Posts Tagged ‘relationships’
Recently my focus has simply been on self-love. Loving myself during my mistakes. Loving myself while I continue on this interesting human journey, with all its aspects. Loving myself, with compassion and care, as much as I do my clients, friends and colleagues.
Why is it so much easier to love others than ourselves? Although, anger and other negative emotions toward others are often a reflection of how we feel toward our own person. Interestingly, we often have the hardest time with those we know the best – spouses, coworkers, great friends… often can be the ones we’re also frustrated with. And, the one we know best of all (and, sometimes, understand the least) is ourselves. We judge ourselves, punish ourselves, and worse, for actions that we might have much more easily forgiven in others. Or, at least, in a small child who obviously would have known no better.
The step toward self-love can begin with witnessing and curiosity. Rather than just judging something you did, view it as if an aspect, or part, of you, was responsible for that. Imagine if the part who did an action you judge, or had a feeling with which you struggle, was a child. Would the most loving treatment be to yell at her or him? Would that help your inner sweet, innocent one feel safe?
Action: Write down a list of how you’d like others to treat you. Then, take an inventory of how you’re actually treating yourself. Begin to notice any gaps. And when you have a strong feeling, notice where you feel it in your body… and imagine as if that is part of you that needs to be heard and wants honoring and expression. Send a message to yourself, like…
“I hear you.”
“I care about you… and about what you’re experiencing.”
“I love you.”
After trying this, please note any experiences below.
If you feel inspired to experience love more fully, here is an exercise. It’s inspired by numerous sources, including Buddhist and Sufi methods.
- Close your eyes. Take deep, belly breaths. Relax your body from head to toe.
- Visualize your heart as putty. As you breathe deeply into it, see it softening, and becoming more pliable, and even porous.
- Picture the part of you that is most vulnerable and tender. This may be your inner child, or even the part that gets angry and tries to protect you. Give it love. See an energy cloud around it – perhaps pink, or, another color that feels loving and supportive.
- Have compassion for this struggling part of you. Tell it that it doesn’t have to work so hard, and you’ll be there for it.
- While still breathing deeply and keeping an awareness of the above, open your eyes with a soft gaze. Notice an object near you. Be aware of the crafting of it that took place for it to exist, that someone spent such time creating. Or, notice a person near you – who has these similar raw places inside, perhaps like your own. Notice their tender beauty.
- Become aware of imperfect perfection all around you – and in you. Nothing needs changing.
Why do we not reside in love, permanently?
First of all, we think it’s about someone else. Who are they? Do we feel a connection? Is there a romantic involvement? Have we known them long enough? Do we feel safe enough to open up? When is the right time to open our heart?
Or, you might ask, when is it not the right time?
On an energetic level, love is simply the expression of the heart chakra opening. Some say that God is love – the devotional path of the bhakti yogi.
We may not like some people or feel a strong affinity with all. Some people do things that we label as bad. Yet, on an ultimate level, who is not deserving of love?
Moreover, is there a time when we do not want to feel love? And how can we experience it, regardless of who is around us?
Part 3: How to actively choose love – always.
So often we think of love in relation to the other person. How do we feel about them? How close are we? Do we feel safe?
Many years ago, when talking to a spiritual teacher of mine about relationships and love, he said, “If you fall in love, you’ll then fall out of love. But you can also choose to reside in love – for that to be a state of being.”
Intellectually, I understood. But it took a lot more time to truly grasp the ramifications, and to choose to step into it.
Everyone desires love. Could it be that love has nothing to do with the another person, and her or his actions and feelings?
Part 2: A new perspective about how love works.