Let’s face it, love can be messy and confusing. With its magnified highs and lows, love can be unpredictable and often not we expected—so much so that we might be tempted to cower in fear. But if we approach love with respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude, relationships will thrive.
Here are ten concrete tips to pave your way:
- Be yourself. If we want to be loved for who we truly are, why put on an act?
- Don’t believe your stories. Our interpretation of events and feelings is, in fact, just one possibility for what is actually true. To get closer to the truth, explore those other possibilities.
- Stay open. Fear’s favorite pastime is to shut us down. But when we choose to remain vulnerable, true connection to others is possible.
- Speak up. While paying attention to others’ desires is an important building block for healthy relationships, acknowledging and giving voice to our own desires is essential as well.
- Stop looking for perfection. Excellence is fueled by love, perfection is fueled by fear. Many times, what we call “high standards” is a mask for our own feelings of inadequacy.
- Embrace the messiness. It gives us the gift of growth.
- Express yourself. Honor all of your feelings—not just the “pretty” ones—and learn the difference between expressing anger constructively and drive-by feedback.
- Love with no thought of what you’ll get in return. This is fearless love in action.
- Take responsibility. Be accountable for your own emotions, thoughts and actions.
- Love yourself no matter what. Only then can you truly love others and attract the sort of love you deeply desire. You broadcast 24-7 how you are to be treated by how you treat yourself.
Author’s content adapted under license, © 2008 Claire Communications
What if the key to fostering
loving relationships with others
starts with embracing
the amazing and liberating possibility
that the love of your life
just might be you?
Many people tell me it feels selfish to think in those terms and that we are supposed to love and care for “our neighbor.” I remind them we are also supposed to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Many of us would end up in court or prison if we treated our neighbors the way we treat ourselves.
I am reminded of the adage, “Charity begins at home.” If, according to Merriam-Webster’s 2011 dictionary, charity is “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” or at a minimum “lenient judgment of others,” then I suggest it has to begin at home; it has to begin with me. My ability to love others unconditionally is directly dependent on whether I love myself unconditionally. While, as a good actor, I can fake it by keeping all the judgmental voices inside my head, as with many things in life, there is a vast difference between faking it and the real thing.
So what does this kind of love look like? According to a well-known treatise on the subject found in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 of the Bible (New International Version),
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Imagine applying these to yourself. Being patient with and kind to yourself. Not being envious, believing you deserve the best of everything. Always honoring and trusting your personal truth. Respecting your abilities and the decisions you have made. Always nurturing and protecting yourself. Persevering with loyalty to yourself no matter what. Paying attention to and demonstrating compassion for whatever you are feeling. Recognizing and being grateful for your many gifts and talents. Pierre Tielhard de Chardin captured the importance of this way of living when he wrote, “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, [we] will have discovered fire.”
This is the very heart of the personal transformation I’ve experienced in my own life and the lives of my clients. With the compassionate guidance of many spiritual elders, each day I am learning to harness the energy of love and approach myself, every being, encounter, and experience with love.
This way of living is a path, a journey, not a destination. It is not about self-improvement. It is about becoming aware and awakening my heart, moment by moment, day by day. This path to deep peace, lasting joy, and meaningful relationships begins with a three-part commitment to myself:
- I matter.
- I fuel myself with optimal constructive energy.
- I am powerful.
It is interesting that those who learn to fall in love with themselves are actually less likely to behave selfishly. Their joy and peace are contagious. They show up in their families, friendships, and workplaces with a spring in their step and a zest for living that carries them, and those around them, forward in new and exciting directions.
My clients are men and women; young and not so young; single, divorced, or married. What they have in common is an unflinching commitment to knowing themselves better and doing the deep and rewarding work necessary to make the lives they dream of a reality.
Their real-life stories and mine send a clear, consistent message: when we spend our lives not taking care of ourselves, eventually we are no good to ourselves or anyone else. We cannot share anything of lasting value with others by giving from an empty well. When we learn to treat ourselves with love in every moment, then—and only then—will we find ourselves able to be of genuine service to others.
My clients inspire me every day with the certainty that all of us can make this Journey to Wholeness. If you are ready to take life-changing action, then you have been led to a place where you will find the answers you seek. As my clients learn to love themselves unconditionally, they are transforming their lives. You can too.
The bottom line? It’s not just okay to fall in love with yourself. It’s essential. When you fall in love with yourself, everything else finally falls into place. This transformation arises from a fundamental shift in your head and heart. Once love transforms your relationship with yourself, it can’t help but transform your personal life and work in ways that will exhilarate you. Your more constructive personal energy will automatically transform every being and situation you encounter. You will, by your very presence, quite literally transform the world.
FREE Coaching Opportunity
If someone offered you a precious gift for an hour of your time, would you be interested? That’s what I offer with a Complimentary Coaching Session. A comp session isn’t a brief demo or sample. It’s a full 45-minute coaching session focused on current real life challenges of your choosing plus 15 minutes to discuss your experience and any questions you may have about my approach to coaching.
There is no expectation or pressure to hire me as your ongoing coach. Providing meaningful, substantive comp sessions with no obligation is one of the ways I demonstrate gratitude and give back to the Universe a small portion of the abundance and opportunity it bestows on me daily.
The real value of a comp session? PRICELESS!
Those who have experienced comp sessions will tell you, when you come to your session open to the possibilities for transformation and fully committed to your own growth, big breakthroughs can happen!
What clients say about
the power of coaching with Deborah
“I knew Deborah before she became a Professional Life Coach. I’ve been amazed at how she has changed her life. When I decided it was time to begin making decisions about the next phase of my life, I knew immediately that Deborah was the person I wanted to work with. Her personal and professional experiences help her guide clients through coaching in a way that is individualized and delightfully eye-opening. Her warmth and sensitivity are immediately apparent, even over the phone. With gentle encouragement and permission, she will guide you through an examination of your life, including difficult experiences. She will help you gain insight from your past choices and then explore possibilities for moving forward in less encumbered ways. When you work with Deborah, your life will take on new meaning and your potential will be limitless!” Chris
“The work I did with Deborah continues to change my life. While I have learned many valuable lessons from her, the greatest was the deep insight that is available to me when I listen to and learn from my own inner wisdom. Her intuition, discernment and encouragement have taught me to trust my own intuition—creating new paths and possibilities for my life. One of Deborah’s great gifts is helping others respect and connect with their inner guidance and through that connection, to form a deeper, more meaningful bond with the collective wisdom and energy of all.” Ryan
What readers say about
the impact of Deborah’s book
“With the same energy and determination she applied in the professional world, Deborah has taken her considerable expertise in human potential and has now set her sights on the largest co-op in the world, humanity. ‘Choose Your Energy, Change Your Life!’ tackles what I believe are the most important questions we each must ask: who am I, where did I come from, why am I here, and what’s love got to do with it (cue Tina Turner)? These are not trivial or philosophical questions for the answers change what we do, why we do it, who and what we love. I am grateful for the opportunity to walk with Deborah on this critical journey.” JD Messenger, Award Winning Author of “11 Days in May: The Conversation That Will Change Your Life”
“To me the great thing about Deborah’s book is how ‘accessible’ she makes the ideas. The Oxygen Mask is probably the single best example. As with so many of the ideas in the book, she explains the principle in such a simple way that it’s got universal application to virtually any reader. I can imagine people having multiple moments of ‘Oh….I get it!’ throughout the book. The stories from her own life as well as stories of her clients’ experiences become stories about all of us—stories about which the reader will think, ‘I am living my own version of this.’ Well done—bravo!” Joe Calloway, Author of “Be The Best At What Matters Most”