This beautiful poem by Swami Kripalu inspired my post today:
My beloved child, break your heart no longer.
Every time you judge yourself you break your own heart.
You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality.
The time has come. Your time.
To live, to celebrate, and to see the goodness that you are.
You, my child, are divine. You are pure. You are sublimely free.
You are God in disguise, and you are always perfectly safe.
Do not fight the dark, just turn on the light, and breathe into the goodness that you are.
One of our soul’s primary journeys is the journey home, the one to self-love. We are born with a sense of self awe, but this can erode as we grow. While others influence this moving away from the self, often it is our own faulty self-beliefs that keep love at bay. To forgo the work required to return to love, we distract ourselves. We give our all at work; do less for ourselves so we may do more for others; change who we are to be the reflection we think others hope to see. We watch television; mindlessly eat; text; start fights … sometimes we act crazy so we do not have to face ourselves and what our soul is crying for. And, our ego is there to help by offering self-criticism. We tell ourselves we are not good enough, smart enough, brave enough … that we are lacking in some way.
Something around this became clearer for me recently in a powerful dream. In the dream I was walking along a path and saw a small child lying on the ground ahead. Drawing closer I saw it was an unkempt young girl in a tattered dress with head bowed and shoulders heaving. Hearing my footfalls, she raised her tear-filled eyes to meet my gaze. She cried out, “I’ve been abandoned, and no one has ever come to save me.” Inhaling sharply I realized I knew her. It was me in the moment when I first realized that the love of others could be conditional, my magnificence questioned for the first time. This is the first wound many of us experience. As we held each other’s gaze I saw patterns in my life that had unfolded as a result of this unaddressed damage and fear, ensuing moments of pain directed inward and at others. The quest for outside validation beginning here; unrealistic expectations held, disappointments guaranteed. New awareness awakened in my heart. In my dream I reached down and picked up the small child I had been and held her tight. She wrapped her legs around my waist and laid her head on my shoulder. I could feel her heart beating in sync with mine. I whispered in her ear, “I am here now.”
There is something powerful about self-love. Unabashed, without guilt, flat-out “I am the most amazing creature” kind of love. Imagine if our world were populated by people who truly loved themselves. Our planet would change in an instant. All acts of violence would dissipate. We would no longer use words to hurt others. We would not seek to fit in by becoming someone we are not. We would not settle. Hate for those who are different would not have a home in our hearts. We would laugh often. Imagine this magical world where we love ourselves so much we only focus on shining as brightly as we can, how we were meant to.
I am learning this, right now, as I type these words. When I forgive myself, love myself and am kinder to myself I am able to give exponentially more to those around me. I am fearful less and courageous more. I am lighter, softer and more open, resulting in more love. I am able to take ownership of my life unfolding. I am, and that is enough.
For today can you do this? Can you stand in front of a mirror, look directly into your own eyes and say, “I love you with all my heart.”? Miracles are just waiting to happen!