As I walked my dog this afternoon, I realized that I too often take the beauty around me for granted. We walked along a cliff and watched the waves as the sun slowly set over the ocean. It was sublime. I experienced a sense of reverence for not only the astounding sight of the sun setting over water, but for life itself.

I have been feeling a deep appreciation for my life lately, to the point of tears at times. What a wonder it has been!

It is a privilege to be here on planet earth, living a life – a LIFE! Children instinctively know this. They are full of delight. We adults can reclaim our innocence and choose to be awestruck by the mystery of it all. We can choose reverence.

You’re probably reading this because you are experiencing the pain of alienation and estrangement. You are hurt. You want your adult child to love you. You want to see your grandchildren and be a part of their lives. But what if you can’t?

The best, the only answer that I can come up with is to learn to love yourself. Practice: look in the mirror and say ‘I love you’ to your reflection; say affirmations and do visualizations; write down things you appreciate about yourself. By practicing self-love, you become more energetic and positive, which strengthens your immune system. You learn to let go of fear and negativity, which creates a happier state of mind. You stop relying on others for love because you understand that people are capricious, troubled and flawed.

You can have peace without your adult child’s love. You can live without the love of your grandchildren. The truth, the big, counterintuitive truth is that as long as you look for and try to be ‘good enough’ to ‘deserve’ love from someone else, you will never feel safe and secure. If you are grounded in your own love, excited to be you, with all your talents and idiosyncrasies, you will thrive. You will have the strength and wisdom to put it all in perspective. You will share your love with others and it will overflow from a full heart.

If you practice reverence for everything – from the times you sang along to oldies on the radio, ached at the haunting beauty of a nocturne, or danced in the moonlight – you will take nothing for granted. You’ll see everything as miraculous. Your heart will be lighter, full of loving gratitude for all the dear moments of your life, and you will find joy again.


Find the love you seek, by first finding the love within yourself. Learn to rest in that place within you that is your true home.

– Sri Sri Ravi Shankar