Charles DeVeaux

Social Theorist | Cultural Creative

Writing, producing, and facilitating works & conversations about love, modernity, and humanity.

Filtering by Tag: self love

A human chose to love himself, and then...

Most of us are impatient with ourselves and impatient with Love.  Individually and all together, we are impatient in loving ourselves.  If you want to love yourself, yes, spend some time with yourself.  Get comfortable being quietly with yourself.  Additionally, if you want to love yourself, admit to yourself the things you want, then go get 'em.

Give yourself permission to be the person you want to be, as long as you're not causing injury.  That person will not magically materialize one day from a flash of light and insight. That person must be lived.  If you could meet your fulfilled future self, would you mostly judge them, or honor them? If you say you will honor them, then don't spend most of your time judging yourself now.

All of us are layered, textered, complex people who most times don't set out to do things which are wrong.  Understand that most people want to live doing what in our clearest mind we think is right.  That is an undeniably lovable quality in human beings.  At the same time, understand that none of us is always 100% clear sighted.  There is always more to learn, and be mindful of.  Still, individually and together, let's give ourselves a chance.

Journey of the Lonely

Before Love, there is, frequently, loneliness.  Loneliness and impatience.  Daily, we find ourselves rushing to attain "that" dream, that vision of happiness that fits all our little checkboxes of love-list requirements.  We might have friends, we might date, we might even have relations, and although we find might ourselves surrounded, perhaps, by people having a good time, we are still filled with loneliness.  Loneliness perhaps is not so much our hearts being alone, but our hearts being still.  We look around at others, measure and compare.  Why not me?  What am I doing wrong that I don't find love, or keep love?  When is my turn??  I want my turn.

This is part of the human condition.  When I'm not careful, I do the same thing myself.  I don't do it so much in my love life, at this point, but I certainly extend these feelings of uncertainty to other areas of my life.  When, when, when?  If I'm not careful, I too "lose" or give-up the available moments of love currently present in my life.

"When" is a frequently misused concept of space and time.  I don't want to come off like a time management wonk; that would only add one more thing to our list of things to worry about.  For example, "As soon as I better manage my time, I will be able to etc, etc, etc."  No, let's not do that to ourselves.  When it comes to giving time to love, "now" is the best time.  At the same time, I have folks ask me, "How?  How do I do that?  How do I find love?"

The are many ways to find love.  The most radical, and sensible, thing for me to do when I feel rushed and impatient is to let go.  I let go of all the concerns that are accumulating in my mind, because in that frame of mind, I cannot possibly clear the list of mounting concerns faster than my mind is adding on to it.  Instead, I clear my thoughts, examine what it is I claim to love, (ideas, activities, & interests) and I give them some time.  Or, I just clear my thoughts.  Period.  I sit down, visually let the thoughts pass overhead, and don't attach myself to any of them by pulling them down to ponder.  I spend some time in that silence.  I know in time my heart will "speak."  Yours will too.  In this sense, it's more about opening up the way so love reveals itself to you from "inside-out."

Don't let a day go by without finding, creating, or cherishing something that stirs your heart, or that whispers deep from your soul (from within yourself).  There is something special about the heart's song.  It resonates and harmonizes with others.  It creates a call to which other hearts can respond.  Heart stirring efforts create a work of their own making, not work that is intended to primarily satisfy or impress others; yet it will beneficially impact others.  This kind of work in action creates feelings of inner worth and satisfaction not at the discretion of your boss, family, or friends.

The call of the heart is an inner vision, the steps leading up possibly to some of the same images you have dreamed or fantasized about.  Actions of the heart might be collecting the materials you need to design your product idea, it could be going out with friends with a more open attitude to accept people as they are, it could be the work you put into starting your day with exercise, whole foods, and affirmations. Actions of the heart are expressions of spirit, whether, aspirational or inspirational. And if they are going to be worthwhile, then at some point they will cause you to be perspirational. (Ha!  Get it?)

The call of the heart is the courage to act differently than you have up to now, to not walk in the same pattern you have for the last few days, weeks, months, years, not because someone wants you to, but because you want to.  Love in your heart leads you to consider a different set of values in your mind, a different way of looking at yourself; not neccessarily what your religious institution promotes, not necessarily what your social group thinks.  In fact, the stirring of your heart enables you to face your worst fear, facing yourself.  You might need to open your mind to new or different ideas or perspectives, or make new friends and associations.  Or you might realize you need to better cherish the older relationships you have.  Still, you might find yourself unavailable to the same people who expect you in your usual place, obliged to their assessments on your life.  That's a good thing.

