Spiritual teachers say we’re supposed to love ourselves completely. Often, when I try and soak in a hot-tub of inner love, I get squirmy, like a puppy looking for something to chew. Mostly, I want to chew on my to-do list – that ever-changing, life-sucking entity that determines my worth based on how much I can accomplish (or not).
What would happen if we actually made self-care an urgent necessity? What if self-love became as important as any item on our to-do lists? What if we could allow self-compassion to befriend to self-criticism?
It’s possible. We can start by recognizing there is no need to obliterate self-criticism. Just notice it and see it as an overbearing stranger to be welcomed. Find compassion for the clumsy way the critic tries to help.
Then, offer the critic some vacation time. In the void created, see if you can bear the holy discomfort of resting in unrestrained self-love. Breathe it and believe it as best you can.
Do this many times throughout your day. Put it on your to-do list if you have to.
It may be a lot to ask and your ego may resist. You may say “self-love is self-indulgence; compassion should be reserved for those who ‘deserve’ it or for those who are ‘truly’ suffering.”
But this is just the ego, implying that love is a limited commodity.
And if you think you don’t deserve self-love, that’s proof enough that you need it.
Unrestrained self-love is yours today. How will you enjoy it?