When we think about love, the first thing that comes to mind is “self-care” - meaning “loving yourself” - because, without this, you cannot care for or love anyone else.
This is not an original thought! Search the Internet for “loving yourself” and you get 2,250,000,000 results within seconds!
When we began wishing, we had our doubts, as most people do. The way we taught ourselves to wish took this into account, with advice to start small and wish for something we would love to have, like a piece of clothing, an accessory, or a bit of an experience.
Barbara remembers the instruction: “Wish to find the perfect pair of blue jeans in your local thrift store.” And it worked! She walked into her local thrift shop and found a pair of jeans in her size, brand new, with the original tag still on! This success made her smile and gave her a happy feeling that she filed away because having a collection of happy memories and thoughts is essential to your wish practice.
In the first year of wishing, it was a lot like that. We were a little “drunk on happiness” having our wishes for these small things come true. The next year, more of our wishes were for experiences and we had a lot of success there, too. For one thing, we wished for this partnership and the experience of writing together and that taught us a lot about our value to each other. It is impossible for us to value each other without first understanding the value we individually bring to the partnership, a crucial step in self-love. If we each think of ourselves respectively as worthless, how can we bring to the other what makes the partnership work so well?
For us, self-love is based on self-care. Let’s look at that concept from the “other side.” Imagine someone you care about deeply. You probably want to treat that person with compassion, as well as love, affection, respect, empathy, and the like. If you are able to treat yourself with those same qualities, then treating the person you care for comes naturally. If, on the other hand, you are mean to yourself, neglectful, judgmental, harsh, or cruel, it is a huge leap to transform yourself into the caring person you want to be toward the other.
Once, long ago, there was some really excellent advice for people trying to lose weight and it was all about self-care. There was a question: “If someone you care for came over for a meal, would you make them eat standing up at the kitchen counter? Then why do you treat yourself that way?” The source of this is forgotten in the mists of time, but the advice is enduring. In the long run, we can only treat others as well as we treat ourselves.
“Let it begin with me,” is another of our favorite phrases. So love, for us, is all about self-care as the practice that supports self-love, which is the principle that enables us to be loving toward others. Taking it a step further, love is the basis of all wishing. One school of thought we admire says that there are only two forces at work in the world: fear and love. (*Footnote below) And fear is the absence of love, so there is really only love.
In order to maintain the positive vibration that allows our wishes to come true, we have to maintain an emotional state of love as much of the time as we possibly can. Does that mean we are dreamy, head-in-the-clouds, romantic, head-over-heels in love all the time? By no means! We are caring for ourselves and others. Like the commandment says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (**Footnote below)
There are so many different versions of this, you can probably spend the rest of your life collecting them and putting them into practice. We certainly intend to do just that! Another favorite is “assume positive intention” and that is what we’ll leave you with today. Think about all the times you had an encounter with another person and your first reaction was to assume they had something negative in mind, whatever it was they were doing. Now imagine that you could have that same encounter and assume they had positive intentions. What might your day be like then?
Love is one of the deepest and most profound explorations anyone can make, and we encourage you to read over this post a few more times, use the ideas you find here, and any others that are inspired, as part of your meditation, your journaling, your conversations, and your studies. If anything comes to mind that you would like to share, we would love to hear from you!
Next week, our blog post will be the real story about the real wish Barbara’s brother made to find the perfect rescue dog. Spoiler Alert… it has the happiest ending!
Peace and All Good!
Margie and Barbara
The Wish Mavens
*Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is credited with this: “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It's true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it's more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They're opposites. If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/700111-there-are-only-two-emotions-love-and-fear-all-positive
**“This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22: 35-40). https://biblehub.com/niv/mark/12.htm
The photo featured in this post was taken by (and is copyrighted by) Margaret A. Herrick.