Loving yourself is a very important task to undertake and that can be the most challenging as well. My beloved Mom, a beautiful woman who perceived compliments as a form of arrogance, would constantly remind me to not love myself too much, for this type of “self-indulgence” would become a narcissistic, ugly trait that would hinder the possibility of being loved. Interesting thought. A defiant teenager then, I believed and put the utmost faith in her philosophy. After all, not loving myself would ultimately save me from the perils of loving another, therefore having my heart (and ego) crushed. This would be my truth.
This belief process shifted however, when in 2003 I came across the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Master who was nominated for a Nobel Prize by none other than Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. At first Thich’s teachings made me a bit uneasy. He spoke not only of showing loving kindness toward others, but expressing that love inward. But where could this be found, beyond the sight of the woman I stared at in the mirror every day, or was it my true Self..A Being I was petrified of knowing, loving and accepting?
Ken Keyes said, “A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.”
It suddenly came to me…When you love yourself, your soul can be a guide and transport you to such calmness so to improve one’s attitude as well as being loving in relationships and connections with others. Loving yourself consequently empowers and enables you to create different choices.
As much as I wanted to believe this inner transformation would bring an immediate change to my life, this journey depended on how deeply and bravely I faced myself.
The basic principle of loving yourself is knowing that every individual is deserving of love. As simplistic as this thought may be, the process can carry a complexity that may be severely obstructed when one is unconscious of this fact.
Loving yourself will enable you to develop your full potential and be at peace, contented and fulfilled. It will elevate you to a new understanding of loving kindness—for yourself as well as for others. When you reach this awareness, indeed you will never be fearful of who you really are. That is self-love in its truest sense.