What does it really mean to Love Myself?
There are plenty of articles and blogposts on this topic where they recommend carving out time for yourself and doing things that bring joy and happiness. Making time to re connect with yourself. Then there are some that say ‘loving yourself’ means to be able to stand in front of a mirror without criticising yourself, accepting your body as it is with love and compassion. Others suggest taking yourself out on a date or writing a love letter to yourself, which seems quite odd as to whom would I be writing to!
Now I understand that learning to love yourself is one of the most powerful and important things you can do in life. True that the heart is the powerhouse and when you relate to that place things change.
Loving yourself is not easy and it gets even more difficult to do so when there are articles that hint on how ‘you are not loving yourself’ because you are either judgmental of others, jealous, angry with life…… etc
So, I ask myself:
· How can I love myself when I don’t even know who I am!
· Who am I loving- the many faces or roles of the EGO that represents or defines me?
· What am I loving- the feeling of attachment to my body or to the materialistic things that I own?
To me these are important questions that need to be asked over and over. It is not an easy task in fact it is an ongoing process or practice.
Lord Krishna explains to Arjun “Yoga is evenness of mind; detachment from the dualities of pain and pleasure, success and failure. It is this kind of detachment that is required if one is to act in freedom rather than react to events compelled by conditioning”.
Find a comfortable chair to sit then make your physical body comfortable by using props.
Start to observe the body’s sensations. What are you feeling in the physical layer.?
Keep in mind you are observing and not labeling those sensations.
Slowly move your attention to your emotions… how are you feeling?.
Keep in mind that you are only observing and not reacting to those emotions.
Begin to notice your thoughts, the quality and the pace of your thoughts.
Keep in mind you are only observing and not judging them.
A practice of stepping back to allow for space or pause … for self-observation. By observing you are creating a stable foundation for awareness to show up. Through a regular practice this reservoir of awareness can only get wider. There within you is a place of stillness that is your 'essence' or 'self'.
By aligning or connecting with this “self”, the ego and its many voices and faces become less intense and strong. It slowly dies and the ability to ‘Love Myself’ can be begin.
A verse from The Bhagvad Gita (translated by Ekant Eswaran)
When you keep thinking about the sense objects, attachment comes. Attachment breeds desire, the lust of possession that burns anger. Anger clouds judgments; you can no longer learn from past mistakes. Lost is the power to choose between what is wise and unwise, and your life is utter waste. But when you move amidst the world of sense, free from attachment and aversion alike, there comes the peace in which all sorrow ends, and you can live in the wisdom of the “Self”.