"A revelation of insight into the foundations of human suffering & transcendence. It not only lays out essential steps for inner freedom and joy but illuminates the way to true human potential." Paul Rademacher, author: A Spiritual Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

"The masterwork of a profoundly gifted healer of the soul. Dazzling, challenging, wondrously useful." Peggy Rubin, author: To Be and How To Be, Transforming Your Life Through Sacred Theatre

"Rewiring the Soul is one the best introductions to the spiritual life I've ever read. Not esoteric but real-world and practical. The implications are profound." Peter Shepherd, author: Daring To Be Yourself

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Loving the Self in Ten Steps

Articles on loving the self are not exactly in short supply on my blog and website, but I believe another one is not amiss, because people continue to have such difficulty in truly loving the self.

Here are some ideas to consider:

  • How do you feel about your body?
    • Do you really love it? Maybe not. But even if you don't, is it not true that you always take very good (or reasonably good) care of it?
    • And don't you always dress it as well and as beautifully as possible?
    • And you furthermore take care of your hair, your skin, and your nails to look as good as possible, right?
    • How about being that loving way with YOU?
  • How do you feel about a small child? Especially your small child, or perhaps a grandchild or niece or nephew or favorite neighbourhood child?
    • Isn't it true that you love it? And that you always behave lovingly towards it, at least on those occasions when you are with it?
    • Do you shout at it, criticize it, belittle it and demean it? Of course not!
    • How about being that loving way with YOU?
  • How do you behave with aches and pains when they occur in your body? A headache, a small cut, a bruise, an infection, a fever?
    • Isn't it true that you always take care of them as quickly as possible?
    • How about being that loving way with YOU and whatever ails you in your feelings and emotions and thoughts?
  • Why do you do all of the above things for those others or your body?
    • Partially because you want to be seen as looking as good as possible, but also because you want to ease physical discomfort.
    • And one of the biggest reasons that you tend to do this very quickly, is because you are very conscious and aware of your body, your looks and all your aches and pains.
    • How about being that loving way with YOU?
  • In other words, how about becoming conscious and aware of all that goes on inside of you, because that is the beginning of learning to love the self.
    • How do you feel when others trespass your boundaries? And what do you consciously do about it?
    • How do you feel when you are stressed? And what do you consciously do about it?
    • How do you feel when you are angry, impatient, jealous and afraid? And what do you consciously do about it?

The Ten Steps

Undertaking the following ten steps can set you on your path to loving the self. Note that you need not overwhelm yourself and attempt to undertake all ten steps at once. Just tackle the one that seems most amenable to your current state of being and then continue on to another one when you feel you are able to:

Step #1                               

Become conscious and aware. Simply by doing that alone you will begin to show yourself on a subliminal level that you are serious about loving the self. You MUST pay attention to the state of your feelings. Your intention needs to be that you become conscious and aware at all times, but get to that place bit by bit.

Step # 2              

Take the decision to do something about how you are feeling. This means that you begin to love yourself by learning how to soothe yourself in healthy ways. (There is an entire chapter on soothing the self in my book Rewiring the Soul, but if you prefer not to get it right now, you can read about some of those soothing mechanisms in the following steps of this post).

Step # 3              

Use the beauty and gratitude exercise. See: Ten Reasons Why Gratitude Should Form Part of Your Daily Routine

Step # 4              

Use the mindfulness walk. See: Remaining Conscious (the exercise is at the very end of the article)

Step # 5              

Learn how to forgive. By forgiving (not condoning), you loosen and eventually sever your energetic connections to the painful or bitter past and by so doing, you not only begin to live in the present, but you also show yourself (again) that you love yourself or care enough about yourself to do this.

Step # 6              

Let of the past. Living in the past means that only a portion of you is in the here and now. Your psychic energy is invested in past events and not your present life! See Cellular Responsibility and Reliving Your Pain & Making it Worse

Step # 7              

Establish healthy boundaries. This is one of the most effective ways of showing yourself you love yourself because you are truly taking care of yourself when you establish those healthy boundaries. This empowers you. This gives you energy. This signifies that others will no longer have power over you, nor will they be able to drain you of your energy. See: Do Your Relationship Boundaries Contribute to Your Well-Being? and Emotional and Energetic Vampires and Finding it Hard to Love Yourself? Check Out Your Boundaries

Step # 8              

Learn how to communicate effectively. There will be much new material about this subject in my next book: The Tao of Spiritual Partnership, out September 2012.

Step # 9              

Spend at least as much time on your inner state of well-being as on the outer one. Who is the real you? Is it the 25-year-old or the 40-year-old or the 68-year-old who wears designer clothing or grunge, who rides a bike to work or drives a Porsche, or is it the self that you are attempting to connect to and discover in this process of loving the self that we are describing here? And if you agree that the real you is the latter, then does it not make sense that you dedicate at least as much time to it, as to your body, nails, hair, clothes and car buying decisions?

Step #10             
Take responsibility for your own happiness and inner well-being, seeking to re-establish inner balance whenever necessary.

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