While traveling in India, I met a spiritual teacher who had spent years wandering in the jungles. After experiencing years of solitude, harsh conditions, and contemplation, his message was simple – love yourself. On the surface, it doesn’t seem like that would be so hard, or even insightful; yet many of us struggle with knowing how to love ourselves. We often feel like we must earn love or that we must be “good enough” to be loved. But the truth is we are good enough, just the way that we are. Love is not earned. It is simply a state of being, and it starts from within our own hearts.
Healthy self-love is different from being egocentric or arrogant. Arrogance and egocentrism comes from a place of fear or insecurity. True, unconditional, love comes from the heart. It is connecting to the divinity that resides within each of us. It is acknowledging the miracle that we are, and that there is a divine spark within each of us. This divine spark is what makes life so mysterious. When we take a step out of the confines of our mind, and into the greater depths of our heart, we can feel into our own truth and power. Just tapping into the beat of your own heart can connect you to the miracle of your being. How does the heart even know how to beat? Not even the most renown scientist can fully explain this gift of life we are given. It is a mystery filled with infinite potential. Loving yourself is honoring that divine spark within, and acknowledging that by simply being alive, we have been given a gift from the divine.
Learning how to deeply love yourself is a practice. Many of us walk around with voices in our heads that are harsh, critical, and judgmental. Through the practice of meditation and yoga, we can learn to align that voice with our highest potential. We can learn to move past that voice into a quiet place of stillness. In this space of stillness, we can soften into a deeper space of love and connection to our divine nature. In this quiet space, we realize that we came to Earth simply to learn, and that there are no mistakes, but that everything is simply an experience. If we don’t like a certain experience, we have the power within us to not repeat that experience through mindful, conscious action. We can also acknowledge that experiences teach us lessons that can help us grow, evolve, and transform. So forgive yourself. Release yourself from any burdens of the past. Let go of harsh judgment and criticism. Embrace your inner divine. And know that you are deeply loved. Remember that the sun shines on everyone. It does not judge, or discriminate. That warmth, that radiance, is love. We are all worthy. We are all love.