Loving Your Self

Loving Your Self

Love your self. It's a common refrain.

One understanding of this is loving who you are—accepting yourself just as you are, warts and all; having compassion for your shortfalls, while rejoicing in your gifts. Loving ourselves in this way is certainly valuable; it can lighten our self-judgment and self-criticism, and free us to live more authentically.

Another way in which we can love ourselves is to take that feeling of love that dwells in our hearts, the feeling we know when we love someone, and let it flow towards ourselves—not loving anything in particular about ourselves, simply experiencing love for ourselves.

And there is another, deeper quality of self, often called the "pure" or "inner" self, or simply "the Self." It is that ever-present sense of "I." This inner feeling of "I-ness" that never changes. It is the same feeling that was there yesterday, last year, and as far back as we can remember. Our thoughts, our likes and dislikes, our personality, desires, and beliefs may have changed considerably over the years, but the "I" that experiences them all has not.

It is the "I" in "I am." The "I" that is aware. The "I" that is knowing this moment right now, that knows every experience we've ever had or ever will have.

Most of the time we don't notice this quiet inner sense of being. Our attention is on what we are experiencing. But when our attention relaxes and we become aware of that which is experiencing all this, we find an inner peace and ease, a great contentment to which nothing needs be added. We have come home.

Knowing our essential being is divine. Mystics have written volumes on it. Enlightened ones have urged us to open ourselves to it, and soak in the calm and joy it brings.

To rest in the Self is so delicious we cannot help but love it.

It is what we've been longing for.

It is the beloved.

You are The Beloved

Excerpted from book Seeds of Awakening