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Until now, I always thought that my intrinsic value as a human being was determined by my opinions of and treatment of other living things. So I’ve spent 30 years worrying about being kind to others, and being extremely receptive to their opinions, behaviors, thoughts and actions.

At age 30, I learn that I was wrong. My value as a human being is not dependent upon any external force or being and how they view me. It’s entirely about how I feel about myself.

The struggle is never about being loved by others. The struggle is being loved by ourselves. The reasons for undervaluing oneself, or not feeling like we’re enough or worthy of love could be many. Perhaps a parent who deprived love and affection, perhaps a teacher who was highly critical. The reasons do not matter. It’s not too difficult to find reasons if that’s what we seek to do. But if we don’t fight this, if we don’t learn to accept ourselves just the way we are; if we don’t learn to stop judging ourselves, of deliberating over every mistake and worrying about other’s perceptions of us, we can never be happy and at peace.

It’s not easy. It’s not going to happen overnight. You are fighting a life-long established pattern, an enforced mechanism that has become so natural to you that you don’t even realize that you are doing it. This is going to take deliberation. This is going to take hard work. You’re going to have to de-program the way you think and feel about things. You’re going to have to think about it and mindfully practice it. But it’s possible.

I don’t know you and I don’t need to. I just want you to know that this battle exists in everyone, and I’m fighting it, just as you are. I want you to have confidence in yourself.

People often talk about life changes…about accomplishing things, about success. But you don’t need to change your life. You need to change your thinking. Change it by accepting yourself, with all of your perceived “shortcomings,” “faults,” “mistakes,” “foolishness.” Which by the way, they are not.

Right now, this moment, I want you to accept that there is nothing wrong with you. You are perfect just as you are. You are wonderful. You are beautiful. You are the most beautiful being that anyone can ever encounter. You are complete.

As much as we try to love and accept others, if we put that much effort into loving and accepting ourselves….what would happen?

Everything else that you think you want right now– whether it is to be loved or to be loving towards others, to be successful, to be content, all of this will follow when you are at peace with yourself. These other things are not the destination, they are the side effects of the actual goal– loving yourself. So don’t concentrate on the side effects, focus on the source. Love yourself.

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The Battle of Heart and Mind

Sometimes, we walk away from something even though it is difficult to do so. Sometimes we do it hoping that we’ll find ourselves back there once again in a wishfully not too distant future. And sometimes we do it knowing that it’s the only way, and nothing else was ever meant to be.

Have you followed your heart and regretted having done so?

 

The heart is always right, I once thought,

Wise in a way I don’t understand.

Sending signs of a beautiful future,

That is only waiting for me to take a step.

 

Oh how I have followed my heart,

And bended and groveled, and threw myself at its mercy…

How I’ve rushed to its wants and desires and treaded on its heels abidingly,

Believing that it would take me to where I needed to be. 

 

But the fickle heart carries no wisdom at all.

It runs and chases and gets carried away.

A brittle leaf on a rapid stream, unaware and uncaring.

Invincible it feels, but oh so severely it breaks,

Into millions of pieces, large and small.  

But learn, it does not.

Who but the heart has such audacity,

To get hurt willingly again and again?

 

The mind on the other hand, he has wisdom.

Free of enslaving whimsies and emotions that disease the heart,

You can count on your mind to give you sound advice.

Careful and thoughtful it treads.

Measuring and calculating, it does.

It plans, and plans, and plans.

 

The mind with its realities and analyses

Battles the unreliable craze that is the heart.

High and drugged on romantic thrills,

It pleads and nudges you to ignore your mind. 

 

Whoever wins the battle, you become.