Life can feel filled with difficulty and we can take ourselves way too seriously.  We often prioritize all other needs before our own (because "we have to") and spend only imaginary hours anticipating the life and love we want.  For some reason when we place "finding love" first on our priority list, we feel like we are potentially risking everything else.  That, right there, is the rub.  Society makes us absolutely fearful of risking making a living in this world.  Somehow the primitive mind didn't have that to worry about.  Love and connection improved civilization.  We are absolutely afraid to:

  1. risk being able to support ourselves financially to pursue notions of love.
  2. risk looking like we don't have all the answers.
  3. risk looking like we don't fit "the mold."
  4. risk looking like a fraud if we ruin the image we want others to have of us.
  5. risk looking weak from being vulnerable.
  6. risk being in our little, safe comfortable spaces.
  7. risk being held responsible for our actions, and errors.
  8. risk feeling in control.
  9. risk being a sucker for love.
  10. risk being hurt.

I have felt these same turbulent emotions along the way, but I can't think of a single incident in my life where I made a risk for Love and it caused my world to crash around me.  I've made risks for money, and have lost money.  I have made risks with false pride and lost friendships.  I have made risks for the conditional "it-needs-to-be-done-this-way-to-work" kind of love and subsequently experienced MAJOR heartache and loss.  I have made risks for lust and, eh, you win some you lose some.  Be careful.  But my risks in Love have delivered nothing but huge payoffs.  Working toward a union of ideas and practices which make the relationship feel full, yet selfless, has been worthwhile in spite of the the scary and unfamiliar experiences that came with it.  I want more of that, not so much for the material gains but for the whole, healthy way it makes me, and others, feel.

Loneliness is an insecurity and a stillness of the heart.  We can try to romance or sex ourselves into the heart.  There's nothing like stirring it up below the waist to get hearts beating.  That practice easily mimics the feeling of a love connection.  We can try to spend our way into the heart.  It gives us the achievement and security fix we crave.  We can try to feed happiness into our hearts because it equates the loving feeling of nourishment, and there are still more, other, manipulations.  Or we can try to ignore loneliness altogether.  But the only way to overcome the loneliness, the fears, and the life associated with it is to listen to the heart, follow it, and be nonjudgemental of what it prompts us to do.  Mostly, we need to be patient with our hearts (ourselves) as we walk out its fulfillment.  Before love - and sometimes again - is loneliness.  Be quiet, be patient, and listen to your heart stir.  It's making Love.  And there is no time like the present for making Love.

9 Steps to Remarkable Success in Love - Part 3

[This is the final part of Remarkable Success in Love, a LoveRules reinterpretation of Jeff Haden's 9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successfully People from Inc.com.]

  1. Be Yourself - This step on the "9 Beliefs" article didn't really align with what I'm trying to say, so let me tweak it a bit.  If you find that you are always putting on an act when meeting people, stop a moment.  You want to be appreciated for who you are?  You want people to like you, for you?  There are many internet sites that can give you steps on how to be more likeable.  There are professional courses offered that do this as well.  "Ask questions to create conversation."  "Orient the conversation around the person you want to like you." It takes practice and can be worthwhile.  But if you want to be appreciated for yourself, after LoveRules #1, the next thing is to appreciate others.  Stop being judgemental of other people's quirks and idiosyncrasies.  Always having something superficially critical to say about others isn't cute.  Have a little more patience and be accepting of others and you'll find people more patient and accepting of you.  People will receive you, as you receive yourself and as you receive others.
  2. The Extra Mile - The extra mile is not how freaky you can get in bed.  Well... it could be.  And if it is, still, please add more depth to your game.  The extra mile is what you owe yourself, first.  How open will you allow yourself to be to possibility, to opportunity? Will you try again when you're a little depressed? Will you try again when you've written off Love? Will you allow yourself a little forgiveness?  These will allow you to go the extra mile for others.  Have an open ear when someone is apologizing for an honest mistake.  Be a real friend to someone you've only known a short time, even if the romance didn't work out.  To be thoughtful and creative about what might interest your partner instead of thinking only about yourself.  That's the extra mile.  All that adds up in making you more lovable, and you'll feel good too.  And that's attractive.  I'm just saying.

Simple enough, right?  I hope this helps stir some thoughts.  Perhaps these ideas were new to you, maybe you've heard them before.  But like I was saying, sometimes we know what to do to be successful, but can we consistently follow through our steps to see the results?  How strong are our beliefs?  How serious are we?

If you were able to have a life surrounded by things you are most attracted to, would you consider that success?  Most people say yes.  Is Love one of those things?

Make room for more.

9 Steps to Remarkable Success in Love - Part 1

I recently read an article about "success," written by Jeff Haden, Inc.com.  Don't get wrapped around that word just yet.  I'm not about to talk money or business.  Success is like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder, a subjective matter.  Some hear the word and think of financial success, others envision their dream careers.  Every person defines success a little differently.  And by now you know I'm all about defining things differently.  Still, certain principles of action carry across all areas of life.  Welcome to the world of physical laws.

