My year at a Vipassana Center: Part 18. How to be a kind and loving human being.

Loving oneself has always been a bit of an abstract concept for me. What exactly does it mean, and why is it relevant to being a kind and loving human being?

Loving oneself is everything! The relationship you have with yourself is the relationship you have with everyone and the process of learning to love oneself has everything to do with a accepting all parts of yourself.

In our efforts to progress in our lives, we sometimes overemphasize “changing what no-longer serves,” “getting rid of limiting beliefs to move forward,” “stepping into the new,” “reframing the past,” and “releasing our fears.” The danger in this is that we continually become aware of what doesn’t work and how we’d like for it to look and feel.

People’s success stories often seem like marching forward against all odds and believing in some future goal. Being constantly dissatisfied with the present can lead one to accomplish great things, and quite often at cost of self-love, self-appreciation and self-celebration.

To love yourself, means to accept every single part of yourself. That teenager who were told to shut up, that little girl who was to afraid to ask, that champion who flourished in the sports game and that suave socialite, together with the part that struggles with grief, depression or social anxiety. Every single part needs to be welcomed, and this is done through sitting in silence.

The practice of sitting in silence is so brilliantly designed, that any resistance to accepting and loving a certain part of yourself does result in restlessness and movement.

Thus, through the practice of meditation, sitting in silence and observing every single part of ourselves we cultivate calmness, compassion, grace and humility, and we offer this to every other relationship we partake in.

Then before we get up from our mediation cushion, we engage en metta mediation:

May you be happy and peaceful and your mind be free. May you have health and wholesome means of providing for yourself, may your creativity be nurtured and expressed and your individuality be appreciated. May you belong and be supported and have harmonious relationships. May you have direction, vision and godliness in your life. May all the people in your life be happy and peaceful and their minds be free. May all the people in your life have health and wholesome means of providing for themselves, may their creativity be nurtured and expressed, and their individuality  be appreciated. May they belong and be supported and have harmonious relationships. may they have direction, vision and godliness their lives. May all the people in the world, all the beings in the world, all of existence be happy and peaceful. May love be known in all that is.

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