“Loving yourself…does not mean being self-absorbed or narcissistic, or disregarding others. Rather it means welcoming yourself as the most honored guest in your own heart, a guest worthy of respect, a lovable companion.”
~ Margo Anand ~
Many times, I am the worst critic of myself. At times I get so hard on myself that I find it impossible to believe that I am doing it!
In the past, it has always taken much effort to love myself. Often, I was critical and even annoyed with myself over many aspects of my life and its happenings. Often, I took on the blame for other people failures. It took me a while or should say many years to realise that I do not need to carry all the burdens of everyone around me. It also took me awhile to love the person as I am. I lacked confidence in a number of aspects, for example in the way I look, dress, speak and more. While it does not need anyone to say anything negative to me, I could instantly, in a snap be very critical of myself that it brought me down in terms of emotions to negative thoughts and feelings. Often, it took plenty of courage on my part just to love myself. Afraid that I might look like a failure, I kept all of these to myself not wanting to discuss these aspects with anyone.
I am in my 40s now. Looking back, I could see many moments of life wasted just by being a critic of myself. That not only brought more bitterness to me but it also did not let me enjoy life and its moments. Spiritual knowledge or just to love myself is what I needed. While it is easy to go out to the world and proclaim, “I am the worse critic and I lack self-confidence,” I did not want to do it as society had its own expectations of me and most importantly, I had my own expectations of myself. I was afraid to talk about it to humans. Nevertheless, I turned inwards many times to my inner self and to God and his guides for direction and assistance. I am quite sure I received some kind of help from the inner self. At the same time, my self-critical voice was too loud to hear the inner voices. I wasted my life moments going around like a self-negative bomb, ready to burst on anyone that triggered it unknowingly.
The good thing to know is that your inner self NEVER gives up on you. My inner self made me search – search endlessly wanting to put an end to this very negative and dark areas. My inner self lead me to music, books and poems. The music piece that triggered in me a positive self-change and wanting to love myself more was “Adiemus” by Karl Jenkins. One day many years back in my dark negative self, I just played the CD (I had purchased the inspiration moments 1 collection of music), “Adiemus” piece came. I just closed my eyes and drifted away – in peace, in love and in bliss. I was so peaceful that it is now impossible to explain in words. As of now, I play that piece of music and I can get goosebumps! Another music piece that will offer me peace and love anytime will be “Nightingale” by Yanni. This music piece brought about a closer connection to Nature or Mother Earth. It was as if it was erasing my negativity and replacing it with pure love (like a mother cradling a child with love). I wanted these peaceful and positive feelings to persists and wanted to carry it with me always and forever. I was silly not to realise that those wonderful positive feelings was always there – in me and in everyone too. We put a mask over it – by our expectations and societal expectations. Once the mask is up, we forget our true beautiful and lovely selves.
My search went on and then I stumbled upon Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)” and I was just so inspired and felt more loved and worthy by reading this book. It seemed that Parahamansa Yogananda was speaking directly to me on all my issues.
(The links to the music pieces and books are at the end of this post)
Another great mystic whom I love and respect is Rumi. He changes the reader with his beautiful poems. Rumi woke me from my negative sleep. He together with other Masters and Teachers made me see the positive value of my life. As Rumi puts,
“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.”
Slowly, but surely I made progress. Now, my critical self is quieter these days as I spend by being in Zen (by conscious living and living in the moments). However, my critical self is not totally “dead” or gone. It comes on and off making me think negatively over something or someone. I suppress the negative self-talk by focusing on my breath, nature (if I am outside), mantra, meditation, prayer, writing, coloring, drawing and more. I gently “kick” my negative thoughts and feelings away, replacing it with positive thoughts and feelings.
Often, it is very easy to fall into the trap of making ourselves look vulnerable and self-pitiable for so many negative and unhappy happenings in our life. The first step of remedy is to realise that we brought upon ourselves these negativity. In addition, we also need to realise that we are the Masters of our own life. Therefore, it is right that we erase it and replace it with positivity by our own efforts. It is not the responsibility of the world, society and family to get it done for us. We need to act like a Master and correct it.
These days there are many options out there to get it right. Books and music are easily available in electronic versions. Music is one way to find peace and unity with your own self. The only thing is that you just need to search for the right one to lift your spirits. Written works or books allow us to get in touch or connected with Ancient Masters. If you rather have people comfort, there are many support groups out there. If you are determined to get things right and / or sorted, the options will be available to you in many forms and ways.
The biggest mistake anyone can make is to waste his / her life precious moments in self-pity and negativity. To counter that, one need to love himself and be gentle at the same time. In fact it is so very easy to start loving our own self. We can start immediately without having to getting any clearance, approval or not doing much. After all, it is about us and life.
My friends, the year is ending soon. 2019 will be here soon. Take this opportunity to do a “self-check” and get rid of any mental clutter and negativity. It is now or never. You might not make great progress at a start. A small step is what one needs. Indeed, it is a big favor one will be doing for himself.
Imagine yourself as a positive bubble. There will be no one out there who will be able burst that bubble if you do not let them do it. If they try to burst your bubble, you can always tape it up with self-worth and self-love. I have done it and I am still doing it. Many others, who have experienced similar or different ways of negativity, have overcome it.
Let us all welcome 2019 with a big hug and wave a big bye to 2018, with gratitude…
“To be beautiful means to be yourself.
You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. “
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
The links to the various music pieces that made a difference to my life
The links to the books that has made a difference to me and is continuing to make a difference to many others in the world…
Link to the Self-Realisation Fellowship Parahamansa Yogananda book, “Journey to Self-Realization (Collected Talks and Essays, Vol 3)”
Link to Man’s Eternal Quest (Collected Talks & Essays 1) by by Paramahansa Yogananda
Link to Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, the Heart, and the Spirit by Rumi, Maryam Mafi (Translator), Azima Melita Kolin (Translator)
Link to Dancing Into the Light: An Inner Journey Guided by Rumi by Rumi, Omid Arabian (Translation), Shilla Shakoori (Illustrations)