The same principles that create success in your favorite hobby or your career are similar to what I share on LoveRules.  Although some of my readers might think LoverRules is purely about romantic love, it's fundamentally about Love, at large.  Universal Love.  Love, the attractive force.  Let me ask you a question:

 

If you were able to have a life surrounded by the things you are most attracted to, would you consider that success?

 

For most, the answer is yes. Here is the article from Inc.com about success principles.  It's called 9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People.  Read it and come right back, it's quick.  No wait, read it later.  ;)

At first, I didn't like the title of that article, but actually it's good.  It inspired me to write a parallel LoveRules piece because two important questions are asked:

  1. What kind of life do you want... a remarkable one?
  2. It also asks you to consider what makes things remarkable... the strength of your beliefs.  What are your beliefs?

I find the limitations of a person's beliefs are a major obstacle to having Love in one's life, the way they want.  That's because we're conditioned to think it's a notion reserved for fantasy.  Yet, we want it in all its fairytale glory.  So as Lauren (my wife) says, how do we get over the fairy tales and just get the dream?

How would LoveRules reinterpret these same "9 Belief success" steps to create Love in your life? Let me go step by step:

  1. Time - First, establish honestly with yourself what you want, then commit to aligning yourself to those ideals in your off hours.  This is personal work, self-development. Are you for real?
  2. People - Tired of the party people and one night standers? Stop going to clubs.  Want someone who is focused on their career?  Spend less time with your gaming buddies and join a meet-up for professionals instead.  Like my friend Bassam Tarazi likes to say, "You'll lose friends along the way."  See Lesson # 18.

I'll stop there for now.  Thanks for reading.  Stay tuned Part 2 of this installment, coming shortly.

Rule #1 - Love Yourself

So, now we've met, and I've introduced myself a little.  Let's get into the LoveRules. Rule #1 - Love Yourself One day I was talking with my friend Kristin, a young woman who, at the time, was dating, alternating between two guys.  She couldn't decide which guy she really wanted to spend more time with.

"Okay, which rule applies to me, Charles?" We had a nice little conversation which led me to a realization.  She hadn't healed from her last break-up.

"Ohhh, now I see. You have to start with Rule #1" I said. "I'm not on level one!" she retorted. "I am no beginner!"

Silence. Then we laughed. As we laughed I explained LoveRules are not really hard fast rules, nor are they levels.  They are more like principles and phases.  They are meant to give guidance as we look inward for our truth, our answers.  They are non-linear.  In fact, we can be experiencing multiple LoveRules/phases at any given moment; and where we are today might shift tomorrow based on our experiences and practices.

The best part about Rule #1 (phase 1) is that we need to come back to spruce it up more than once in our lives. We should practice going over it often.  Bad break-up? Criticism at work? Fell short of a personal goal? Not finding any dates as of late? Not in your ideal career? Feeling lonely? LoveRules #1 - Love yourself.

No matter who you are, if you're feeling like "less," but would like "more," I recommend taking a moment to create a personal conversation practicing some of the following or something similar:

* Love Yourself.  Truly, fully. Seek love in your reflection. Love is looking back at you.  Don’t expect to only find love in something that you are not, or only from others.

* Learn to love and accept how you are designed, your strengths and your flaws. You are a unique tapestry, absolutely one-of-a-kind. You are not mass-produced. Understand that people invest much into a one-of-a-kind item. Not everybody, but the right people do, the people who are meant for you.

* Love and praise your skin, your eyes, your hair, your legs, arms, neck, head, face, ears, nose, hands, feet, your back, your tummy, your chest or breasts, your butt, your personal and private places. Be grateful. Love your culture, your lineage, your origins. Then make room for more. You will grow. Be deeper. Love your smile, your odd expressions, your laugh, the way you run and walk, the way you play or do your work. Make room. Go deeper. Love your mind, your heart, your concern, your thought process, your inner strength, your cares, compassion, your courage.

* Love your areas for improvement, but more importantly, love what you have. Some of these areas of improvement can be worked on to suit your liking over time. You can work on the way you walk and the way you speak, if it makes you feel better. But first love and accept what you have. While it's important to look and feel good, try not to recreate the whole creation. It is very good as it is. Take stock and be grateful.

* Realize that while you are these wonderful qualities, you are not these qualities. You are more.  You are not limited to these.  Who you are fundamentally in your "soul," your heart, is boundless, immeasurable. Make room for change. Grow.

Loving yourself in the way I'm describing is not meant to be vain.  It does not include being the person that narcissistically worships her/himself at the expense of others, but rather being the quality of person that loves him/herself in spite of others. Always Love Yourself - to inspire those that don't love themselves enough, and in spite of those who don't show you enough.

Learn to know your worth, stand up strong. Make no apologies for who you are. Don't compromise what you want, but make sure what you want is something worthwhile. Love yourself.

Hit me back: How do you practice showing yourself love?