In the last video, I spoke about how unconditional love allows us to overcome the feeling of being burdened by a troublesome relationship. But as great a force as love is, it is equally vulnerable. Love requires a few key ingredients to thrive, without which it can feel pretty elusive.

The first and perhaps most important of these is self-love. An entire book could be written on that subject, but for now we’ll just mention it as a necessary pre-requisite for truly loving anyone else.

The second ingredient is honesty. And that requires first being honest with ourselves—-about our needs, feelings and desires, and then having the courage to speak our truth and honor it in our actions.

Finally, love requires boundaries. Loving someone does not mean exposing yourself to their behavior. In order to practice self-love, we must set and maintain strong boundaries around the types of energy and behavior we allow into our space. If someone’s presence in our lives is not nourishing to us, we need to be more clear about our boundaries. Sometimes it’s easier—-and more self-loving—-to love someone from a distance.

If any of these ingredients is missing, it becomes much more difficult to love unconditionally. If we neglect our own needs, suppress thoughts and feelings, or tolerate hurtful behavior, unconditional love can feel out of reach. But by choosing to love ourselves first, committing to live from our deepest truth, and claiming our space as sacred space, we create a strong foundation for unconditional love to flow naturally.

What are some ways you can be more loving towards yourself? What is a truth you might be afraid to speak (to yourself or someone else)? Where is an area where you might need to draw a boundary to create space for yourself?

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