This is a really deep question and I think it is one of the bigger lessons of our lives here on Earth. The core principle of every religion seems to center around love and loving oneself and others. Most people define love as loving others in some way, but I believe it starts with loving yourself. Nobody can love you more than you love yourself and no matter what you think, you can’t love another more than you love yourself in my opinion.
The reason for this is if there is something about a person that they doubt, are confused about, or are ashamed of, they will have a natural instinct to omit, hide, lie, or gloss over these details. Conversely, they will also have a natural tendency to judge others in comparison to their self because of their own feelings of inadequacy. It’s human nature. This is sometimes easier to recognize in reverse. Have you ever been in a relationship where the person had you feeling like you were acting out of character? Someone who always expects an argument will begin to get exactly what they expect whether they are dealing with an argumentative individual or not.
Today, I will use examples from Tarot and Astrology to explain one way of looking at how to love ourselves in a balanced way so that hopefully we can layer up the usefulness of this article. In the end, we choose our own paths. This is a question that 100 people will give 100 different answers to. If you are seeking to love yourself, you will have to take what fits for you and fill in the blanks. I always seek for you to feel empowered, first and foremost. For many people, it’s a long journey but you have to start somewhere. Let's talk about it! I welcome your feedback in the comments.
So the first thing that comes to my mind is that this question is well represented by the 4 of pentacles in Tarot. This is a card that I don’t think a lot of people connect to strongly. It’s a little blah looking and many tarot readers focus on the less desirable traits of the card. Always keep in mind that a card’s meaning will shift depending upon which cards surround it in a spread but as it stands alone, I like this card to cover this topic because it shows both sides of the story.
Pentacles represent material things but they also represent sensuality, feelings and primal urges. I think two of our most primal urges as human beings are the urge to feel loved and the urge to hold onto that which makes us feel worthy of love. Pentacles are the outward manifestations of the mental, emotional and spiritual work we are doing within. Even though most people associate love with cups, the 4 coins can represent the stabilization of self-love and the differences between loving oneself and being selfish.
The 4 of pentacles is associated with Capricorn. Let’s just take a look at the qualities of Capricorn. Capricorn is considered confident, practical, persistent, driven, cautious, sensitive, responsible and faithful. Capricorn can also be shy, detached, selfish, pessimistic, cynical, sarcastic and stubbornly persistent. Capricorns rarely lack common sense, especially once they are past their youth. The older they get, the more stable and grounded they become. They know who they are. They know what works and they do it. They know what they want and they will go the extra mile to get it. Capricorns make things happen minus all the fluff and bullshit. End of story.
Capricorn is ruled by Saturn. Saturn is the teacher of karmic lessons. A person may escape justice but escaping karma is unlikely. We just experienced a Saturn retrograde and a lot of people were complaining about its effects, including myself lol. So now that Saturn has begun its direct motion in the heavens, I’d just like to take an opportunity to explain one of the blessings that Mighty Saturn bestows upon us – “know thyself and to thine own self be true.” To be honest, it’s really that simple. At least that seems simple, right? I mean, you spend every second with yourself.
It’s definitely easier said than done to know and be true to oneself. We worry about what people will think, especially the people we care about. We worry about losing friends and loved ones. We worry about being rejected by society. We worry about being misunderstood. We worry about what can go wrong if we show our vulnerability. We worry about failure. All of these worries are fears that will help lead us to situations where we are forced to face what we are afraid of head on. The struggle to overcome fear and create a well-deserved life reflects the path of the Capricorn and those with heavy Saturn influences or transits in their astrology charts.
When in these situations, you can always run away but most times you will land yourself in an energetically identical situation down the road, even if it appears to be completely different at first. There's a reason for the saying, "Karma's a bitch!" These situations help us to clarify who and what we are by giving us the opportunity to define who and what we are not. Everybody's got choices, all day every day. Energy does not lie and on a fundamental level we are making the exact same choice each time.
Either we are choosing to be in alignment with what we love and appreciate or else we are choosing to be in alignment with what we fear. One easy way to tell the difference between what you love and what you fear is when you are faced with a choice, determine whether you are making a decision to prevent something you are worried will happen or if you are making a decision to cause something you want to happen?Something you fear or something you love? That’s the bottom line.
