Photo credit: Марина Вельможко
It has been my privilege to travel widely through the five continents of the world in the course of a very active existence. I have met people from all walks of life, from prostitutes to presidents, saints and sinners. I have witnessed incredible poverty, amazing acts of daily heroism (especially from women). I have studied numerous belief systems, religions, philosophies, met those who were certain they were going to save the world and many doing their best to destroy it.
But if I had to mention one single thing which I believe the most important by very very far, for not only the survival but the harmonious evolution of mankind, it is simply LOVE. And the best place to find it might be in ourselves!
Learning To Love Myself
“A great teacher told us that ALL that the Divine Entity includes is already ours, i.e. that we are the very same essence as Infinite Love, just as the wave is of the exact same composition as the ocean. May I learn to see myself beyond the picayune limits of self-imposed fears and doubts and view the stunning, gloriously whole and accomplished, perfect being I am now.” -- Excerpt from 365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World
It is difficult to give to others what one does not give to oneself. Intelligent, authentic self-love is one of the most crying needs of our culture. For so long we were told to love our neighbor, but the “as yourself” part was usually omitted, yet it is the most important.
Ask yourself: Am I ready to really love myself unconditionally (that last word is very strong)? One way of checking this is the mirror exercise. Stand (or sit) in front of a mirror, and, looking yourself in the eyes, say out loud:
‘I accept myself entirely,
I respect myself totally,
I love myself unconditionally exactly as I am’.
Do this exercise daily, first for a few minutes, then increasing the time span. Some people experience great resistance to this exercise, and they are probably the ones who would get the most out of it. Little by little, the voice of the inner judge or parrot will calm down and finally disappear, and you will be able to accept yourself in the radiant, glorious beauty of your true being.
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We are not on earth to live by the norms of other people. The great Shakespeare expressed it so clearly: “To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou can’st not then be false to any man.”
We are here to live joyfully, share compassion and express unconditional love and gratitude, which is the essence of our being. When our bodies leave this little planet, the only thing we will take with us will be our ability to love. All the rest – relations, bank account, material possessions of any kind, prestige and reputation… all that is peanuts, compared to the real thing.
So what do we want: peanuts or true substance, following others’ norms, or our highest sense of right? The choice is ours!
Meditation/Prayer/Affirmation: I Am Love
I use the following short text in many of my workshops. It can be used as a meditation, prayer, or spiritual affirmation.
I am love. Love is all I have always been. I am only love, manifesting all that love is. Love constitutes my real identity. “As She/He is, so are we in this world” (I John 4:17) Love is also the identity of all those I meet, whatever the material appearances. Love constitutes the ground of my being, the only law governing my existence. It is the only meaning of my life, freed from all ego.
May love be the point of departure of all my thoughts, my only possible response to any aggression, encounter, fear, event, situation, challenge or joy. May love be the only presence I express, for it is the ultimate reality of my being which it fills entirely, constituting my one and only power. Love constitutes the space of my existence, the very life of my life, its true essence, my only presence.
Love which created me is what I am.
The ego, the mental realm of the human mind imbued with Cartesian logic, will oppose numerous shrill arguments to these statements. Do not listen to them. Let them simply pass like grey clouds in front of the clear blue sky.
Welcome these affirmations with your spiritual sense. Listen to them deeply, from the heart. Fill yourself with their deeper meaning, without filtering them through human concepts. Just rest in them. Just BE these words.
©2019 by Pierre Pradervand. All Rights Reserved.
Reprinted with permission of the author
and taken from the author's blog.
Book by this Author
365 Blessings to Heal Myself and the World: Really Living One’s Spirituality in Everyday Life
by Pierre Pradervand.
Can you imagine what it would feel like to never feel any resentment for any wrong done to you, gossip or lie disseminated about you? To respond with full awareness to all situations and people rather than react from your gut? What freedom that would entail! Well, this is just one of the gifts the practice of blessing from the heart, i.e. sending out focused love energy, will do for you. This book, from the bestselling author of The Gentle Art of Blessing, will help you learn to bless all situations and people as you go through the day and add overwhelming joy and presence to your existence.
About The Author
Pierre Pradervand is the author of The Gentle Art of Blessing. He has worked, travelled and lived in over 40 countries on five continents, and has been leading workshops and teaching the art of blessing for many years, with remarkable responses and transformational results. For 20 years Pierre has been practising blessing and collecting testimonies of blessing as a tool for healing the heart, mind, body and soul. Visit the website at https://gentleartofblessing.org
Watch a audio-visual presentation: The Gentle and Forgotten Art of Blessing
Video with Pierre: Blessing and the Spiritual Path (full movie)