What does it mean to love yourself?


Most of us will agree that it is very important to love ourselves. In fact it should be very clear to all of us that unless we love ourselves we will not be able to love anyone else. Yet – what does it really mean to love yourself?

One cannot start with loving oneself. What are we going to love – our ego? For what we call the self is nothing but an illusion – the false personality – the ego. When we start with loving ourselves and all we know about ourselves is this false image, we become stuck and attached to this image and we go about our entire life defending and protecting this false negative conception, thinking that we are loving ourselves – when we are in fact destroying ourselves. The ego is very clever and it will convince most of us that it is our true self. It will literally try to kill the real self. Its only purpose is to take over our life and to prevent us from living as our real self.

When we “love” the ego/personality – we will invariably produce destructive thoughts, feelings, behaviour and actions. This is so because the ego can only know itself in relation to something else. It has no intrinsic or independent value. The ego’s only agenda is to trick you into believing that it is who you are. It can only know itself through comparison and competition. You are therefore better than, richer than, prettier than, worse than, etc. The ego is always resisting, fighting, defending and protecting. It is always in a state of fight, flight, freeze or façade.

To truly love ourselves, we must begin first with discovering our real self – our true self – our higher self. Beneath the surface of all of our egos are a real self, a higher self, and a part of us that is connected to our source. It is the part of us that is in unity and connection with the all that is. But how do we find this higher self, this real self?

Almost everything in our society is opposed to its discovery. Religions for example are one of the biggest blockages to the discovery of the real self. Why do I say this? Well let’s look at the evidence. Religions teach us that we were born in sin, that we are sinners and have come short of the glory of God. That God is outside of us and somewhere else. That we are suffering because of the sins of our fathers or because of sins we have committed in some past lifetime. If we believe this we will never really, truly accept ourselves or love ourselves. How can you love yourself if you believe that you are a sinner?

In order to truly love ourselves we will have to liberate ourselves from the ego and from the vestiges of society. We will have to deconstruct and deprogram all of the programs and conditioning that have been inculcated in us. It is really like cleaning ourselves up. It is washing out the mind of all the garbage that is stored there. At least 80% of the stuff in our minds is negative, false and of no positive valve. We have to clean it up.

When we get over the ego and we start to truly love, it is not so much “I love you” as I am love. For if it is that “I love you,” what happens to the others? “I love you” is still an ego game – it is transactional, conditional and rooted in separation. The real self is love, it radiates love, it shines its love on everyone and everything. Not just people, but birds, trees, plants and animals. It loves the way the sun shines its light. It radiates its love the way the sun shines.

Loving the real self is total acceptance, it is life-affirming. It is being present in the moment and surrendering to life as it occurs.

How do you get there? It takes rigor and discipline. The best practice is meditation. One has to begin to meditate and be willing to go deeper and deeper into one’s self. One has to be willing to go against the grain of society and of one’s programming. The mind is like a computer and once it is programmed with societal viruses you have to find a way to clean the system. If you don’t clean it the viruses will destroy your mind. Going deeper and deeper into meditation every day will clean the system and allow your true self to emerge and shine.

When you discover your higher self there is nothing sweeter than loving yourself because you will realize that you are everyone and everyone is you. It is all you.

Love and light

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Courtney Kazembe

Courtney Kazembe is a spiritual teacher and transformation coach. He is the visionary founder and leader of “The Global Institute for Transformation & Enlightenment (GIFTE).” He has shared his knowledge, expertise and real-life stories with people around the world and brings to them a unique, powerful and authentic approach to human evolution, transformation, and enlightenment.

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