This insightful article How to Activate Self-Love in Your Life on cultivating unconditional love for ourselves reminds me of the adage: “All love is self-love, and all hate is self-hate.” Like what the article says, practising self-love is not selfish, because when we love ourselves unconditionally, we will end up loving others the same way. I think everyone probably knows intuitively the importance of self-love, yet the reality is that we all struggle to love ourselves unconditionally at times, especially when we make mistakes or we think we fail to meet certain expectations imposed by ourselves or others.
I think this is because of the conditioning we received from the mindset of the society and religion – the law mindset that expects us to do something in order to become (successful, accepted, better, more beautiful, etc). All these expectations only set us up for disappointment as we start comparing ourselves with others and feel disappointed with ourselves for not measuring up and sometimes even beat ourselves up in our own mind and feel lousy about ourselves. I have been there before, and eventually I have learnt and am still learning to be saved from any remaining trace of self-loathing and self-criticism by seeing myself made in God’s image, who is already perfect and whole. (This is the grace mindset as I understand it.)
Like what the article says, practising self-love involves a conscious effort to show love, compassion and understanding to ourselves when we don’t like something about ourselves at that moment (and ignore the condemning voices in our mind), and we will feel our tension lifting and our shoulders relaxed, and our breathing becomes more at ease.
Some days in office when under work pressure (usually imposed by myself), I would need to remind myself to pause for a while and take it easy and practise embracing myself on the inside and feel better afterward. I will be giving a presentation at a meeting later this morning, and this article is a timely reminder of me to keep practising unconditional self-love and acceptance.
“Unconditional Love starts from within. It is not dependent upon anyone or anything. Unconditional Love is eternal transcending both time and space. It does not have any expectations or restrictions attached to it whatsoever. It’s completely free and without all limitation. There is an endless supply of Unconditional Love inside each of us which we can use to create the world and lives of our dreams. We all have the power to dream a new world full of Unconditional Love, Peace and Unity for all into being here and now. To awake this new tomorrow follow your Heart believe in yourself and trust in Love.”
~ Paul Adkins