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FEATURE - August 2015 - Santa Fe
Loving Yourself Makes You More Attractive
By Carolyn Gervais
Just about everyone wants a beautiful, strong, deeply devoted lover. Unless you've taken a vow of celibacy, finding a soul-mate is probably quite high on your list of priorities. After all, what good is success in life when you don't have someone awesome to share it with?
But the desire for romantic companionship can be so intense, so all-encompassing that it can become an unhealthy obsession that stunts your growth and gets in the way of your natural development. Whether you are in a relationship or not, it simply isn't healthy to get too focused on other people. There is always room to love yourself more fully, to care for yourself more deeply, to improve yourself. Take advantage of this opportunity instead of focusing on what you don't have.
Single men find themselves thinking of sex all the time, yet somehow unable to evoke even the slightest bit of interest from the women they desire, creeping them out and driving them away instead of piquing their interest. Every man who has lived the bachelor life knows how hard it can be. When I lived alone, I would go to a store and just wander the aisles aimlessly just to be around other people, even if they were strangers. I rarely had the courage to chat up an attractive woman, and found myself loneliest in crowds of people I didn't know. When I finally mustered the bravery to say something, I'd get blown off or ignored. It was depressing. The more desperate you get, the harder it gets to capture a woman's interest. At the same time, some men in relationships find themselves unable to stay loyal to the woman they are with, or unable to keep the woman's interest in the long term.
Women find themselves in relationships that don't really fulfill them, not really happy with their situations yet unwilling to leave the relationship for fear of being alone. Other women find themselves just as lonely as bachelors, wishing that a worthy man would come sweep them away off their feet, yet somehow unable to make that happen. Women in relationships can get so carried away with taking care of their partners, their children and everyone else in their lives that they don't make time for their own pursuits. When they finally put a foot down and start living for themselves, they discover that the man in their life has no clean clothes and hasn't eaten a meal in days.
Make no mistake - having a romantic partner is not a fix-all solution. Living alone can be hard, but being in a relationship doesn't automatically make your life any easier. Sometimes, it complicates things considerably. A single person who is working hard and making progress will be happier than a married person whose relationship is abusive and codependent. You are better off single and proud than married to a monster. Even if it gets lonely sometimes, at least you don't have to deal with being abused or caring for someone who doesn't care about themselves. If you are single, appreciate your freedom and make the most of it!
It is essential to understand that the primary model for all of your relationships in life is your relationship with yourself. Your capacity to attract someone who will truly fulfill you is a function of your ability to give love to yourself and receive love from yourself. Like attracts like. People who are good at loving themselves are also good at loving others. They attract other people who are skilled at expressing love. People who aren't good at loving themselves aren't great at loving anyone else either. They wind up with partners who don't know how to love, just like them. When you don't live in your heart and live life to the fullest, you attract the wrong kinds of people.
Self-love is a skill that many Americans have failed to develop. The reason for this is the obsession our society has for material things, for money, and for appearances. It all begins with parents focusing too much on getting more stuff and failing to really be present for their children. When someone isn't given true, unconditional love from the beginning by their parents, they learn to love conditionally, which isn't real love. The root of the problem is that a lot of people simply never got real love to begin with. You can't give what you don't have.
If you aren't so good at loving, then practice on yourself. You have to love yourself authentically and consistently in order to love another person well. You have to believe that you are worthy of love in order to receive it and appreciate it, whether from yourself or from a partner.
It is fashionable in our culture to either self-depreciate or self-aggrandize. Neither of these activities is true self-love. Playing yourself down doesn't serve you or anyone else. It accomplishes nothing but annoyance. Self-aggrandizement is no less annoying or ineffective at garnering respect and admiration. Having a giant truck, a loud motorcycle, an expensive handbag or a designer dress doesn't make you a better person or any more attractive to the opposite sex, at least not to the members of the opposite sex who are worth being with!
True self-love consists of self-acceptance, self-care, and self-improvement. When you get your next paycheck, don't just buy another gadget or another pair of shoes. Instead, sign up for a class, take a trip out of town, or get yourself a gym membership (and use it)! Use your money to enrich your life experience and involve yourself in society instead of filling up your apartment with more stuff. When you have some free time, don't just sit there on Facebook scrolling through your news feed, sending friend requests to all the attractive people. Instead, pick up a paintbrush, crank up the stereo and dance in your living room while you paint! The more you put into life, the more lovable you become.
Brennan Murphey has been a metaphysical spiritual teacher since 2008 when he founded the Interlight Mystery School. He integrates the ancient wisdom of the western mystery tradition with his own understanding of how to best apply this wisdom in modern life. To learn more about Brennan and the Interlight Mystery School, please visit his website, www.InterLightMysterySchool.com