Happiness Strategy # 3 – LOVE

The Platinum Rule

The commandment known as the ‘Golden Rule’ states that you should treat others as you would like others to treat you. I like that rule because it provides a guideline that one treats others with respect and loving kindness. However, I much prefer Tal Ben Shahar’s version of the golden rule, which he calls the ‘Platinum Rule’.

The Platinum Rule is to “Treat yourself the way you’d like others to treat you.” The Platinum Rule accounts for the way that you treat yourself, which I believe is far more important than the way that you treat others, because inevitably the way that you treat yourself determines the way that you treat others. Most people treat others better than they treat themselves, which is quite perplexing. Many people would never judge, speak harshly to or put others down, yet they do these exact things to themselves all the time. Many people disrespect and treat themselves unkindly, creating within an unsatisfying, unhappy existence.

One can only love others to the extent that they love themselves, which is why loving oneself is of primary importance to loving others. By fully embracing and accepting yourself, and thus treating yourself with respect and loving kindness, you will form a connection to Universal Energy that will dramatically improve all aspects of your life. When you fully love and appreciate yourself, not only will you create an amazing relationship with yourself, you’ll also improve your relationships with every person who you come into contact with.

On the other hand, lack of love for oneself is one of the major causes for ALL of the problems in the world from depression to disease. Louise Hay, one of the world’s most profound and successful psychologists and author of the best-selling book You Can Heal Your Life, says, “When people come to me with a problem, I don’t care what it is—poor health, lack of money, fulfilling relationships, or stifled creativity, there is only one thing I ever work on, and that is loving the self. I find that as we really love, accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works. It’s as if little miracles are everywhere. Our health improves, we attract more money, our relationships become much more fulfilling, and we begin to express ourselves in creatively fulfilling ways. All this seems to happen without even trying.”

Lack of self-love, self-acceptance and self-approval is the root of nearly all of the problems that you will ever suffer from throughout your life. Insecurity, lack of self-esteem and a negative attitude toward the self all cause dramatic problems in the lives of those who have not yet discovered that they are amazing, divine, unique, beautiful beings. As long as you neglect these facts, you will continue to suffer. It is worth repeating the thoughts of Louise Hay; ‘I find that as we really love and accept and approve of ourselves exactly as we are, then everything in life works.’ This is a powerful statement which must be taken literally.

To fully love yourself is to wholly accept and appreciate every attribute of your being. As discussed in the topic of gratitude, when you accept and appreciate anything in your life, you are in fact connecting with Universal Energy by showing gratitude for your divine creation. It’s like you’re saying, ‘I fully accept, love and am thankful to be the person who I am’. There is no room for self-judgement, deficient self-esteem and all problems that stem from a lack of self-love when you truly and wholly accept and love who you are. To love yourself is to appreciate the amazing creation that you are and to realise that you are connected to the Energy that created everything around you.

Conversely, when you don’t love yourself, are not happy with and resist being the person that you have been divinely created as, you are (unconsciously) resonating energy back to your Higher Power that is saying that you are ungrateful and unappreciative for the very Energy that created you. In this state of self-resistance you are fully disconnected from the great Power that created you, and thus you will encounter many problems throughout your lifetime.

Being unhappy with the world that you live in, the people who surround you or even your life situations is a clear sign that you lack love for yourself. When things seem to be negative in your life, for example, the weather’s bad, your partner or friends are being rude to you or your job is not satisfying you, these are all examples of the fact that you are running low on self-love. Have you ever noticed how the rain can make some people unhappy whilst it can make other’s dance with joy? Have you ever noticed how when the weather is cold or wet certain people always make a remark such as, ‘What a disgusting day’? The fact is, how you see the world is a reflection of the way you view yourself.

If you want to live an extraordinary life in an amazing world and be filled with happiness, love and satisfaction, it is imperative that you fully embrace and love everything about yourself. The world doesn’t need to get ‘better’ – it is already divinely perfect – just as you are. The only thing that needs to change is your perception of yourself!

