Waking Basics: Self-love #selflove
It is difficult to love anyone or anything else until you love yourself. There are too many barriers both internally and externally. Without self-love, we are constantly attempting to fill this void with people, places and experiences of the external world. Then we label them love. Only the external world is always changing. What we thought was love one day can turn on us the next - leaving us feeling empty, hurt and alone.
What is self-love? In Buddhist practice, love is the wish for someone to be happy. Self-love would follow as the wish for internal happiness. Barriers to self-love develop over time. They can be parts of ourselves we have hidden away or tried to forget. They can be layers of protection we have created around ourselves in light of some external plight.
So how do you increase your love for yourself? First recognize that you are worthy of love – especially self-love. Next pay attention to your internal world. Notice what it is telling you. Stop grasping at what you think you need from the outside world. Take the time to get to know yourself and to uncover those hidden away or forgot parts of you.
Loving yourself is like having an internal advocate. You become a friend to yourself rather than a critic. No matter what is happening on the outside you support yourself to remain happy on the inside.
With self-love – moreover while on a path to self-love – the external world becomes a place to learn and grow, as we are not dependent on it for our happiness. I like to call it Earth School.
You know you have self-love, therefore, when you can love others. The fundamental shift is when you wish for them to be happy rather than wishing for them to make you happy.
Finding love for yourself and then for others does not happen overnight. It takes commitment and dedication. There could be layer upon layer of baggage or delusions in your way. Yet with the right intention and the goal to open your heart; it will happen.