The truth of who we are is love. Can you feel it? Unfortunately, too few of us embody this great truth. Even if we know it mentally, how do we feel love, radiate love, and act from love?
We are bombareded with messages to do something or buy something in order to be ok, to be happy, to find success, to reach enlightenment. In our marketing oriented culture, it is particularly hard to feel good about ourselves with so many messages that feed our fears and needs. Even in the realm of self help and personal development, we are encouraged to be more, to do more, to try this book or process like my 14 tips! When do we get to be OK?
I would suggest that here & now is a good place to begin. As John Ray recently suggested in his talk at Unity Spiritual Center, maybe our true purpose is to be love. He distinguished between giving love and being love. Giving love can reinforce the idea and feeling that we aren’t good enough as we are. We may feel that we have to do something to deserve or receive love. When in truth we are love, we simply need to remember & nurture this truth. Precious few of us are taught or given unconditional love.
The best examples come from the poets and mystics of the ages. Jesus lived and taught love. Rumi was a sufi poet who describes the experience of meeting his ” beloved” or essential loving self. His poems give us a delicious taste of the ecstasy that he experienced.
Some of us have been blessed to feel this love first hand; maybe in nature, maybe in church, maybe from a parent, friend, or teacher. Although love is our natural state, most of us need to practice allowing more love into our lives. We have learned to cover up our love in self doubt, fear, judgment, and other mental filters. As we practice loving ourselves, we learn to allow the feeling of love to fill our mind, heart & body. Then it naturally overflows into our lives. We may be inspired to take loving action or we may bless others by simply being love in their presence. Our feeling of love can help someone else to feel love. What a gift to feel unconditional love!
Here are some practices to encourage self love to blossom.
Meditate; focusing on feeling love (or if you are visual, see a light expanding within you), starting with your heart area.
Gaze deeply at something beautiful for you; a flower, person, or sunset. Just keep gazing, with no words. This helps to stay focused in directly experiencing, not filtering through the mind.
Look in the mirror and express appreciation for who you see there. Again no judgments or debate. Just accept the praise.
If you like words, state loving words out loud to and about yourself. You may find this hard to do and/ or accept the words. That’s OK, grace may heal you. Keep practicing until you can feel self love.
Play with a young child! They’re still in touch with their essence.
Sit in nature and feel the well being that radiates all around you.
Relax and breath, allowing good feelings to build with your breath in and out.
There are many ways to practice and encourage self love. The key is to practice until you consistently feel good about yourself. Ultimately we need to give this love to ourselves, not dependent upon any outer circumstance.
Then we will know the bliss of love and freedom, a signpost for another blog. Let’s live our heaven on earth, not wait for heaven until we die.
For me, meditation is the easiest way to feel love. Talking to myself in the mirror is the hardest, so that will be my spiritual practice for October.
I’d be happy to hear what has worked best for you. Thanks.