I didn’t love who I was for a long time and there were a number of things about myself that I wasn’t happy about. The world around me seemed like a dull place to live and I wasn’t excited about the prospect of living a long future. Self-doubt and worried thoughts of others’ judgement stopped me from expressing my authentic self, which in itself created many problems ranging from self-esteem issues to deep unhappiness. Reminiscing the times when I didn’t love myself I can remember how I was unhappy with my body shape, I felt uncomfortable around others and was emotionally unintelligent. Not loving myself, it was impossible for me to fully love others, and likewise, for others to fully love me, thus I was rude to others and my relationships were non authentic. My life was mediocre at best.

Nowadays, I love myself, I fully accept and embrace all parts of my being and I authentically express myself to the world every single day. I can tell you first-hand exactly how life-changing the benefits of fully embracing and loving oneself are. I still live in the same world with the exact same conditions as previously, but my perception of the world is completely different. Everywhere I go, everywhere I look, I’m amazed by beauty. I can’t walk down the street without feeling a deep satisfaction to be such a divine being who is fully expressing his uniqueness and purpose to the world. I’ve also found that by fully accepting and approving of myself, I have no need to judge, blame, criticize or be rude to others. By fully accepting myself, I’m now able to accept everyone else and appreciate their own uniqueness. I love everyone in this world just as much as I love myself.

Let me tell you that making the shift from not loving oneself to fully loving oneself is much easier than you may believe. All you need to do is accept that you have been created the way you are for a specific reason and trust that if the same Energy that uniquely created you also created this magnificent world, it definitely has great plans for you! Fully align yourself with Energy and you will see a new world. Louise Hay is one of the world’s greatest psychologists. She believes that it is so important that her clients love themselves that she makes them look at themselves in a mirror and has them say the affirmation ‘I love and accept myself exactly as I am’ until they say it so many times that their minds starts to believe what they’re saying. Realise that you are a divine creation. If you want to live an extraordinary life, it is so important that you love your uniqueness and fully embrace everything about yourself. Stop playing the roles that society wants you to play, stop trying to fit in with others and be yourself. Love absolutely everything about yourself.

Another way to develop self-love is to determine the qualities that you ‘dislike’ about yourself and begin at once to fully embrace them and fully accept every part of who you are, because there is a reason that you are this person. Be willing to accept every single part of your being, even the things that you aren’t so happy with. Don’t deny or suppress any aspect of yourself. Become aware of who you are and fully accept that person. Rather than trying to be something that you’re not, embrace what makes you different from and sets you apart from others. Spiritual Guru Osho says, “Drop the idea of becoming someone, because you are already a masterpiece. You cannot be improved. You have only to come to it, to know it, to realize it.”

If you want to be like another, you are missing the point of your existence. Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Envy is ignorance, imitation is suicide.” Take those words literally. To envy, imitate, compare or want to be like someone else shows that you are ignorant of your own unique beauty and the gifts that you’ve been blessed with. When you neglect your own unique beauty you are not only disconnecting from the most important Energy, you are also unconsciously creating an unhappy life.

The only time that you judge or condemn yourself is when you compare who you are to others. Comparing yourself to others is a symptom of the egoic mind. You wouldn’t consider yourself ‘good’ or ‘bad’ if you had nothing to compare to – you would simply be you.

What Would You Do If You Knew Nobody Would Judge You?

Who cares about what others think. Trying to be somebody other than who you are is a waste of your potential. You are not what others think of you. Don’t limit yourself. You are a soul – a divinely created unique being. Embrace who you are!

You will discover that your happiness will increase immensely when you stop comparing yourself to others. BE YOU! Love who you are! Express your true self! It’s incredibly hard to be what others want you to be, yet incredibly easy to simply be yourself. Don’t try to be something that you’re not. You hold incredible potential – don’t accept anything less than the fullest expression of who you are. Discover who you truly are, and then express that person to the world and don’t hold back.

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