I have always had a problem with “Self Love” or “Love Thyself”. I am quite comfortable with saying to my daughter, my husband, close friends and family “I Love You”, and mean it. But to look into a mirror and say to myself (or even to my reflection because I wanted a bit of distance) “I love you”, my immediate response is bordering on horrific.
I squirm, I look away, and my brain goes static, I cannot face the reflection in the mirror. Love myself? How do I love myself? how can I love myself? What does this mean – love oneself? .
I have been doing a lot of reading on interconnectedness with the Universe, Soul-Body connection etc. etc… I have recently come to appreciate that the body is just a physical vibration of the “soul”, that my true being is actually the “inner soul” – an integral and integrated part of the great cosmos. A vibration among many; a drop of water in a pond; a grain of sand on a beach – singular and unique yet part of a greater singularity. Yet I still had trouble telling myself “I love you”. My ego kept getting in the way saying things like “who do you think you are?”‘ “Ha” “you don’t really believe that little insignificant you is important enough to love” “why would you love yourself”? how could you possibly love yourself”? “Do you really think anybody really loves you?”
The Ego, the mind driven false identity we live with, wanting all the attention, not caring if it is hurtful, keeps standing in front of the heart driven soul, blocking the deeper definition of love. Not the romantic kind of love, nor or the narcisstic “aren’t I great”, but the love that touches the very root of our being, the love that calls to our true identity.
Recently reading the Dalai Lama’s “The Art of Happiness” (with Howard C. Cutler, M.D.), I gained a better understanding of that pure kind of love.
He suggests that a definition of love – the truly pure kind of love, is an utter, absolute, and unqualified wish for the happiness of another individual – and deep down, in the very root of our being, beneath all the crap we layer ourselves with, doesn’t each and every one of us wish for his or her own happiness and peace and safe harbour? Then if so, each of us does in fact love himself or herself. We need to cherish this part of us that has this driving need to be happy and safe and loved and remember it is still there trying to get our attention.
So because all I truly wish for myself is the best that life can offer, ipsofacto I must love myself.! With that perspective, I need to go and challenge the mirror again.