“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserves your love and affection” - Buddha
Although it appears that most of us in today’s world are self centered….. We are actually not. We are not as selfish as we think we are and are made out to be. And how do we know this? Because most of us do not pay any attention to our own core needs..our soul needs. Most of us actually believe that loving oneself is the epitome of being selfish. Imagine a friend saying…. You know what, I’m going to love myself from now on. And you would think in your mind that this person surely has some serious issues going on or maybe just a passing phase of low self-esteem! I mean..what kind of person would say.. I’m going to love myself?! Right? J
And why do we believe this? Because our definition of loving ourselves is very limited. To me.. truly loving yourself doesn’t mean…..going on a shopping spree, fighting for the remote to watch your favourite channel, making your own favourite dinner rather than someone else’s in the family, etc. Nothing wrong with all this but soon we would realise that these are very shallow and limited ways of loving yourself and that’s why they don’t seem worth it after a point and we don’t bother about them. Fighting for petty things fails to empower us. Unless we get to the core of ourselves.. we remain unfulfilled.
But loving yourself, to me means digging much more deeper. Firstly it is accepting that you are a soul on your own journey… yes, totally interconnected with others.. yet having its own path. Being more gentle with yourself. Taking time out and listening to the little voice inside you. How does it like to express itself? How does it like spending the days of its lives? What kind of people does it like to be around? Acknowledging that your soul has its needs and desires. Whatever the answers are, its important to acknowledge them…. how we choose to react to these things and act on them in a balanced manner is another thing. We are already feeling a bit selfish aren’t we? But soon we realise that unless we are genuinely happy we can’t make anyone happy around us. If we don’t have love for us we can’t offer it to anyone else. And the more we ignore ourselves, the more blockages we create inside us leading to the state of “dis-ease”. We all know this.. but somehow it all goes under the carpet in everyday life and we spend obscene amount of time cribbing about everything else…everyone else. How happy would the world be..if we were focused on improving our own selves.. our soul needs..our own self esteem would automatically increase and we would experience true happiness and share that with everyone around.. simply by our loving presence...
"A loving person lives in a loving world, A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror" - Ken Keyes
They say a true and genuine creative artist in whichever arena, can never find fault in any other’s creative work as he realises that everything is subjective and a unique expression of that particular soul. Thus if we truly focus on working on ourselves.. we will realise that everyone else is work in progress too and feel more love and compassion for them.
And to me, it begins with honouring your own uniqueness. I remember being asked once…. What was it that I was passionate about? And I remember thinking..Is it cooking? baking? Is it reading books on personal and spiritual growth? Is it music? Is it spending time with my loved ones? Is it learning new things? Pursuing genuine happiness? Swimming? I couldn’t pick one..I loved all of it!! (by the way writing was nowhere in the radar then!!) What was it then? And then something inside me answered “Life”. I am passionate about Life…and everything that it has to offer. And I remember beaming with the answer and feeling so liberated after saying that. The opposite person suddenly ceased to exist.. It didn’t matter to me what they thought of it. It was my truth and it gave me self-power. It is a unique answer..but that’s how my soul expresses itself. And I realised that the first step in loving yourself starts with acknowledging and honouring that small little voice which is truly wise and keeps guiding us towards true and lasting happiness….
Do yourself a favour today and start truly loving yourself…..you will know the difference between pursuit of vanity and pursuit of fulfilment.. between being selfish and honouring your true self...between being self-absorbed, narcissistic and being your own true friend deserving your own unconditional love...