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I think most of us can agree that life is all about love: the pursuit or love, expanding our love, being more and more about love and less and less about fear.

This all became very clear to me in a flash recently in the middle of the night: Our experiences are designed to grow our love one stage at a time.

You start as a self-involved child. (That’s not a criticism of your child; it’s simply a fact). Children’s brains develop in such a way that they need to think the world revolves around them; it’s how they survive. Once they’re into their teens, it becomes more about separation and self-discovery. There’s a lot of self-doubt and even self-hate. It’s all about, “Who am I in relation to everything and how can I love myself?” Sure, we love our parents, but that’s a given. At that point, we don’t really know what it means to love; we take their love for granted.

In our 20s, we continue to struggle with our self-love, but we embody it more and more. At that point, we’ve found good friends and are learning to love them. We have dated a few people, probably experienced some minor heartbreaks. These are our first connections with independent, responsible love.

Once we’ve mastered the ability to love another, we’re given the opportunity to truly love romantically—to think of another in addition to ourselves, to take someone else’s thoughts and feelings into consideration as we move about our days. And, without the self-love and the practice of loving friends and family first, I don’t know that we’d be ready to maturely and unconditionally love a partner that way.

Now comes the biggest love expander of all: children. I have yet to experience it for myself, but, from what I hear, this is some next level love. A love that you put before all others, even yourself. A love you will die for without a second thought.

Sure, this is a broad and generalized path to love, but one that the majority of us experience. Of course people have been know to skip steps, but my point is that there seems to be a method to the stretching of our hearts.

With each stage, you become more and more equipped to open your heart to others, thereby expanding your very self and fulfilling your destiny.

Well played, Universe. Well played.

Celebrate self-love with a piece from our Fall 2015 Collection.

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