months, I found out that he had judged, ridiculed, and said unkind things about me behind my back. My reaction was an overwhelming sense of compassion. I saw how he was simply trying to be loved in his life in a different way – by making me wrong and using that to look better in the eyes of another. I saw how others involved had gossiped and told him incomplete versions of conversations to make themselves look better. I knew they too just wanted to feel special and loved. The angels showed me how all of us, me included, had ended up at this moment in time.

I uttered a prayer for all involved.

Suddenly I felt a surge of freedom unlike anything I’ve ever known. I was finally free from old habitual reactions of anger. I was free to be me, free to choose love! I was free to feel good about myself inside no matter what those external to me were doing or saying. Talk about bliss!

I didn’t even feel a need for forgiveness. Everyone involved was simply doing the best they could.

The light in that blessing was showing me that walking away with love and compassion was “the most loving relationship possible” at the time. The wishful thinking and the facades were ripped away, and I had to deal with reality. I had to look at areas where I had compromised on my own self-respect. I had to look at where I had ignored warning signs. I accepted my growth and found I could truly love the light within this soul and others involved, even when the behaviors were totally unacceptable. I let go, went back to my bliss, and had one of the most amazingly joyful years ever. It continues…

Furthermore I got my manifestation. I found the “one” again! The love of my life is the Presence within my own beating heart. I’ve known that before. I’ve felt it for periods of time, but not like this deliciousness. I am luxuriating in the expanded feelings of oneness in silent communion and time in nature, and in this space, I cannot do anything but love the light within all.

It is not easy to love when you don’t like someone’s views, personality, or behaviors. It is even harder when a soul you’ve loved becomes hurtful or unkind. However, the angels are right. We’re all doing our best no matter how wonderful or feeble it is at the time… and loving/acknowledging the light within (even if not the warm, fuzzy feeling of “like”) always feels amazing.

Here are some pointers to love even when you don’t like…

1. Be honest about your feelings

Take a breath. Ask yourself, “Is there anyone in my life with whom I do not feel resolved inside of myself?” Trust the first answer. If no one comes to mind, celebrate. Perhaps right now you really are complete with everyone in your life and your past.

If you do find someone, ask yourself, “How do I feel about this individual?” Hurt? Angry? Disgusted?

Be honest.

We can’t deal if we don’t feel.
We can’t be free if we’re unwilling to see.

2. Examine the Mirror…

This step takes courage. It takes admitting that everyone we love is a soul involved in a dance of growth with us. It takes a soulful perspective to say whatever upset us in someone else is pointing to an area where we are upset within ourselves…

If someone betrayed you, first say, “I’m upset / sad because so-and-so betrayed me.” Then say, “I’m upset because I betrayed myself. I want to be impeccably honest with myself. I want to honor my intuition.” Perhaps you ignored subtle feelings, red flags, and small discontents. We often know, see, or feel more than we are willing to admit. Perhaps you put up with bad behavior far longer than you wish you had. It is OK. You did your best at the time. Now you know better.

If someone was/is unkind or abusive, first say “I’m upset/sad because this person was/is abusive!” Then say, “I’m upset because I’m allowing their abusive behavior now or in the past to control me. I want my power back! I want my joy back.” Sometimes it requires help, therapy, or reprogramming technologies to release upsetting thoughts we’ve had for a long time. Do what it takes. Get help. Honor the fact that your soul wants you to be the only one in charge of your own mind.

If someone is intolerable for any of a variety of reasons, first say, “I’m upset/sad because so-and-so is intolerable to me!” Then say, “I’m upset because I want to practice compassion, tolerance, and kindness, but they are making it REALLY hard for me to feel that way! I know it is easier when people are nice, but I want to take back my power and stand strong in my light!” Keep at it. Take care of your own well-being. Ultimately you will prove to yourself you can have compassion while also take care of yourself.

We really want to love. We really want to be in charge of our own minds. Sometimes people make that difficult, but we get to choose if we embrace the growth or not.

By owning our upset, realizing it is, at the deepest levels, an upset with ourselves, we reclaim our power.

3. Take Loving Action… for yourself

At some point you have to deal with reality. Given the fact that another is acting a way you don’t like, what are you going to do about it to honor your own spirit?

Sometimes you can walk away from bad behavior. Sometimes you can lovingly speak up. Sometimes you set a firm boundary. Sometimes you need assistance in finding a path that honors both souls involved. Sometimes you can remain silent and refuse to dignify any energies that don’t resonate. Sometimes you can turn off the TV. Sometimes you just have to pray for ideas!

There is always, “the next loving step” to honor your own bright spirit while being respectful of another’s life and choices. Your angels will help you find it if you ask and pray.

This journey into deeper love has not been easy at times. As an arise/pieces, I feel everything deeply and tend to react strongly. I still won’t claim I’m perfect at it. However, the more I practice loving the light within me and others – no matter what – the more free, blissful, and flowing life becomes!

I hope this helps you do the same!

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