I was observing presentations from young professionals during the final days of an eight week leadership development program that I’ve been facilitating in Saudi Arabia. As I watched and listened to them making their presentations I notice a feeling of love stirring and growing inside me. The funny thing was the feeling was there not just for one or two of them whom I had established a deeper connection with, but for each and every one of them. It was the same feeling over and over again. I mean it wasn’t just a superficial “love” but I was having a real heart experience, one that I felt in my body, one that brought tears to my eyes.
What the heck was happening here? What’s going on? Okay, I thought, I might feel this way about one or two, even a few of them, but every one of them, the same feeling over and over. How can I be feeling this ways towards so many? They were so different than me, both in cultural and generation. People I had only know for eight weeks. How that was possible?
At the time I could not answer that, I could not put my finger on why. I decided not to get all mental about it -“trying to figure it out”. That would have shifted me from feeling to thinking, so I just let myself feel what I was feeling.
I have been sitting with that question for a few days now. Letting it peculate, being curious about it. Waiting to see what would show up. What that answer would be.
Then the answer came. It was an unexpected answer. It was an answer that both surprised and delighted me. The answer wasn’t just heady information coming into my brain, but one of those gut experiences. An answer when I heard it, was an “ah ha” moment.
How was I able to love them so quickly and deeply?
Simple: It was a reflection of how much I love myself.
Wow! I thought, now that is “way cool”.
I am really reaping the rewards of the hard work I’ve done on myself: years of looking in the mirror getting real with myself, years of processing “my issues”, years of moving through anger and sadness, years of forgiving myself and others, years of learning first to accept, then like, and finally loving myself.
It’s what I’ve been telling myself. It’s what I’ve been telling my clients. It’s what the masters have been telling us all along.
It’s all an inside job.
Stop looking outside you for the answers, stop looking outside you for love.
It always was and always will be an inside job.
When you love yourself the world will reflect that back.