Have you ever wondered about the meaning of some of the phrases spiritual people use, like “Be The Light and Love and Above?” Being the light translates to being the self who came into the world before influences, judgment, and programming of fears. As a child, we love unconditionally. Returning to the light you were born with involves forgiveness, self-love, and love for others.

Life coaches often say, “You have to just let go of fear, or You just have to love yourself.” But it’s not that easy to change ingrained habits and limiting beliefs. There is a process to peel away the layers to understand why we have fears and don’t practice self-love. Often our lack of self-confidence prevents us from knowing what we like, thus defaulting to what others like and pleasing them. That inability to connect with ourselves can create fears and dampens our light. Generally, no one is to blame—harmlessly, parents, teachers, and spouses unconsciously will pass along their beliefs and fears, and we absorb them if we are not grounded in our sense of self. Years of being programmed by others can lead us into behaviors that hamper self-expression.

It is not selfish to honor yourself first.

I’ve also heard societal views that letting your light shine is about going out of your way to help others without expecting anything in return. While being generous and selfless is honorable, it should not negate honoring self first. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we will struggle to help someone else, making it a less natural response and may lead to resentment.

Love is a light that shines from the heart.

On the other hand, love and above means living at a high energy vibration level. When you feel joy, peace, and love, you are experiencing a higher vibration level and happiness. Vibrating in love is a light that causes you to act kind and mindful. On the contrary, if you are feeling anger, guilt, shame, or fear, you are vibrating at a shallow energy level and experiencing sadness and maybe depression. To quote Marianne Williamson, “Light is to darkness what love is to fear; in the presence of one, the other disappears.”

The courage to understand yourself.

Enlightenment refers to knowing. When we take the time to consciously witness how we speak to and of ourselves and explore why we feel the way we do, we can let go of false thoughts. For example, worrying about what others think of us will fade once we stop judging ourselves and others.

One last term I’ll throw in is Karma. Many believe that Karma is revenge. But Karma is nothing more than cause and effect. We create our karmic cycles by how we react to a situation. We can break a karmic cycle, or it can continue to cycle back with a reappearing lesson. One way to keep from reoccurrence is to change negative responses to positive ones. For example, the more you practice love, the easier it is to take responsibility for adverse action and prevent it. As we work on changing our reactions, we must also ground ourselves to deter others from projecting their negativity onto us.

The takeaway is that the light of love will always shine if you keep vibrating high and do not allow outside influences to drain your energy and drag you away from the beautiful soul you are. The only way to prevent being influenced by others is to heal any past damage and connect to yourself.