Fulfillment is not only the result of self love, but is also the path to it.” ~ Lisa McFarland

In scrolling through some old journals of mine, I read those words in a portion of an entry I’d made years ago and forgot about.  When I read that sentence, I found it to bring something profound to the present moment.  The words resonated, and although they’d come from me, they landed on me like it was the first time I’d ever considered the complex relationship between fulfillment and self love. It was as if some bright thought leader other than me, laid it out quiet simply.

The next thing that came to mind was the concept of the “ends” not being justified by the “means.”  This is a phrase we learn early on.  Growing up I took it to mean something like the “way” we did something mattered regardless of the outcome.  In other words if it matters if we cheat someone or something else to get the desired result.  

“The ends don’t justify the means” phrase calls for transparency.  And it throws the old but popular competing phrase of “Ask for forgiveness later, not permission now” on its head.  And what I love about my phrase above, is that as I reach for achievement and self-actualization, I must do so in the manner I wish to ultimately experience.  In seeking fulfillment we often find self love, but I never realized the irony of having to actually put forth what I seek in order for that self love to emerge.

Another way I think about it is looking at habit formation.  We can’t make a new habit of self compassion if the bully in our mind is allowed to push us around all day and constantly tells us that we are not worthy.  The two are contradictory.  But if we begin to appreciate ourselves and focus on our gifts instead of our perceived imperfections, we find the love we have for ourselves increases and flows more naturally.  

The way we get to fulfillment is in conjunction with, not opposition against what we are trying to to create.  So I will work to remind myself that there is no way to self love, that self love is the way and that any other path is just a detour.

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