An excerpt from The Secret of Life Wellness: The Essential Guide to Life’s Big Questions
WHEN MY DAUGHTER, Angelina, was 4 years old, she said, “Mummy, I love you more than the world, more than the universe, more than all the galaxies, but I’m really, really sorry.” At this point, she made a very sad face.
I asked her what she was sorry about, and she said, “I love myself more.” She then paused and looked at me, “Just one dot more, because it’s important to love ourselves the most so that we can love other people.”
I was really touched and impressed by her simple wisdom. For most people, loving themselves is an extensive journey of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and deep soul-searching. Although in spiritual circles the words love yourself are commonplace, not many seem to know what this means in practical terms. It is important not to reject the words but to delve deeper into their true meaning.
Some of the biggest obstacles to self-love that I have observed are self-criticism and the need for perfectionism, which leads to harsh judgment of the self and, eventually, illness. Our society teaches us to neglect ourselves and our own needs and desires. If we spend time nourishing ourselves and being soft with our imperfections, we are often told that we are weak and selfish. I have noticed that for many people, taking any time out for themselves is more a luxury than a daily way of life. Yet, to love yourself you must have time to connect with who you are and get to know what works for you.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, discover and embrace your own strengths and weaknesses. Knowing what you love — how you want to be treated, what makes you feel safe, what food you need to eat to be healthy, what exercise you need to feel strong, what work inspires you, the space and environment you need for yourself to learn and grow — are vital factors for being kind to yourself. When you know your internal limitations, you can be more forgiving with yourself and find others who can balance your weaknesses with their strengths. They can also guide you to gently and consistently work on some of your internal restrictions so that you can grow, learn, and move forward with more freedom.
From early childhood, many of us are taught to be strong, tough, judgmental, competitive and harsh. Thus, it is little wonder that we live in a world where aggression rules. However, as we are co-creators of our own lives, we can choose to create a different reality. Our opportunity is to embrace the way of softness and kindness.
I would like you to stop reading this and take a moment to explore what it would mean to be soft with yourself this moment? When you contemplate softness, does your physiology change? Does your breath slow down? Do you feel lighter? What does it mean to be soft and gentle with others? How would you treat others if you felt soft and peaceful in yourself? Softness and kindness can be a way of life and practiced daily.
Loving yourself means taking care of yourself. This may involve having a time of day where you meditate, connect to your own body, go for a walk in nature, do a self-healing process, read, write, play sport, meet up with friends, focus on opening and nourishing your heart.
Ask yourself: What kind of daily experiences would help me to feel nurtured? What would make my heart sing and my spirit soar? Self-love can be as simple as watching a butterfly, smelling a beautiful flower, drinking your favorite drink, listening to music, playing with a child, looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you are valuable and appreciated, dancing, singing, playing sports, looking at art that inspires you or receiving a hug from someone you love. Most important is to be in the present and deeply appreciate the moment.
Once I started to teach people about self-healing and transformation, I understood that in order for us to give to others, we must be able to receive love, care and support. If you don’t currently have people in your life who envelop you with love and offer you a soft place to land when times are rough, I deeply encourage you to ask for that support in your daily meditation or prayer. When you ask, focus on connecting to their energy and receiving them into your heart. With several of my close soul friends, my husband and my children, I felt like I knew their spirit before we met up in the physical. When you can give and receive love, life takes on an extra dimension. You begin to breathe, live and emanate love. All the sharp edges of your life become smoother and you acquire the strength to keep going, even in the darkest moments.
Processes for Loving and Connecting to Yourself
Below are three processes that can help you to practically connect to yourself and be more loving. They include asking questions, writing down what makes you lovable, and expanding your capacity to receive infinite love. You can do them all together or one at a time.
Copyright © 2013 Inna Segal. All Rights Reserved.
Inna Segal – 09 September, 2013