Updated: Nov 6, 2018
I’m sure you’ve heard these words at some point in your life, if not many times, whether it’s come from others or you’ve been saying daily 'I love myself', wondering when it might fill the emptiness inside of you. In some way, trying to love yourself has been there, in fact, due to the current mental health crisis that is plaguing society, with the drastic rise in depression, anxiety, suicide, body issues etc, I don’t think there has ever been so many ‘self-love’ advocates ever before.
Love plays such a huge role in the lives of human beings, it's part of the human condition, whether it’s loving yourself, finding the love of your life, loving the skin you’re in or living a life you love. The emphasis on love is everywhere and I don’t think there’s a single human being on the face of the planet, who hasn’t faced some issues in their life that relate to love, in some way shape of form. Me included.
Some of you might be thinking what is she on about, stop loving myself? Don’t get me wrong, I am the biggest advocate of love on the planet and believe to experience love and spread love is the main purpose of our existence. But what if the idea of ‘loving yourself’ is one of the things, preventing you from experiencing the love that you so deeply desire? Whether it’s unconscious or conscious, everyone single one of us has this deep desire to experience love, whether that’s because we lacked it in our childhood, have had a series of toxic relationships or have just never experienced it before. On some level, this desire exists in all of us.
As a society we are so confused about love, I was too but after a long healing journey of my own, many profound experiences and realisations it is now clearer than it's ever been before. Ironically it seems so simple, yet had someone told me what I'm about to right even just 8 years ago I probably would of laughed at them, felt confused or frustrated by an 'idea' that seemed so far out of reach or foreign. Because something is only a concept in the mind, until you've had a visceral experience of it. Which is why my work now focuses on creating the visceral experiences for others through ancient tantric yogic practices, because I know that ideas, concepts and philosophies are just that, until they're viscerally realised. The ego-mind often needs profound experiences in order to open up to something outside of the conditioning that it clings to.
You see many of us think love is an emotion, we see love as something that is dependant on a multitude of factors that reside outside of ourselves. We also constantly seek love in order to give love. We look for love everywhere in order to experience love, or to feel worthy of love. We see love as something we give or we don't. We see love as something that's only for specific people. This love is often dependent on a certain level of expectations I love 'X' because...but when 'X' does 'Y' I stop loving them, because it doesn't fall in line with my expectations. We have so much conditioning around what love is, should be or look like, from what were taught at school, to the family we grow up in and the movies we watch as a child. It all contributes to the pictures and ideas we have around love.
There are so many facets to love, but the love I'm speaking to and that is driving this post is true love, unconditional love, the great love, the ultimate love which is the source of everything, which could also be referred to as Unity Consciousness, Brahman, God or Source. Whilst there might be a lot of confusion around love, this is the love that we deeply desire, because it is our souls calling, to realise the fundamental nature of our existence and true essence. Which is LOVE. So all the while you are disconnected from your true self, you will be longing for love. You may have moments in your life where you think you've found it, cause everything is going well, but then something happens that you weren't expecting or is not part of your plan and you're right back to where you were. Bitter, angry, empty. Because the love was dependant on the external factors in your life. Ultimate love is not a fleeting emotion, not selective, not with expectations, not in fear, not in comparison, not in judgement, not in shame, not in denial but a love that exists, as a constant state of being. For it is you. This love once realised is always present, in all moments, however good or 'bad' they might seem. Whether there is pain or joy. To all people, whether we have an intimate connection or not. Whether they 'deserve' it or not. Whether someone gives it to us, or not. This is the ultimate and true expression of love and it's the only love that can transmute all pain and turn it into compassion and wisdom, it's the only love that can end all internal conflict and suffering, regardless of the circumstances we find ourselves in. But it is dependant on an ultimate state of trust that cannot exist in fear. Trust in something far beyond the 'I' that you identify with, trust in your true self as an unique expression of totality. Unity Consciousness. Existence. Radical trust in the divine plan for your life. Trust in God, that everything that is happening is for you and it's exactly the way it's supposed to be in every moment.
Whilst I honour its intent, the problem with 'I love myself' or 'self-love' is that it exists within an isolated sense of self, which is what feeds the need to seek for love in the first place and what creates the emptiness and longing. For the 'I' speaking is an illusion created by the conditioned ego-mind, which exists in separation from your true self. It lives in separation from all others, creating a me against the world type of love, a love that's needed to make you feel worthy and validated. It lives in separation from Spirit, Source or God. For the soul, your true self knows that it is love. It's essence is love. It's vibration is love. It's expression is love. It has no need to love itself, for it IS love itself.