The closer you get to being in love with your authentic self, unconditionally, the more everything and everyone who doesn’t line up on the same frequency as you will begin to fall away. If not, there will be friction until you take responsibility for your own happiness and choose to distance yourself from people and situations that make you unhappy or compromise who you believe yourself to be.
This is natural and necessary. You will begin to release your attachments, like it or not, or else you will stall out and spin in place with the same lesson in different formats until you get it. Remaining thankful is not easy when it seems like everything and everyone is falling away from you. Many people get stuck here, which is understandable but growth demands change. Some people relish this part of the journey and go at it with gusto. The process can be painful or it can be joyful and it can also be both. It depends on your attitude.
Caring, a lot, about your happiness is the number one way to love yourself. People have a tendency to cling to what they are afraid of losing. They think that something outside themselves makes them happy but is this really true? When we are out of alignment with ourselves, we identify ourselves by the ideas, the things and the people we are attached to. This is not authentic. Nor is it efficient, organized or focused. It does not stand up to the Saturn standards and therefore your best chance at happiness is to release anything that is not in line with your authentic self.
In the beginning stages of self-awareness, most people feel that releasing some of these attachments willingly is not an option because their identity and ego are entwined with these ideas, habits, people, things, etc. If you already doubt yourself, it hurts to attract the doubts of others. The 4 of pentacles shows us that to withstand rejection, we must cling to ourselves and not cling to others. But Anwyn, don't we have to consider other people's feelings? Of course you can stand your ground and still be respectful and kind. That never means you give your power away.
The 4 of pentacles is power, stability and vitality. This is a card of empowerment of oneself and empowerment of others. If you want to be empowered, you have to take responsibility for all of your choices. Start looking for choices you can improve upon during times when you are doing something just because you feel like you have no other choice. Are you sure about that? Could it be that you just don’t like the other choices you could make due to some fear of loss or due to some desire to control the outcome? Could you choose to do nothing? What are you afraid of? Be compassionate with yourself. Sometimes it’s best to hunker down and count your blessings while you wait for a better option to come along rather than to do something for the sake of fear. This is a practical way to love yourself.
When you are able to count your blessings with awareness by loving, accepting and appreciating what is truly yours to possess (your raw and authentic creativity and creations), you will use all of your available resources and willpower to cherish and protect this. This could pertain to love, finances, anything. There is nothing wrong with that. Just understand that the only thing that cannot be taken away from you is your soul, the essence of who you are. Learn to love that above all else because that is where everything else springs from.
There is a fine line between selfish and self-loving. When you love yourself, it's easier to love others without fear or expectation because you don't have a need for another to fill some hole in your heart or grant their approval. Giving responsibility for your happiness and well-being to another person is selfish. You put them, as well as yourself, at a disadvantage when you do that. Cherish your mistakes for the wisdom they bestow. This is how you know you can trust yourself to make good decisions in the future.
When you love yourself, you understand that you become whole from within and your cup simply runs over to refresh others. Trying to take responsibility for another person's happiness is also selfish. You end up coming across as judgmental and jaded if they decide not to take your advice, even if it wasn't asked for. Notice how I said your cup will run over from within and how I did not say you will pour your cup out then sit around bitterly hoping for another person to refill it. Take good care of yourself and you will inspire others to do the same. My good friend Jazmine always says you gotta take care of your star player first. That's you!
A person who trusts their self knows what they want and goes after it with confidence and determination. If you trust yourself, you can open your heart to your own desires and also to other people without feeling so vulnerable because you know that you will always have your own back. It is easy to allow things to unfold rather than try to control the outcome. Without this ability, how can you ever truly experience authentic love with another? See what I mean when I say others can only love you as well as you love yourself and how you can only love others as well as you love yourself? Live for yourself without apology!
When the 4 of pentacles comes out in a reading, the person either is or needs to be loving and valuing everything about their self enough to protect it, whether it’s spiritual, material, physical, mental or emotional, tangible or intangible.