Everything in life in an opportunity to practice self love. Truly, though, it is the love from the Source that created us that is being asked to come through us. It is Self-Love, with a capital "S" and "L". It is the greatest love of all. It is the love that exists in every thing and every person. It is what unites us and makes us One. We all are made of this love. It is pure and unconditional.
We so often forget, don't we though? We see what there is to judge in the outside world, in others, and within ourselves. We experience anger toward what we wish was different. We feel guilt for not living up to our expectations. We are weighed down by the burden of shame for not feeling worthy deep down.
All of these instances of disconnection are opportunities to practice self-love.
Practicing self-love in every moment can radically change our experience of life. It takes a certain level of mindfulness and focus to stay on top of the constantly arising opportunities though. It's so easy for us to get hooked and get overwhelmed by the feelings and forget.
For me, moments of solitude, prayer, and quiet help me regain this perspective through reflection. When I take the time in the mornings to journal and ease my way into the day, I find that I am able to step back and see things differently. I am able to detach somewhat from the experiences I am having to see that I am simply having these experiences.... I am not the experiences... I am having them.
Why is that an important point to make? Well... if I am having the experiences, they are here for me. When I get wrapped up and attach myself to them, I feel trapped and as if I am suffocating. I feel stuck and a victim to them. Taking the stance of having experiences gives me a chance to do something with them. Maybe this means I learn from them. Maybe this means I change the story. Maybe this means I gain better insight into myself and what it all means. Maybe I begin to look into what part am I playing into the experience. Maybe I look at my belief systems and how they are impacting the experience.
Love guides me to these places when I listen closely. Love truly wants me to understand and know how to embody its essence. For me this is the path of self-love. The realization that love exists within me and as me. I am constantly re-directing my attention to reclaiming and becoming this truth through deep inner awareness.
Below is an art piece I made at a time of depression. It birthed from the poem beneath it. I was lost, depressed, and so disconnected. I wrote a poem of reassurance and compassion, that comforted my heart during this time. From the poem, I created the artwork you see below. Please take a moment to enjoy the art and poetry:
"I've sang a tune to you
since the beginning of time...
and for centuries or more,
you grew closer to know its coo and adore
the lost parts of you.
This song hummed a sound
of beloved memories,
like how the heart is eternal
and how love will never leave --
a pitch and a melody,
only YOUR soul could ever hear and sing.
Its highs and lows
the cries and moans
and whys and whoas
Every morning, every night,
I sang this sweet song
when you missed a noted,
when your pride would bloat,
when you seemed to stray - distant and remote.
Every word, every sound
to you alone I devote
to bring you home,
to remind you of the love God's shown
through your eyes,
within your heart.
Forever I will sing this song
because from you I am never apart."
These moments of remembrance of the love within me that never leaves.... they are so precious. I'm recently being re-reminded of the whole journey of self-love. What is giving me strength and courage is seeing that the obstacles are calls for love.
Obstacles and challenges show me where to put more attention to love.
Do I feel weighed down by worries? Show that area of my life unconditional love and acceptance
Do I feel lack of confidence toward my dreams and aspirations? Show that area of my life unconditional love and acceptance.
Do I feel inferior to others or the world around me at large? Show that area of my life unconditional love and acceptance.
Radical acceptance is a skill I am actively re-wiring into my habits and brain. Can I accept the reality of things? Can I accept how I am showing up in each moment with complete self-acceptance? Can I accept others as they are in each instant? If this is hard, then I just need to send that area of my life deep love. Send it light. Send it good thoughts. Send it patience. Ask for help. Ask for guidance. Say, "Thank you for revealing this to me. I love you. I love this. I accept this. Help me let this go. Help me see through the eyes of love"
Nothing ever needs to change!! You never need to change! Everything is perfect as it is. We can live in this deep acceptance of ourselves and the world by practicing radical self-love. Love for ourselves in EACH and EVERY moment.
I like to imagine myself as God imagines me.... like I'm a child and I am parenting that child. How would I treat a child who is sad, confused, and feeling downtrodden? I would have compassion for the little kid who is scared and offer reassurance them?
The poem I wrote above is just that. It is a letter of reassurance to my inner child. It is the reminder that gentleness is always there.
Can you take a few moments each day to pause, evaluate your heart and mind, and give love to what is needed ? Stop. Look at what's on your heart. Slow dowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwn. Breathe. Say, "I love you. You're doing an amazing job. You are perfect JUST THE WAY YOU ARE."
I think regular practice of things like this, daily, absolutely transform us. When we see that this life is constantly offering opportunities for self-love, we completely change our perspective on why we are here on this planet. We are here to remember the truth of love. We are here to express that to ourselves and others. That is deep inner peace. What if our main purpose, above ALL ELSE, was to learn to love unconditionally??
For me, these ideas give me a lot of clarity on many areas of my life. It's not about how much I accomplish or how much I get done each day. It's about loving myself in each and every moment, as fiercely as I can. I deserve this! You deserve this! We all do!
When we learn to love ourselves with this unwavering love, we give it to others freely. We drop judgement. We drop shame. We give empathy. We give compassion. What a gift to the world this is! I believe we are meant to embody this to the fullest extent possible!!!!!
How do you see these opportunities for self-love show up in your lives?? Where are you GROWING in self-love?