“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”  -Buddha

I was at a marketing lunch today discussing the plans to build the distribution and sales of Good Clean Love products.  The conversation turned to my writing, as it often does. My writing has been my voice that has driven the message of sustainable love that, in my mind, is the raison d’etre of my product company. Although I have long regretted my lack of skills in sales expansion,  I also know in my heart that my real work has never been about selling products, but rather about giving people access to more love in their lives. Often this work would lead to selling healthy love products, but for me that wasn’t really the goal.

My new CEO suggested that my latest work is moving away from the roots of the company and that the positivity quest writing is introspective compared with my earlier writing about love and intimacy. While I see the point on a certain level, I have always known that this positivity quest is first and foremost for me to discover my own truth. I have also come to believe that this disciplined effort I have undertaken to change how I perceive, react and live each day is at the core of all my relationships.

The truth is that the most challenging and significant relationship in any life is the one you have with yourself.  It is the foundation for all the other relationships that your life holds and in fact dictates both your capacity to love and be loved by anyone and everyone  else. If I had to choose one lesson that most substantially changes my life everyday, this would be it: that every development and relationship in my life is a manifestation of the peace or turmoil that exists within me.

For years I looked out in the world for friendships, romances, and work that would fill me. It was a huge yearning, that nothing ever came close to filling.  Even my zealous devotion to my children left something gnawing in me.  Nothing out there will ever fill up the hole that lacking self love leaves in us. No amount of external success or recognition will fill it. And eventually what is missing inside finds itself mirrored in every attempt we make to love someone else.

The work of  healing our broken parts and cultivating enough self- love to create and sustain healthy intimate relationships is the direct result of having the courage to know oneself and be who you are. Thousands of years ago, Euripides wrote: “There is just one life for each of us: our own.”  There is no greater happiness or more clear route to love than the devotion to being oneself as authentically and compassionately as possible. It is the first love story.