Practice Loving Kindness Toward You
The Buddha said, “You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” Read that again.
Loving oneself seems so elusive today! Why? Why do people not love themselves, or worse, think they don’t deserve love from anyone else. With no mention of “affection,” because I think it’s redundant to love, which is the key – The Key – to this and every other life. Love can be learned with the right intentions and the right circumstances, but love is also part of our “firmware” when we are born. It’s not put into use for a few years, but it’s there and one is, hopefully, shown love from the time they are born. Sadly, that is not happening enough in our world.
You deserve your love and admiration. You are enough and you are beautiful. We all are! Not one shit shall be given about what others think and say with regards to who you are as a person – who you are inside. All the clothes, houses, cars, schools, glasses, shoes, pools, flat screens, and so forth mean NOTHING. Nice to have, yes, but no amount of money, fame, or notoriety will fill you like loving yourself fills you. It is paramount that you begin the process of learning how to love yourself. You then teach your s/o, children, neighbors, and it takes off. The collective unconscious picks it all up and spreads loving kindness to all.
Loving Kindness Meditation
I found Loving Kindness Meditation, known as Meta in Pali, five years ago through the podcast channel for Insight Meditation Center (IMC) in Redwood City, California. They were the only “Meditation for Beginners” podcast I found and still find it the best variety of speakers and topics meditation podcast today. Visit their Web site and follow the links to the six-week meditation course for beginners and start there. IMC teaches Loving Kindness Meditation and they do it well. They have a retreat center where they host 1 day to 30-day meditation retreats (and probably longer.)
Loving kindness is good for you and your Self. Loving kindness toward every being on the planet, every plant, animal, fish, all deserve thoughts of loving kindness. Enemies, friends, mothers, fathers, hated siblings, and YOU deserve your focus of loving kindness. Meditation is an opportunity to focus your loving kindness on one person or one group of people, and always on yourself. Practice Loving Kindness meditation 20 minutes a day and learn to love yourself.
Who’s Your Therapist?
If you don’t have a therapist then find one (not a shrink – a Doctor Psychiatrist). Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) are therapists. Most list a specialization (drug abuse, teenagers, addictions, and so forth,) but you end up working best with the one you work best with; specialization or not, it works. The therapist is a non-biased licensed person whose job it is to listent to you and help you find a path leading to your answers. They aren’t to be used on an “as needed” basis either. Find a good therapist that you are comfortable with and continue with them for the next 10 years. These therapists help you on your journey through life; the first half of life (get married, kids, career, raise kids) and the second half of life (no kids, no idea who you’re married to, shit starts to make no sense, and so forth, or a “midlife crisis,” which I’m going through myself.) A guide through both halfs of life is very helpful.
Face it, life is a bitch and a good guide (therapist) is very handy to have. Doctor-client privileges exist, so your discussions are completely private (there are some terms and conditions that apply around crime, self harm, suicide, and so on,) and a good therapist will walk with you down the path, lead you to your answers, but will not point them out. It’s like the saying “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime.” If your therapist tells you what to do and gives you all the answers, then you aren’t going to learn a damn thing. But when they lead you to the answer and YOU find it, that is what Oprah calls an “ah-ha moment,” and it’s quite amazing when you learn something, that clarifies something about you that you’ve never understood. Find out why you do what you do. It’s amazing.