Originally appeared in Planet Jackson Hole

At the conclusion of the Dali Lama’s first visit to the United States many years ago, he was asked by an interviewer what surprised him most about Americans. His reply was that in this richest of countries, what most surprised him was that people here do not love themselves.

AN IMPORTANT SELF-DISCOVERY QUESTION

Following up on the Dali Lama’s observation, “Are you kind, caring and forgiving toward yourself? Do you love yourself?”

It is not selfish to love yourself, to know and honor your needs, to refine and contribute your strengths and to accept your limitations. This is not about ego boosting or boasting. Nor is it about perfection. Love underlies the Creation of all life. The soul is about love. Love sets the stage for thriving. It’s very important to include ourselves as part of Creation by loving ourselves.

SELFISH-SELFLESS-SELF-FULL

Selfish means there is no room in your psyche for anyone else. Selfless means there is no room for you. Self-full is a made up word to describe the middle ground where you honor, respect and take care of yourself. This will upgrade your frequency so your energy can align with the job, friends, situations you truly want. Importantly, loving yourself adds to the love on the planet.

THE SITUATION WE’RE ALL IN: METAPHYSICAL PERSPECTIVES

We are souls having a human experience. This 3D earth reality is both awesome and limited. Our current collective reality is polarized between alternating expressions of light (love) and dark (fear). We have parts that are all about light (heart and soul and higher mind) and parts that are way more limited (ego and fear-based beliefs and actions).

We’re all works in progress. It’s our evolutionary challenge to choose love over fear as consistently as possible.

We are currently in the process of shifting the global paradigm from one based primarily on fear to one based primarily on love. This upgrades everything. We are here on purpose to assist in this evolution.

The purpose of karma is to help us grow and explore our full potential. The circumstances in life are meant to support our evolution, not to do us in. It’s easier to learn from our challenges than to resist what we’re being shown.

Soul is meant to run the show; it’s the part of us which knows what’s in our highest, greatest good. Hallmarks of the soul are direct knowing, higher intelligence and unconditional love. When soul is guiding choices and decisions, you just know what is right action.

The human heart is the portal to our soul. The soul is our link to the Universe. Our natural state of being is Love.

PRACTICES IN SUPPORT OF LOVING YOURSELF

Begin with accepting yourself as you are right now. Acceptance (accept = neither condemn nor condone) is a neutral state which allows you to see clearly without judgment. It is what it is.

Everyone is doing the best they can, given their givens. Extend compassion to yourself.

Develop the practice of self-honesty, rather than self-judgment. Be mindful to not call yourself names.

List your positive attributes and practice gratitude for who you are and for what’s right in your life.

Choose a healthy lifestyle to enhance your well-being. This demonstrates self-care = self-love.

We all have old wounds…deal with them…forgive your past…find professional help to resolve deep issues. Doing this is a sign of strength, caring about yourself and taking responsibility for your healing.

Seek out relationships with people who appreciate and love you. Allow relationships which are one sided and/or abusive to dissolve.

Do things that make you feel good. This does not mean indulging in debauchery; it’s about choosing from the menu of life what enlivens you.

Take some quiet time for yourself every day to feel into your heart and receive the wisdom in your soul.

A GENTLE REMINDER

I have added the words in parenthesis to this quote from the Dali Lama. “Whenever possible be kind (to yourself); it is always possible.