Spoiling someone is not love. It creates misery for those who live the illusion that life rotates around them, that they are entitled. Spoiling loved ones is not an endearing quality of loving. It is a disservice to oneself and the loved one. This also applies to dogs. We may believe that we are unselfishly caring for our loved ones by putting their needs and desires before our own but, actually, we may simply be spoiling them. Love does what is truly best for the others’ long-term development and happiness. Spoiling someone is driven by insecurity – a desire to be liked, loved, approved of, and accepted. True love is driven by wisdom, self-confidence, unselfishness, and common sense. It seeks to encourage the growth of independence in the other so that true self-respect can germinate.

It is a mistake to dishonour our own happiness in favour of another. There is a certain type of person – good and self-sacrificing but lacking in self-worth – who can, and frequently does, make this mistake to their great personal detriment. They have been mentally programmed to value others above themselves and so will put the needs and desires of others first in the belief that it is the right and caring thing to do. To put others’ needs before our own and to disregard our own needs is to misunderstand what love is and how life works. Out of loyalty to a relative, friend or colleague, we may dishonour our own destiny because we feel uncomfortable about claiming what is ours. Not only will we destroy our future happiness and destiny but the other person will, almost inevitably, not appreciate the sacrifice we have made. They can easily become the ungrateful brat or the precious princess. Or, at least, they may take on that persona in their relationship with us.

We include ourselves in the right for happiness as an equally worthy recipient of good. Not only do we include ourselves but our first responsibility is to our own well-being because that is the life that God has given us to care for. However, we do so with the balance of knowing that part of caring for ourselves is caring for others. It is certainly true that the greater one’s capacity to honour one’s own being with truth, passion, dedication, and respect then the greater is one’s capacity to honour the nature of all other beings. The higher form of love is to understand that we are all one, that our own good is equal to and part of another’s good. It is an understanding of the higher spiritual principles. What is good for one is good for all. What blesses one, blesses all. If one suffers, we all suffer. If one awakens spiritually, it will radiate out into the entire world. In this way, to follow one’s own path of happiness is neither selfish nor unselfish. It is the natural way to harmonise with the life principle of good attracts good.

This article is from The Love of Devotion

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