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People who are paying attention to how they feel and what they’re experiencing often realize that Self-Love and Self-Esteem are the root cause of most of their pain and suffering. Yet, one of the most frequent questions I get is, “How do I really learn to love myself?”
Learning to love yourself is learning to liberate yourself from suffering. I used to spend many thousands of dollars trying to fix myself, when all I really needed to do was have a dedicated spiritual practice that worked, and stick to it. Once I found that practice that worked for me and I stuck to it, I naturally began to attract more and more opportunities for increasing the good and eliminating the pain, shame, and blame.
Some people have a dedicated spiritual practice but they don’t see much movement in their level of happiness. So then, their spiritual practice leads them to conclude that something’s wrong with them. They think, “If there wasn’t something wrong with them, their spiritual practice would work.” It’s not that simple. It’s not that simple at all.
In fact, I’ve seen people who spiral down into the depths of self-loathing and despair because of the way they approach their spiritual growth and practice. It’s not unlike the religious person who takes the beautiful teachings of an avatar, such as Jesus, and then focuses on the Laws of Leviticus, forgetting that Jesus came to teach us non-judgment and forgiveness.
Healthy self-esteem is one of the greatest benefits of spiritual practice! That’s why my Finding Freedom Spiritual Bootcamp and my Masterful Living Course are focused on building a strong spiritual practice that you LOVE.
The essence of Self-Love is kindness. And kindness is a spiritual practice. It doesn’t matter whether you’re being kind to yourself or to someone else, it will raise your self-esteem.
NOTE: If you’re being kind in order to get something from someone, it won’t have the effect of raising your self-esteem. In fact, it will have the opposite effect because your belief is that there’s something wrong with you and your goal of getting something from another, to validate yourself and feel better about yourself, will actually backfire. The goal of giving to get doesn’t ever bring the benefit desired. It’s like quicksand that sucks you in and leaves you feeling trapped, stuck, hopeless, and helpless.
I’ve seen that many children who are raised with respect, nurturing, and true kindness are open, loving, and prosperous. While I’ve seen that other children who are raised with shame, accusations, judgment, and punishment grow up with self-loathing and then project that onto others. We’ve all experienced the latter.
We’re here to interrupt these patterns. That’s why we asked to incarnate at this time and Peace begins with us. Self-Love for all begins with us. And it may begin with forgiving our parents as a way of setting everyone free.
The first step in actively raising our self-esteem is to set the goal of loving ourselves free of everything that’s false in our belief system. What we do individually influences the whole because we share the same mind. One person makes a HUGE difference in this world – no matter what you’re doing or where you live. Even if you’re living in a cottage, in the woods, by yourself.
We set the goal of cultivating an awareness of divisive thinking so that we can eliminate it. We eliminate thinking that’s designed to sort and separate by recognizing it has no value to our Spirit – only the ego values being separate. We replace the thinking that’s designed to sort and separate with thoughts that are about recognizing that we’re one and we share the one mind. It’s liberation to realize that there’s nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.
Being loving has value and keeps us in the flow of Love, which unites us with healing, Prosperity, and God’s Infinite Goodness.
I used to put a label on everything and everyone. My labels were judgments that I believed kept me separate and safe. It took me a long time to realize that my safety lies in my Oneness and union. My safety is in my ability to be loving and kind.
Being loving and kind is like yoga for the heart and mind. Being loving keeps us flexible. Just as a body that isn’t flexible is more prone to injury and illness. So too with our mind. Just as when we do physical yoga, we feel better about ourselves because we know we’re actively loving ourselves. Yoga for the heart and mind increases our self-esteem, too.
NOTE: Some people (been there, done that) workout and even do yoga in an obsessive-compulsive way that is rigid and authoritarian – that’s not going to build your self-esteem, because it’s making choices from a place of lack and limitation. Remember, we’re loving ourselves free of limiting thoughts.
When our mind is focused on lack and limitation, and looking for who is to be blamed and attacked for it, then our mind is rigid and fraught with illness. After all, since we are One, and we share the same mind, doesn’t believing in separation feel like mental illness? It does to me.
If we could recognize that attacking others is the fastest path to low self-esteem, would we still wish to engage in it?
I have found that the fastest path to feeling badly about myself is to attack one of my brothers or sisters. Fortunately, whenever there’s a judgment, I can change my mind lickety-split. I don’t have to stay in the place of pain just because I went there for a moment.
It’s like if you step on a splinter and it lodges in your foot, you don’t have to live with it the rest of your life. You can pull it out. You don’t have to let it become infected and then amputate your leg. That’s what non-judgment is for, eliminating the splinters in our mind.
Tomorrow I’m going to share about one of the most helpful things I’ve learned about increasing my self-esteem. I’m glad we’re doing this together. Let’s put an end to suffering and model a life of Joy! Let’s be victorious!
If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful, won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!