The practice of self-love is a practice of falling in love with yourself. You may think it is merely a new age trend to try and overcome pain from our past or to reprogram our ancestral DNA; however, the concept has been around for centuries. It is a sacred, intentional practice that has been taught throughout ancient traditions, religions, and scriptures. Unfortunately, the discipline has been misguided, leading many to a false perception of what the pursuit of happiness and self-love truly is.
The fascination we have today with finding true happiness has come at a price, which is our peace of mind. As we continue to search for validation outside of ourselves, or hoard material items to fulfill that which we lack, it robs us of the chance to sit still in the serenity of that which is already within us.
As my personal practice has developed over the years, I have come to learn much about self-love. The pursuit of virtuous principles such as patience and kindness has helped me really love myself on a deeper level, so that in turn, I can love unconditionally on a level I never thought possible. As the ancient sages once said, “No one is going to rescue you from yourself – your inner demons, your lack of self-confidence, your dissatisfaction with yourself and your life. Only self-love and good decisions will rescue you.”
I have found within my own journey – and witnessed it in many others – that this process is not an easy one. Finding yourself and falling in love with yourself is the work of internal and external discipline; it is something that should be done every day, even on those days you don’t feel like it.
Whether you are at the starting point, or in the middle of your healing journey, I recommend you cultivate the attitude of self-love from the perspective of self-awareness and self-exploration. Many people wear a façade and hide their deepest thoughts and feelings from others. Don’t hide them from yourself. This non-judgmental step of introspection sometimes awakens you to the realization that you may not like who you are or who you have been, and that is not an easy thing to face.
I invite you to write your future self a letter telling yourself how you have “fallen in love with yourself” again. Date it, make it special and write it from the place of self-discovery within versus searching for approval from outside sources. The feelings of strength, courage, pure love and joy are within you.
As you reread what you have written, you may not completely agree with those feelings today, but let it be. Put it in an envelope and put it away, give yourself a timeline and write a reminder to open it and read it again in the future. Once you set an intention, you will surprise yourself with what you are able to cultivate even if, at this moment, you see it as impossible.
Dipika Patel is a certified holistic health coach and lifestyle practitioner who empowers her clients to activate an overall balanced lifestyle of mind, body and soul. She can be reached at (760) 821.3119 or www.LoveYourLifeHealthy.com.