Self-Love and Love for Others – How are they related?

When I feel true love for myself, the love I radiate is endless.

We can only love others as much as we love ourselves. What does that mean, actually? Is it true? And how can we love ourselves with all our heart?

Where we have to start is deep within us. So deep inside, that it get’s a little uncomfortable to move around. Twisty tunnels, a lot of darkness, some slimy mud here and there. We might slip at some point, fall, or get lost. But let’s take a torch light to shed some light onto the not so beautiful corridors inside us. Because only when we see the dirt and the slime and all those uncomfortable, ugly things we hate to look at, we can clean up the mess.

A lot of those mud patches, stinky smudges and mold stains are the negative beliefs that we’ve been carrying for way too long already.
They lie deep inside those dark corridors, never looked at but always influencing us. If you’re familiar with the topic of beliefs, you’ll probably come up with tons of examples of harmful beliefs. For those who aren’t, here you go: „I’m not (good) enough“, „I’m not creative“, „I’m not important“, „I’m not lovable“, „There’s not enough for everyone“, „I’m alone“ …the list can go on forever.
To get to loving ourselves and others we ought to look at them, no matter how disgusting and ugly they are.

A belief influences the way we unconsciously think about ourselves. When we have a detrimental belief about who we are, we think less of ourselves, we dislike a part of who we are – or who we believe we are.

Picture a woman who believes she’s not good enough. That woman will not show herself fully as she is, will not ask for help or guidance, will not dare to give what she can give to the world, will feel like she’s worth less than others. And she will always feel like she’s struggling for something.
She’ll always feel like she has to be better, has to do more, has to be more of something for others to love and accept her. Can this woman really love herself when she believes that she isn’t good enough the way she is?
You can’t whole-heartedly love someone who you think is not worthy enough to be in this world, is not good enough at this or that, is just not enough in general. And that is the case for us loving someone else but also for us loving ourselves.

This woman can’t love herself, because she believes she’s not good enough.
That makes her constantly compare herself to others, convince her that their life is so much better than her’s, they’re so much better and more successful than she is. She will feel jealous, idealize them and crave a life that is not her’s.
Can she love these people with all her heart? Can she LOVE them, feeling less worth, envying them? No, she cannot. Because when she’s not accepting and loving all the parts of herself, how can she do that with someone else? And how can she be 100% happy for and with those people when she wants exactly that happiness for herself?

Love is not a scarce good, there’s not a fixed amount of it to divide. I don’t love one friend less when I start to love another more. It’s the same for ourselves. It’s a fallacy to believe that when I start loving myself more, I’ll turn into a narcissist and won’t care for others anymore. It’s the OPPOSITE, and that is very important to understand. When I love myself more, there will naturally be more love for others. It’s inevitable.

What I have experienced – and it’s incredibly beautiful every single time that I feel it – is that in moments, where I am fully okay with who I am, I feel so much love for others. Whether that is my partner, my friends or my family. If I can let myself be who I am, I can let others be who they are.
If I give love to myself, I can allow others to take care of themselves AND I can lovingly care for them too. If I grant myself the freedom that I want and need and if I give myself the permission to decide for my own life, I can let others do the same. And that is love.
When I feel love for myself and my life, it just multiplies and spreads in my heart. It bursts out, and I can’t help but share it.
It feels so beautiful and full of light.

But how do I let go of limiting beliefs that keep me from fully loving myself, and how do I find them in the first place?
A good friend recently recommended the work of Teal Swan to me, a self-developmental and spiritual teacher. She has published two very interesting videos on how to find a core belief – a belief that lies very deep within us and highly affects the way we live our life -, and how to change that belief. I encourage you to watch them and try her technique, it has been very transformational for me already, although I’m still integrating it.

Let us learn to love ourselves, love the people around us, love every human being on earth and every other living being. Let us learn to love this planet, this life, this miracle of beauty. Every moment of our lives.
Let us choose love over fear.

Dare to Dream!

What is important to me? What is important to other people? What is the most important thing of all? Love, happiness, growth, learning, nature, caring, food. (Oh yes, good food! ;-)) Being healthy. Peace. Freedom.

