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When You Love Others You Love Yourself

self love shadow work Apr 26, 2023

I think Jesus was mistranslated. I don’t think he said “Love others as you love yourself.” I think what he probably said was “ When you love others you ARE loving yourself.” Even if he didn’t say that, in my experience it’s true.

 When others trigger us it is because we are projecting an unloved part of ourself onto them. A part of ourselves we don’t like. 

I have this friend that is so full of anxiety that he is afraid of everything. That fear manifests as him being critical of everything, I mean everything. His Facebook feed is a list of everything he hates about the world. God forbid someone comments challenging his view even in a compassionate way he becomes defensive, dismissive, condescending and even insulting.

One night I was really wrestling with this because I care about this person, I couldn’t sleep and was turning the situation over in my mind. Why is he such a jerk when people disagree on facebook? He isn't like that in person.

My subconscious took me on a little trip. "It must be anxiety" I thought. He has fear and that fear build the defense mechanisms of superiority which then uses dismissiveness and insults as its weapons.

Why did I care so much to want to convince him that his perspective was wrong? Why did I have to defend MY perspective? Did I have the same fears and anxieties as he does?

Yes, maybe not to the same degree anymore, but I realized it was only a few years ago that I was the exact same way, if I’m really honest there are moments when I am still that way, like when I “debate” with him on Facebook. So in reality I’m not triggered by him or his behavior, I’m triggered by how I used to be, by a part of me that is still there, unhealed, just below the surface of my subconscious.

So I started to express love towards this person, to empathize with his pain, I started to think about how the behaviors we both engage in… the dismissiveness and insults make us sound like junior high school kids.

I heard this quiet voice in the back of my head, "If he thinks I'm wrong, maybe he will convince the others I'm wrong and I will be ostracized from the community. I NEED to be part of this community to survive."A-ha! There you are…

My teenage self was riddled with anxiety about being accepted in the world. I had been shamed by my family for some of my creative interests, I felt weird and alienated as I’m sure probably most teenagers do, so as a defense I began to build walls of superiority. "THEY didn’t understand, I was the one who was RIGHT." This was the unhealed part of me being triggered by this friends anxieties.

By expressing empathy and compassion to him, I was in fact expressing love to that anxious part of myself from 34 years ago hiding inside of me that was building a mask of superiority that I projected out into the world.

I love you 12 year old Danial, I know you felt alone, unloved, with ancestral trauma programmed into your DNA that to be alone, to be ostracized by the tribe meant death. You survived, you made it to 46, you have a beautiful family who adores you, amazing friends who you connect with on deep and meaningful levels, a community of amazing people taking massive action to change the world for the better every single day of our lives. We have an amazing tribe. We are loved and we are safe.

The hard part isn’t loving others, the hard part is loving ourselves. When we learn to do that, loving others is easy.

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