As a meditation facilitator, one of the most gratifying meditations to hold is a self-love meditation. My classes are intuitively led, meaning that I don’t use a script or have a fixed sequence. Instead, I rely on the energy of the participants and my intuition to guide us through the meditation.
The first time I held a self-love meditation, I found myself addressing the class as if I were talking to myself. At one point, my heart was so full that tears started to well and I had to concentrate on not letting my voice quiver too much. And even now, dozens of meditations on, the experience is quite often the same.
So why do self-love meditations have such an impact?
While I don’t claim to be an expert on the subject, I think it’s because when you approach the subject of self-love, which is really about learning to love who you are, you are in essence healing yourself. I use the word ‘healing’ because this is the process that takes place. When you begin to love, a life-long journey in which you recognise, forgive, accept and honour yourself begins.
In my meditations, I often associate self-love with power. The power I’m referring to is not selfish, ego-driven power or a domineering, authoritative force. When you practice self-love, you learn how to be powerful from the heart. You come from a place of knowing, of confidence and of integrity. You seize your personal power to rise and become the ‘You’ you really are. You allow yourself to be beautiful and strong, not through arrogance or force, but with truth, love and kindness. In a nutshell, you ultimately become an unshakeable loving, happy version of yourself and it feels amazing!
If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect anyone else to love you?
Love begins with ‘me’. Loving yourself is not a selfish act. There’s nothing wrong with loving yourself as long as your intentions come from a place of purity, respect and a wanting to better your life. Loving yourself includes seeing all aspects; the good, the quirky, the not-so-appealing, the downright ugly and being able to accept them. With acceptance, you start to forgive and with forgiveness you start to heal.
Recognising your ‘dark side’ helps develop self-love.
Here’s an example of a not so positive trait - gossiping. Let me just say that, yes, I gossip and I also listen to others who do. Who doesn’t? But there’s something that I’ve noticed myself doing more frequently after each gossiping session – saying sorry.
Apologising to myself that is. I’m sorry because there is a ‘shift to a lower energy’ that I feel because I know in my heart that what I’ve said or done has not been aligned to my highest good. It hasn’t come from a place of love nor kindness and I feel it. Of course being human, the ‘energy shift’ I experienced the first time didn’t stop me from gossiping again, and neither did the second nor third. But over time, I have become more aware and also conscious of my decisions to partake in gossiping. I often ask myself now, before I comment, ‘Am I coming from a place of love? Is there any positive benefit to me saying/sharing this?’
The more open you are with yourself, the more you’ll be able to ‘see’ and to change. When fear is filtered from our being, it exits along with anger, jealousy and insecurity, leaving acceptance, peace and love. Once you begin to shed your ‘dark side’ and ‘low serving emotions’ you’ll start to feel yourself feeling lighter. It’s as if a space has cleared within you and your desire for gossip (for example) is replaced by wanting to create joy and beauty instead. You’ll find yourself choosing to partake in activities that bring and spread love, instead of inhibiting them.
“When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.” - African Proverb
I love this proverb because to me, it perfectly sums up what self-love is all about. I interpret its meaning as a true reflection of the ‘power’ concept mentioned above. No one is responsible for banishing these enemies, but you. No one is responsible for making you happy, but you.
So here’s a little parting idea, why not tell yourself to choose love? You have the power to invite love into your life just as much as you have the power to fear, to hate or to be angry. The question is, just how powerful would you love to be?