A Spiritual Teacher Explains How To Assess Your Self-Love

As Zukav notes, “You cannot love others without loving yourself.” This principle adds even more weight to the venture; self-love is, ultimately, the portal through which we can show our respect and appreciation to others.So, how does Zukav measure up? Well, it comes down to where he chooses to place his focus: “Look at your high watermarks,” he explains. In economics, this refers to the highest value of an investment fund; in spirituality speak, Zukav suggests assigning “the loving parts of your personality” as your highest value, so you can assess your following actions according to this peak. Get it?”[Look at] the times when you gave and there was no attachment, the times when you received and there was only gratitude—not for what somebody did for you, but for what somebody is and was in your life,” he says. In other words: Reflect on the times you acted with compassion and gratitude and use those as your guiding light.On the flip side, says Zukav, offering yourself grace when you have fallen short of these intentions is just as important: “I have to remind myself not to evaluate myself in terms of my low watermarks,” he says. “If I did, I would think to myself, You can’t speak like this. You’re a hypocrite. You get angry. You get jealous. You get in power struggles with [your wife]. But now I look at them as learning opportunities, and I evaluate myself by my high watermarks.”That way, you’re not ignoring the low moments and believing everything you do in life is grand (which is arguably not a way to go about it); you’re simply striving for your highest value while learning about yourself along the way—which is all anyone can ask for.

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