3 Ways to Cultivate Self-love Through Mindfulness
Self-love is something most of us struggle with in life. Many of us have a sense of being flawed, unworthy or not enough in some way or the other. Much of our lives are organized around feeling insufficient due to the conditioning of society and the impact of media telling us who we ought to be. We often judge and criticize ourselves more than anyone else. Self-love is often not the priority for most of us as we are busy seeking acceptance and approval from others. But unconditional self-love is our soul’s deepest yearning and essential for our peace, happiness and spiritual growth. Self-love begins with mindfulness – the awareness of our true Self. The more we learn to love ourselves, the more we are able to love others.
“Love yourself and watch… today, tomorrow, always.”~Buddha
Self-love is not just about self-care, taking time to ourselves or feeling good about ourselves. It is a powerful personal practice that can lead towards profound healing and spiritual awakening. Self-love is a state of deep appreciation for ourselves and for life itself, since we are the very essence of it.
Self-love allows us to cultivate acceptance and compassion towards ourselves, as we strive towards finding personal meaning and fulfillment in our lives.
There are many misconceptions about self-love. Some of us subconsciously associate self-love with feelings of shame and guilt, as most of us have been conditioned to believe that self-love is a selfish act of the ego. However, self-love is about nourishing and cherishing our souls and honoring our lives, as we grow and evolve on our spiritual path. The confidence that develops from self-love, is an inner knowing of our oneness with all life.
Through self-love, self-acceptance and self-compassion, we create a space in which transformation can occur- a revolution from deep within.
It is through awareness that we awaken into self-love. The more we come to understand ourselves, the more we understand life. We realize that the ultimate truth and purpose of our existence is and always will be, Love. Self-awareness helps us to understand this truth by allowing us to observe our internal processes and to be in tune with our thoughts and feelings.
Self-love is freedom- free from any beliefs and ideas of how and who we should be in order to be worthy of love. Self-love is the pathway to peace, freedom and joy.
When we mindfully and vibrationally align with the essence of love, we discover that we ourselves, are the source of love and that love is an internal experience. But as long as we place love outside of ourselves, we will continue to experience heartaches and disappointments. Love can only be found within and expand out to others.
“Love loves to love. It’s nothing personal.”~Mooji
To develop self-awareness, we must cultivate mindfulness- a present moment alertness that is rooted in stillness. Mindfulness is what allows us to see ourselves and gain insight into the deeper layers of our being. Our ability to be aware and conscious of our thoughts, feelings, words, actions and behaviors, is the key to cultivating inner peace and greater self-love.
Mindfulness empowers us to own our lives and step into self-mastery.
As with most spiritual lessons, self-love can be strengthened through practice. Here are 3 ways to cultivate self-love through mindfulness:
“It is indeed a radical act of love just to sit down and be quiet for a time by yourself.” ~Jon Kabat Zinn
Meditation is an inward journey that expands our heart consciousness and aligns us with our highest truth- which is pure, unconditional, divine love. When we are connected to our truth, we feel whole and complete within our own being. Since our spiritual heart center is connected to Source, this is where we tune into the vibration of Divine Love – for the heart is the center of the Universe. As we sink into stillness, we begin to empty our minds of any self-limiting thoughts. And as an empty vessel our mind has the capacity to hold infinite reserves of love.
Ultimately, meditation is not about gaining anything or getting anywhere; it is about meeting ourselves where we are with kindness, acceptance and compassion.
In meditation we let go of worldly burdens and hold a holy space for our healing and awakening.
Mindfulness is the practice of bringing our attention to the present moment where we can see ourselves beyond the conditioning of the mind. By being aware of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, we move through inner obstacles and find insight and clarity. A new way of consciousness enters our awareness each time we practice mindfulness.
As we learn to observe our thoughts at a distance without over-identifying with them, we gently detach ourselves from them, and begin to see the perfection that we are. Mindfully observing our strengths and weaknesses, without any judgment, allows us to transform our relationship to ourselves into one of loving acceptance and awaken to our divine innate goodness.
As we become more self-aware, we notice patterns and habits that have kept us stuck in discomfort. Mindfulness allows us to approach these blockages and discomforts from a place of love, compassion and acceptance instead of judgment and criticism. With mindfulness we realize that Love is not something we create; rather it is the essence of all Existence. Mindfulness allows us to stay connected with our hearts and the truth of our moment-to-moment experience, even when the experience is painful. Through presence we simply recognize what’s happening- allowing our emotional life to be as it is.
3. Surrendering to Love
“I am willing to let love lead the way.”~Louise Hay
Although love is our essence, we are not always consciously connected to it. We often turn to the outside world as our source for love, only to feel empty again when we don’t find it. In order to connect to our truth, we must release our limited self-beliefs and let go of our attachments to those beliefs. We must surrender to love. But how do we surrender to love? We first have to realize and accept our unconscious barriers and resistances to love. We often unconsciously stand in our own way of receiving love, because we may believe that we are not worthy of it.
Love requires our willingness to release whatever blocks us to be aligned with the energy of love. When we don’t consciously choose love in any given moment, fear takes over and manifests itself in many area of our lives. If our thoughts, actions, words and intentions are not aligned with the energy of love, we will continue to sabotage our own peace and happiness. We begin to shine when we realize that we are each deserving of our kindest attention and deepest respect and gratitude.
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. ” Rumi
As we grow on our spiritual path and learn to surrender to love more and more each day, we begin to experience a deeper connection to the Universe and find the true source of love deep within ourselves. Mindfully loving ourselves is a choice we make each day, each moment with each breath. It begins with aligning ourselves with the energy of love that flows through all of us. Each time we let go and let God, we step into the light of our highest potential and enter a field of ever-present energy of infinite, unconditional divine love.
Love and Light,