“Someday, after we have mastered the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity…we shall harness the energies of love. Then, for the second time in the history of the world, mankind will have discovered fire.” said Teilhard de Chardin, a beloved Jesuit priest.
As individuals looking to develop and grow through life our initial instinct is to look externally for this enlightenment. We seek out ways to fix ourselves and others from the outside in.
We ignore the deeply rooted desires and emotions in exchange for how we ‘should’ live life. We tend to get wrapped up in trendy celebrity expert suggestions, the latest trick of the trade or a magic pill that will help us reach our goals. As if there’s a singular ultimate expression that all people should strive towards.
Or perhaps instead of working on ourselves we choose to fix others. We sit in self-loathing but encourage those around us to come from love and choose self acceptance. How ironic.
When I think about and apply Teilhard de Chardin’s quote to my journey this is how it unfolds:
- I spent years building walls around me that I believed would protect me from harm. Instead I felt alone and had few outlets for stress and emotions I felt.
- I constantly worked towards goals that looked good on paper or were fun to talk about at parties. In reality these goals may not have been feeding my soul.
- I helped everyone around me be successful and grow into who they said they wanted to become. I was happy for them but never thought I was worthy of the same support in return.
It wasn’t until I ran out of external opportunities that I thought ‘needed’ my support, attention, love, ideas and creativity that I was left with myself. I realized I was still unhappy and unfulfilled. I was using external sources to numb my unhappiness and put on a front for what was really happening inside me. It wasn’t until that moment, I finally looked within with as much bravery I could muster and asked myself 3 questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you want?
- Why are you in pain?
Once those answers surfaced I realized there was a lot of work to do on myself. It was finally time to discover that fire in me. The work that needed to be done was to fall in love with myself regardless of my imperfections. Reaching self-acceptance takes time, patience and a little understanding for yourself and who you are. It’s about removing the conditions you attach to loving yourself.
What do I mean?
Having conditions on your self love sounds like this:
- I will only be happy when I lose this weight.
- When I have my perfect body then I will be happy.
- I’ll wear a bikini only if my tummy is flat.
- I’ll only be happy when I fall in love with my soul mate.
Removing conditions on your self love sounds like this:
- I love my body for what it can do and give me and how it supports my life.
- I am happy today and do things I love to do on a regular basis (dance, sing, create art etc)
- I’ll wear what I love and makes me feel good in my skin.
- I’ll find happiness in my life with or without a partner.
But like discovering fire, love and in particular love for oneself is the greatest goal that can be achieved in life. When this happens you continuously raise the bar for what you draw into your life. Ultimately creating an upwards cycle towards happiness and fulfillment.
When you start from the inside out you will always be living in love, acceptance and understanding to build the life you want and the world you want to live in.
My wish for you – be the one who discovers fire for the second time in history. Return to yourself and start with love.