Earlier this year, I was asked to help someone find love. For some reason, this lonely soul thought I could wave a magic wand like some fictional faery godmother and get him a girlfriend. It doesn’t work that way. I’m not sure how it works. Since I haven’t had a successful romantic relationship my entire life, I can only humbly provide the magical recipe of love that I follow.
Step One: Love thyself.
I know you’ve heard this before, but it is the essential ingredient. Love without self-love is like making bread without flour. You could have all the other ingredients, even the yeast, but nothing is going to happen if there’s no flour.
Let’s put it this way: You come into the world alone and you leave the world alone. In your travels, the only person you can’t get away from is yourself. You even go to bed with yourself every night for your entire life. You can’t say that about any other person.
With this fundamental principle in mind, if you don’t love yourself, you’re a miserable SOB. And misery loves company. So if you don’t love yourself, you’re going to attract other people who don’t love themselves either. That’s a recipe for disaster.
Step Two: Everything else is optional.
Honestly, the only thing you need to do is love yourself. I’m not talking about staring-in-the-mirror-all-day, I’m-the-only-person-who-matters narcissism. I’m talking about the kind of love that quiets the negative soundtrack with warm, fuzzy facts about what a lovable person you are. I’m talking about the kind of love that chooses to satisfy self in the context of the win-win situation in an emotional transaction with another person. Self-love isn’t greedy, needy or self-serving. It’s love and it’s everything that word truly means.
Humans spend too much time searching on the outside for things that can only be found on the inside. Magic is not about spells and chants and whirling dervishes, though these elements are great psychological foci. Magic is about changing your inner landscape so that the outer landscape changes to match. Like attracts like. Love attracts love. Hate attracts hate.
Build a relationship with yourself—the kind of relationship you want to have on the outside. A good relationship fosters self-acceptance, empowerment, and establishes strong, caring boundaries. According to those in the know, the rest will follow. I’m still working on it.