Love as a reason to learn…

So what would motivate a person to engage in a learning process where the subject is he or she?  Why learn about ourselves?  Consider love as a reason.  Love, as a reason, gives practicality and grounding to self inquiry.  Love is practical in the form of care.  Caring for any living being fosters growth, a sense of connection and, in an atmosphere of care, life flourishes.  The feeling of love not only motivates action, it also provides grounding in the body, as through the body, we feel.  So how does a person love him or herself by learning?  Let’s look at loving a thing, say a car.  So when you love a car, you find out all kinds of details about it.  These details are used to keep it looking and running good.  In the same way, one aspect of loving ourselves is to learn details about ourselves.  Details like what do I enjoy, dislike, want, need and do.  Learning what I do, especially as I interact with other human beings, is an important detail to learn.  Some of what I do I’ll find very repetitive, much like Pavlov’s dog where something will happen, someone will say or do something and though it may not be salivation, there is a repetitive action.  We may or may not like this action, for now, knowing, in the sense of being aware, brings truth to the action.  Back to the car, if we notice it begins to run roughly, we take action to find out what the problem is and repair it.  As we observe ourselves in action, we begin to notice patterns of thought and actions that leave us feeling not okay.  So how do we fix ourselves?  Here’s where the beauty of love comes into play.  Consider love as an action and a feeling?  The action is acceptance and the feeling is joy!  Yes, acceptance may seem like inaction since it is an inward movement rather than an outward one, but what happens when you accept.  Consider something that happens outside yourself that you do not like, perhaps even hate.  Certainly at first there may be anger, upset and turmoil but as you accept it, what is your change of feeling?  Depending on how deeply you accept the way it is, joy may be what you end up feeling or gradations of joy like feeling okay.  What happens next is very important, by accepting the way it is, the mind clears of the turmoil and a path to action shows up.  Apply this process to yourself.  Cultivate awareness of yourself, accept what you become aware of, and act from feeling okay and perhaps even joy.
Christians around the world know the commandment Jesus gave to love your neighbor as yourself.  Learning to love our selves through joyful acceptance frees us to love others.  This process breeds compassion for oneself which opens the doorway to compassion for others.  God knows life on earth can use more compassion.  So, love gives each of us a reason to engage in an active process of self awareness.  What stops you from taking a step in that direction?

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