By don Miguel Ruiz
Today you can take a great step toward a return to love by healing your relationship with yourself. Love for yourself is the key to loving others. When your relationship with yourself is based on love and respect, your relationship with everything in life will change, including your relationships with the people you love.
How do you feel about yourself? Do you love, respect, and honor yourself? If the answer is no, that explains all the broken hearts you have had. When you don’t love, respect, and honor yourself, then you allow other people to treat you without love, respect, and honor. But once you learn to treat yourself with love, respect, and honor, there is no way that you will accept anything less from others.
If someone wants to play an important role in your life as your friend or lover, husband or wife, then you already know what kind of person you want. It is obvious if that person is not what you want, and you have this awareness right from the beginning. You are true to your integrity, and you no longer lie to yourself.
Integrity is the totality of yourself; it is what you really are, not what you believe about yourself or what you pretend to be. When you are true to your integrity, you never consciously go against yourself. You are honest with yourself, and you notice when someone shows you disrespect. If someone treats you disrespectfully, you have the clarity to say, “Hold it. I don’t like the way you are talking to me.” You put up a boundary right away because you won’t allow yourself to be abused.
If you are already in a relationship that doesn’t honor you, then you can enter a period of healing and cleansing so that both of you return to love and respect, beginning with yourself, and continuing with each other. You begin with yourself because you need to have love in order to give love; you need to have self-respect in order to give respect.
What do I mean by respect? If I’m in a relationship with you, I respect your choices; I will not try to control your choices. Because I love you, I allow you to be what you are. I don’t have to agree with you, but I respect every belief you have, every choice you make, because I love you the way you are. I also respect my own life, and I will not allow you to control my life.
Self-love gives you the power to break all the lies you were programmed to believe — lies that say, “I’m not good enough; I’m not beautiful enough; I’m not strong enough; I can’t make it.” With self-love, you are no longer afraid to face problems and resolve them as soon as they arise. You trust yourself completely to make choices that support you, and you never set up circumstances that go against you.
With self-love, you enjoy your own presence. You enjoy what you see every time you look in the mirror. You no longer live your life according to other people’s opinions. You don’t need other people to accept you or tell you how good you are, because you know what you are. With self-love, you aren’t afraid to share your love because your heart is completely open.
Today can be the day when you experience the beauty of yourself, when you reconnect with your own spirit and express all the love in your heart. The biggest mission you have is to make yourself happy, and to share your love, your joy, and your happiness.
Excerpt from The Circle of Fire: Inspiration and Guided Meditations for Living in Love and Happiness. Copyright © 2001 by Miguel Angel Ruiz, M.D., and Janet Mills.