A friend was telling me about how most of her friends and family want to talk about their problems and are not concerned about what's going on with her. I told her I had a similar conversation recently with another friend who is also very "self-obsessed" (sic) and so busy talking about his "problems" that he appears not to care about others. I don't actually mind people who are "self-obsessed" because I not only enjoy hearing about people's experiences, I always get inspiration; so it's all good. I also don't like it when someone puts me on the spot and ask me what I've been doing. I prefer to just relax and let our conversation flow naturally and only share my experiences as and when they are relevant.
Back to my friend, I can see why she's frustrated. As a Christian, she's expected to practise the principle: "love your neighbour as yourself." I was raised with that belief too though I no longer follow that religion or any religion for that matter.
The principle: "Love your neighbour as yourself" is great when I'm feeling good about myself and I can treat others the same way. When I'm not feeling good about myself or being critical of myself, I'm bound to treat my "neighbour" as I'm treating myself.
I have observed that the world is constantly mirroring my beliefs and how I feel about myself. It should, therefore, come as no surprise when my neighbour doesn't appear to care about me as he is only treating me how I feel about myself.
I believe there is another way to practise "love your neighbour as yourself."
Forget about my neighbours and focus only on myself. In other words, make myself the object of my affection and pour all my unconditional love on myself. Once my cup is full, my neighbours can then enjoy the overflow, if they're open. This way, I am literally loving my neighbours the way I love myself.
Since the world reflects how I'm feeling about myself, my neighbours
will either treat me the way I am treating myself or leave my
experience. Either way, it doesn't matter as I am having way too much
fun loving myself anyway to worry about what others are being.
A simple example of overflow is when I receive a funny or inspiring email and I share the joy by forwarding the email to my friends. It's up to them to either forward the email or delete if it's not to their taste.
Following are a few more examples of love overflow.
The stories I am sharing on my blogs are notes and reminders to myself about how wonderful the world truly is. Even though the stories are all about my personal realisations, adventures and passions, readers have been telling me how they are being blessed, inspired and uplifted by my experiences. In other words, they have been enjoying the overflow of my unconditional love to myself. And all the love I share comes back to me multiplied many times.
Years ago on the bus, I used to see this man taking his daughter to school. The love they felt for each other was so palpable I felt happy being in their presence. I was so inspired by their love I even told him so. When I saw him some time last year, I asked him about his daughter and he said she was a lot older now and in secondary school.
My mother loves cooking and she's always dreaming up wonderful meals to prepare for herself. Even though she's cooking for herself, she tends to share her food with me and even gives some to my brother and his family. In other words, by putting herself first she is being a blessing to her "neighbours." And she is constantly receiving food too from friends and family.
I am the object of my affection.
As the object of my affection, I have more than enough love to give or share for all time. And what I give or share is returned to me multiplied a zillion-fold.
Related articles: Every Day is My Day - Revisited; Bootiful Blessings for All; Why the Ego is Not the Problem; Loving is Easy; In Search of Happiness; Mirror Image - Revisited; What You Give is What You Receive; Are You Frustrated in Love?; It's OK to Follow Your Heart; Self-Respect; My Beloved; The Ordinary is Extraordinary; My Love Companion; Self-Acceptance; Charity Begins and Ends at Home