You might be thinking oh so I just need to replace 'I love myself' with 'I'm love itself', it seems so simple right? Then why is it so difficult for us humans to experience this state of love, this love that is always present, here now loving you, this ecstasy and unreasoned bliss that is accessible to each and every one of us, in every moment. Because our conditioning begins from the moment we enter this physical body and that's before even considering the Karma we carry from other carnations and the state of our consciousness when we enter the world. Almost everything that we're taught (especially in the west) takes us further and further away from the truth of who we are. The illusion of the 'I' sense of self, as nothing more than this physical body, is so deeply embedded in the psyche of our conditioned ego-mind, that as we grow up we become completely identified as that, which keeps us in the perpetual state of suffering and separation. So in order to return to our true self, our natural state of love. We have to un-learn and un-do all of the learning and doing that we've done. Crazy right? We must shed and let go of years and years worth of learnt ideas and concepts and get to know ourselves deeply and intimately, beyond everything we think we know. And every part, the good, the bad and the ugly, whilst not being afraid of what might show up. We must cultivate a spiritual practise, to support us in this process which is the fundamental basis for our evolution, in order to move towards unity consciousness. For me that is Sattva Yoga but there isn't just 'one way', I've explored many spiritual practises over the years, it's about finding what resonates deeply in your heart. But fundamentally there has to be a conscious choice, to continuously move in love and not fear. It is being devoted to realising your true self. Of course there are many variables, that create the perception of the reality we live in. But love is the universal language of the soul, it is the one constant that permeates all and is the source of everything, the one thing when realised, that connects us all beyond the illusions of age, gender, race and sex, for the soul has none of these identifications, only the finite body does. But in order to go beyond this illusion, the discomfort of the known must outweigh the fear of the unknown.
This state of ultimate love is not a destination, something one can just arrive at, it is a state that I am still continuously refining and expanding into. But from my personal experience even just one glimpse of this love, this truth, a visceral experience of your true self beyond the body, is enough to keep you moving towards greater and greater values of it. Of course in the early stages there might be huge fluctuations, great challenges (I've faced many), but ultimately when you know who and what you are, to this you shall continuously return. Each time on deeper and deeper value. Once you touch this love and truth, the journey will become less about seeking, less about fixing and more about being and giving, whilst continuously refining and expanding your state of consciousness. Each time it's lost, when you're triggered, an old habit or thought pattern resurfaces. It's about how quickly you can return to this state of love, to your true self. Gradually overtime these fluctuations lessen and lesson. Until ultimately love is all that is left.
When you've basked, rolled, danced, cried and floated in the arms of this great love, it makes everything make sense, like wow it's that simple, this love has been here all along. It diminishes everything else. All the irrelevant things you focussed on, all the time you spent fighting against life, all the shit you put so much energy into and clung on to for so long, all the self-inflicted suffering, all the ludicrousness, the need for validation, the illusion of lack and all the hours you spent trying to figure out life, only to realise there is nothing to figure out at all. For me this realisation has had me in both uncontrollable tears and ecstatic laughter. For all we have to do, is get out of our own way and open up to the great mystery of life, for life has got it all figured out for us. It has done for eternity, the universe has got it all figured out and all you have to do is show up. But yet, when I look in the eyes of those still stuck in the same deep suffering that I once was, there is no simple way to make them see what I see, know what I know or experience what I have.
It often takes something drastic, it did for me. I ran myself headfirst into the ground, until I literally had nowhere left to look, turn or hide but within. I completely burnt out and landed amidst a physical, mental and emotional crisis that led to me being unable to work having to give up my life, job, flat, work etc. Now I know it was the biggest blessing in disguise I could have wished for, as it led to my spiritual awakening, but did it need to be so drastic? Yes. For me it did, because I was ignoring all the signals from the universe. It does for many, I have heard so many stories about something huge happening in someones life that initiated them onto the spiritual path and their awakening. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Don't wait until you have to make a change to realise the truth of who you are. Start now. Those of you who have those little niggles inside of you. Listen to them. Those with a deep yearning for love. Look within. Those feeling that there must be more to life. There is. Those of you already awakening, don't hold back in the words of my teacher Master Anand Mehrotra, 'go all the way'. Dive headfirst into the unknown and trust that the arms of the divine universe will always catch you. I promise, that what you have to gain, will always far outweigh what you have to loose. For nothing is ever lost. Everything is always here, right now within you. Everything outside of us stays here when we leave. Even this body will disintegrate into nothingness. So stop the fight. Open your heart now, not to let love in. But to let the love that you are out of the cage you've built around your heart. To let this love express itself through this body. Spread it. Share it. Let it touch all those you meet. For it's the only thing that goes with you, when this life ends. For it is you and you are it. Within and without. So stop trying to love yourself and realise that you ARE love itself.
Love and Light,