Yes, freedom is so important. In our world, today and here, we forget to value the freedom we actually have, the freedom to love whoever we want to, to be whoever we want to, to visit other countries, to work in other countries, to choose our career, to be healthy, to eat the food we want to eat and that is good for us, the freedom to dress how we want, to live our life in our own unique way, the freedom to go out on the streets every day, without having to worry about our safety.

So why don’t we LIVE all that? Why don’t we seize all that potential?

We can do ANYTHING. We can quit our job, go traveling, do whatever we want. Not everyone can do that, but SO MANY of us CAN. And we should ask ourselves if WE can, and respond honestly. The answer is usually YES. We can do so much more than what we allow ourselves to do. We are our own obstacle. We limit ourselves. Why do we do that?

And, yes, fucking YES, we can blame that on society and our conditioning, our childhood, all those beliefs that have made their way into our mind and soul. But if WE REALLY WANT TO we can do anything. Seriously.

I’m not saying that I know how to get to achieving what I really desire. But I know that I can. And I know that YOU can and that WE ALL can. It doesn’t matter whether it’s gardening or creating a project, building a community, drawing once a week, dancing or ANYTHING else. We can be big. We can change the world, we can make the world a better place. We’re afraid of being big, we’re afraid of being seen and we’re afraid of putting ourselves out there. We’re afraid of being judged. I am.

But is it really worth it, though? To trade our dreams for not being judged? Or to not even have the courage to desire because we’re too caught up in worrying about what others might think?

I DON’T THINK IT IS.

Change doesn’t just pop out of the ground. Change wants to be longed for, wants to be desired, change wants us to struggle for it.

So if we want something to be different – if we want to live our lives more fully, if we want the ocean to be clean, humans to be peaceful, animals to be respected, nature to be appreciated – we have to…

DARE TO DREAM.

 

Check out my new VISION PROJECT here.

Du hast eine Vision! (Projekt)

Du hast eine Vision! (Projekt)

Du willst etwas verändern. Du stehst klar für dein Ziel ein. Du möchtest deine Vision teilen.

Als Fotografin möchte ich dich darin unterstützen. Für Blog und Website können wir zusammen kraftvolle, ehrliche Fotos schaffen, um deine Vision in die Welt zu bringen. Wir können unseren Planeten zu einem Ort voll Liebe machen, voll Achtsamkeit und Offenheit, Klarheit, Nachhaltigkeit und was dein Herz begehrt.

Abhängig von deinem Projekt arbeite ich mit oder ohne Honorar oder auf Spendenbasis.

Mein Wunsch ist es, wichtige Gedanken und Ziele in der Gesellschaft zu verteilen. Deswegen, egal, was deine Passion, deine Vision, dein Lebensziel ist – wenn du fotografische Unterstützung brauchst, melde dich per E-Mail unter photography@lunabuerger.com oder direkt hier.

Mein Portfolio findest du hier und Weiteres auch auf Facebook: Luna Buerger Photography

Ich bin vor allem im Raum Freiburg und Berlin unterwegs, aber wenn du woanders lebst, können wir auch das organisieren!

Melde dich auch gern, falls du keine eigene Plattform hast, auf der du deine Ideen teilst. Sie sind es trotzdem wert, gesehen zu werden, weshalb ich sie gern mit unseren Fotos auf diesem Blog veröffentliche!

Für eine Welt, in der es zu leben wert ist!

 

(photo credit: Yeshi Choedon)

Expectations

Expectations

Meeting lots of great, interesting people, yummy food all the time, aromatic fruit, beautiful landscapes, friendly locals. To name only a few of all the expectations I had created before I left. Yes, I knew that there would be annoying things, stress, getting lost and feeling lost, and maybe lonely sometimes.

