Life's One Achievable GoalBy Dr. Margaret Paul
May 17, 2010
We all have many goals in life, and we may achieve some of them and not others. But there is one primary goal that is not only achievable, but is the very reason you are here on the planet.
Some of the goals that many people strive for are to feel worthy, loved, and valued. Many people spend much time in their lives seeking the approval of others, believing that getting this approval will finally give them the love, safety, security, and sense of worth that they desire.
The problem with this goal is that it is an impossible goal to achieve, because it is not others' love, attention and approval that bring about a deep sense of self-worth.
So, if your goal is to be loved, you might strive forever and never truly feel loved.
But if your goal is to BE LOVING, this you can achieve! And in my view, this is the one goal truly worth spending a lifetime achieving. In fact, I believe that this is why we are here on the planet - to evolve in our ability to love ourselves and others.
Without this as your primary goal, everything else you achieve will never fill the place in you that yearns to feel happy and fulfilled.
The catch here is that this goal is not actually reached by focusing on being loving to others, but on first learning how to be loving to yourself. If you focus on being loving to others but ignore your own feelings and needs, you will always feel an emptiness and aloneness inside from your own self-abandonment. The path to feeling worthy, safe, loved and secure lies in learning how to take 100% responsibility for your own feelings and needs. When you learn how to do this, you will be filled inside with so much love that it will overflow and you will receive great joy in sharing it with others - giving to others for the joy of giving rather than to get their love, attention, or approval.
Achieving this goal is entirely within your choice. It is the one goal that anyone can learn to achieve, and the one goal that is the basis of a joyful life.
How strange that most of us do not grow up in families that stress the goal of learning to be loving to ourselves! In fact, many of us are taught that we are selfish if we attend to our own feelings and needs rather than give ourselves up for others. Yet the opposite is true: lovingly taking responsibility for our own feelings and needs enables us to not be needy of others. It is when we abandon ourselves that we are needy of others and pull on them to give us what we believe we need to feel loved and worthy. As adults, making others responsible for our feelings and needs is selfish, as is just attending to our own feelings and needs without consideration for others.
Being loving with ourselves and others rather than trying to get love is the most profound goal that any of us can have. When we achieve this, life becomes the joy it is meant to be.
Learning to love yourself starts with learning to be present in the moment inside your body. Just as you cannot attend to a baby if you do not hear their cry, you cannot attend to your own feelings and needs if you are unaware of what you are feeling and needing. If you are focused instead on what others think of you and how to get what you want from others, you will miss the whole point of your soul's journey here on the planet.
Staying present in your own body and taking responsibility for your own feelings and needs is a challenging goal, and the most worthy goal there is. Why not start practicing today?
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What is more important to you in this moment - loving yourself and sharing your love with others, or trying to have control over not getting hurt - feeling safe from being rejected, smothered, taken advantage of, and from failure or loss? Today, make love your highest priority and notice how happy you feel!
By Dr. Margaret Paul