This Unconditional Self Love business can be tough. It is a constant recognition of the human condition. I am a beautiful Soul, says my smile, but then my mind tells me otherwise. I feel confident and successful when I walk out the door, but then I get a text or phone-call that attempts to drive me off course. I receive and have Love, my heart says, but then I remember something I didn’t like about an interaction or a moment of intimacy and wonder if Love is really all we need. Mindfulness is necessary for each moment of disconnect from the soul and the body. It is a practice of non-attachment to the mind that creates freedom in the Soul. A thought pours in from the past or present or future with lots of emotion tied to it. Feelings surge. As a woman, it feels even more so. Thought forms connect to feelings and all of a sudden you find yourself in questionable doubt about who you are, why you deserve something, and if you can have the love or success you want.
But, this past week I came to a strong realization. I am more often, than not, independent of shame and self-judgement when it comes to my body, mind and soul. How did I get to this point, you ask? As I explained above, with the ability to practice non-attachment on a daily basis. A gentle-man recently came into my life and made some very good points about Westerner attitudes towards Self and a preoccupation we have with “finding ourselves.” We want to be Happy and we seem to think it comes from outside of ourselves. This is easily found in literature and studies alike. Happiness is always found within.
“We’re happier and healthier when we do that in a committed way … We need to learn to connect with others with mindful openness and positivity, and to deal with the daily slings and arrows, and work through those and maintain a sense of connection that’s positive.” – Joe Loizzo, Sustainable Happiness
The goal is not necessarily to feel happy all the time. Happiness is fleeting. Danielle Laporte makes the comparison between happiness and joy so visually and says in her writing, “Happiness is always passing through. It can claim your full attention for the ten seconds it takes to swallow a sip of incredible coffee. Or it can stream through your being for weeks on end… Joy is so foundational to your true being, every other state or emotion can rest on top of joy, it can accommodate everything. This means that it’s possible to grieve with your whole heart, and still sense your joy. You can feel rage, and be aware of joy waiting patiently for you to return, and take deep comfort in that.” Happiness, success, sexual climax – all of these can feel temporary. They fill us up, but we know there is More; more depth, more awareness, more commitment, more faithfulness, more endurance.
Unconditional Self Love, then, is about the More. It is self-love that pastes together the mindfulness with the Soul’s aching need to give and if we are lucky, to receive. It is true that we cannot give what we do not have. Turning within and loving ourselves is a way to ensure the strength and depth are available to move and speak mindful within our relationships and interactions. If you and I can deliver this level of mindfulness and consciousness to ourselves, then we truly become free. Loving yourself unconditionally, then, doesn’t feel so un-reachable. It isn’t some kind of ideal to attain as if it is outside ourselves, nor does it have anything to do with how we look or what possessions we have. Rather, as we become more conscious, we not only can love ourselves more, but the entire world.
When you hurt your parents or your friends, it’s your unconscious mind at work. When acting out his anger, the angry person is completely oblivious as to what’s happening in his mind. Being unconscious makes us hurt and disrespect other sentient beings; being unaware of our own behavior and mental attitude makes us lose our humanity. – Lama Thubten Yeshe
This is why the work of Unconditional Love, pointed towards Self, is so important. The painful childhood experiences, relationships that brought us intense challenge, hurt or pain from many areas in our lives, become tiny recordings in our mind. The recordings get replayed every once in a while and it becomes necessary to do editing, slicing, or simply to throw those recordings out. As you grow, you realize, you don’t need these messages any longer. Your higher purpose is to continue to find ways to love deeper, and the direction to point this love, is to you. This is how God or The Universe would have it.