There is one thing that made it worth it to have had all those expectations – and have been disappointed. Every single expectation that turned out to not match reality made me learn to let go of expectations just a millimeter more, sometimes even a centimeter. So did my expectation of Mui Ne. Beautiful white beach, nice sand, blue water, palm trees. Reality was this: Plastic and broken fisher nets on the beach and in the water. All kinds of other garbage. Dead jellyfish and starfish, crabs, and little fish that weren’t useful for the fishermen and women. The water was rather brown than blue, because the water was very shallow so the waves stirred up all the sand. During the day, the high tide made the beach very narrow, only in the morning there was more space to take a walk by the beach. All in all, the beach was pretty stinky and not so dreamlike as one could have wished.

So, lesson No. 1 was letting go of my expectations, not creating specific ideas. I learned another thing, though, which is accepting and enjoying what is there, even when I had different expectations. One day, i got up early in the morning for sunrise and the light was just stunningly beautiful. I took photos and picked hundreds of colorful shells. I felt like a little kid who couldn’t stop looking at the ground, pick a shell, and, oh! – another one, so beautiful, and over there, one that has the colors of a sunset.

What I could not ignore was the plastic. It made me so sad. There’s a beach on the other side of the world, and it could be fantastic, paradisiacal. But instead it’s full of waste. What are we doing to this planet? To the ocean, the plants, the animals, ourselves. Mui Ne is famous for its sea food and fish, but honestly, after seeing the locals pick the edible fish out of a pile of jellyfish, tiny fish, and SO MUCH plastic, I wouldn’t want to eat that stuff (even if I wasn’t vegetarian). Apart from the fact that a great number of animals die for a single crab or bigger fish – they’re just thrown away or left at the beach as bycatch. There must be so much plastic in the sea food, little particles that humans ingest by eating the animals there – and not only there. Plastic is flooding the oceans, the whole planet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No more Waiting

No more Waiting

Endlessly bubbling words in one moment, silence in another. Not typing any word.

The longer I stop writing, the harder it gets. The more perfectionist I get, the more doubts I have, the less I know how to unite single words to a harmonious group.

I’m home, and the five weeks of traveling feel like a weird dream to me now. You wake up, and you wonder, what was that all about? What did you do? You just stumbled through those odd events until you awoke.

When I wrote “The Right Decision” at the beginning of November, I had made up my mind to go back to Germany and already booked my flight. I’d be traveling through Vietnam for 6 weeks and get back on December 12. I was happy with my decision, it felt good to have some time to explore the country. When I got to Mui Ne on November 8, I stayed at a hostel by the beach, surrounded by other backpackers. I wouldn’t have expected to feel weird and out of place in their company after just a single week of living with locals, but I did.

And then I got sick. Tonsillitis. Thankfully, I could stay with a woman I had met in Saigon: Yen, her Belgian husband Pieter and her son Antoine (a very cute, very lively little monkey). I had healthy food (finally lots of greens, vegetables, smoothies and the tastiest honey I had ever tried – fresh jungle honey!), a clean bathroom, a large bed, a kettle to make ginger tea and most of what I needed to take care of myself. But I felt lonely, and homesick and pretty shitty. And at some point, I asked myself, what am I doing here any longer? Nothing is flowing, I never really feel happy, I’m not enthusiastic. The thought of returning to Europe earlier began taking shape. But I wasn’t sure if I was feeling that way due to tonsillitis or because the tonsillitis just made obvious what was already there. Some talking to my friends and my mum helped me settle for No. 2 and I did the craziest thing I had done in a while. I rebooked my flight so I would leave Asia just a couple days after. I felt as alive as I hadn’t in quite a long time.

I realized that for a long time I had just been waiting. Waiting to meet someone I would really connect with, waiting for the next place to be very beautiful, waiting for my expectations to turn into reality. But most of all, waiting to return back home and see all the people I love. I remembered the blog post I wrote before I left, “Waiting for the Here and Now”. It’s about how much time we actually spend waiting for something and how I don’t want to do that. Traveling on my own made me learn how tough it can be to implement that. Another thing I learned, though, is that refusing to wait and instead actually enjoying the moment is not always just about changing your attitude. It is in many cases, but sometimes it also means to change your environment. You can’t always do that, that’s when you can only alter your thinking about the situation you’re in, but when you can and you feel like that’s what you need to do in order to end the waiting, that’s what needs to be done.