I am often asked about loving oneself and have to say – this is one of the most common things people want help with. A relationship with yourself is a primary relationship that will last a lifetime. It is always with you, wherever you go. It makes sense that it is a happy relationship. I have taught multiple retreats and workshops all over the world in addition to private practice and can share many paths to self-love, but my favorite personal fundamental exercise is “Instant Body-Soul Romance”. Trust me, it works:
First of all, understand what loving oneself means. Does it mean ‘getting new dresses or toys all the time?’ ‘Thinking that you are the best, the fastest, the most beautiful of them all?’ ‘Always putting your interests first’? While it might look like a loving approach, this is just a band-aid behavior of a wounded ego, which is buying itself some time: telling itself an uplifting super-ego story to cope with the cruelty of the cold world. This story is bound to be broken into pieces, in the moments when one feels that dresses do not really bring long terms happiness, or somebody else is more beautiful, or being selfish does not really pay off in the long run.
Loving oneself happens when the soul loves, appreciates and cares about the body for the sake of all creation including You, and the body totally, unconditionally, ‘head over heals’ falls in love with the soul, including the
When that happens, all decisions about what is good for you are intuitively and collectively taken and implemented on the spot by all of your inner voices in unison. There is no more guilt, fear and self-punishment in the form emotional or physical self-abuse, procrastination or accepting abuse from “the other”, there is no more “playing small”, no more games, just pure total acceptance and respect towards each part of your being.
Breathe Through The Worst Case Scenario.
You might ask: “So, if I fall in love with myself, does it mean that everything I think, feel and do is perfect and lovable? Even when I am lazy, stupid, greedy or angry? If I love myself unconditionally, am I going to be lazy, stupid, greedy or angry forever?”
It is natural to imagine the worst-case scenario, and in fact this is exactly what our subconscious mind always imagines when it does not give us a full green light to loving yourself. So, what happens if you take this to the extreme – if you allow yourself to be lazy, or stupid, or indulgent – what is the worst thing that is going to happen? Are you going to be ‘not perfect’?
Are you going to burn in hell? Are you going to die? Is the world going to end? Sit with this Fear. It is this Fear that is not letting you fully love yourself. Is this Fear reasonable? Is it useful? Is it a keeper? Breathe through it. Imagine that the worst has already happened. It happened. You are not perfect, and the world is a rotten egg. Keep breathing. These are the ways of the Maya; this is the plan of the Creator. After all what do you know about what is perfect? Really nothing. So let it go. Exhale, as if you have been holding your breath under water for a long time, and come out breathing with full chest. You are still here, and you are free to love yourself now if you want.
Say “Thank You” to Self-Judgment.
Every time when we impose judgment onto others, we actually impose judgment on ourselves. When we label another person as stupid, lazy or unworthy what our subconscious commentator is trying to do is make sure that we are not going to be stupid, lazy or unworthy by behaving the same way.
Make a full-hearted commitment to be fully aligned with your luminous Soul. From that point on, every time you recognize you are judging somebody, positively or negatively, ask yourself: “Is this judgment helpful for me at this point of my life?”
I used to judge people whose expressed themselves without inhibition. Once, I was in a group meditation in silence, and one person just started singing something out loud, the whole group was disturbed and I thought
“What an idiot”. And then I thought “Why do I need to give judgement to this person’s behavior? Am I trying to make sure that I will not behave like this? Well, all right, I know at this point of my life that I am pretty well attuned to the group environment and would not disrupt it like this. This means that I do not need that judgement any more.” I said “Thank you” to that judgement for protecting me my whole life from being disruptive, and I wished this judgement to be well on its way.
So, think about the last judgement that you made about yourself or another person. Maybe before it was helpful, because you were not so attuned to yourself. But now that you are evolving, now that you made a choice to be fully aligned with my Soul, you can trust myself and you really do not need this judgement or self-judgement.
Say to your judgment “Judgment, Thank You Very Much, I know you have always been there for me to protect me from possible failure, and appreciate it, however, I have evolved and do not need you any more. You can go now.”
Be mindful of all of your thoughts, and each one that includes judgment of others, or yourself, go through the same process. The day will come, when you will be self-judgment free.
At first you may think you have a fear and something is missing: it is that voice in your head that your whole life was constantly comparing you to a ‘better you’, or ‘worse you’ or to others. You will feel how everything is coming into alignment, as if in a science fiction movie – your thoughts, your words, your feelings will melt into One. You will feel your heart is opening fully and everything is perfect. Your Soul happily vibrating in the body with a big smile, ready to be anything it needs to be at any particular moment and your body knowing what is needed on every level. If the body needed care, the Soul would provide, if the Soul needed attention the body would stop and take a deep breath. At any time. Always available. In love with each other.
It’s a simple formula. Judgment of oneself is not the same as evaluation of a process or an event, deep analysis, comparison and rational thinking. The former is the extracurricular process, which results from our wounded ego, the latter is the fundamental evolutionary trait of humanity, a precious divine gift.
Self Love is always there; it is our constant inner ‘benevolent’ commentator that stands in the way of feeling it. Soul-Body Romance is always happening, it is just that we are not always there to notice. If both are connected and at abundance, – both are at service to the world. This the best thing about Self-Love.
Happy Loving Yourselves, my friends.