Friday, April 11, 2014

Why You Should Treat Yourself As Someone You Love

"But it is not enough simply to clear the debris of the past.  We must plant what we love in the garden of our life.  As the Tao Te Ching insists, our center will heal us.  When we attend to what is loving and beautiful, we are brought forward into our most exquisite manifestation."  In the book, How, Then, Shall We Live?, Wayne Muller makes that beautiful statement.

I have been staying the course in my personal development work to clear out things that I no longer absolutely love to do in order to be able to judge what I do love and spend more time doing them.  And, I know that in staying the course and taking one step at a time, I am discovering more about what makes me happy.

Those things, then, that make me happy are not only what I should plant in my garden of life, but those are the things I should do A LOT.  For example, knowing that I love music, where is it that I can spend A LOT of my time around music?

As I make those kind of choices, I am realizing how empowering it makes me feel.  I get excited and a little scared at the same time.   That's when it hit home - this is how I felt when I first started dating someone new.

So, maybe I should go out on a date with....myself?

There is a story in the Wayne Muller book that is a beautiful example of treating OURSELVES as someone we love.  The woman in the story, Elizabeth, loved being a mother above all else.  One day, her younger son suffered a traumatic injury resulting in the loss of three fingers and a mangled hand.

Elizabeth felt responsible as there was nothing she could do to "make him whole again".  Recognizing that there were things with her children that were out of her control, the part of her that she loved most - being a mother - started dying and she became powerless.

What also became clear was that it was time for Elizabeth to start something new.  As her children were growing and evolving, so was she.   And, as her children were discovering what they loved, she was free to love herself again.

Treating herself as someone whom she was falling in love with again, she turned to meditation.  Not just 5, 10, or 15 minutes a day.  She jumped into meditation A LOT - a 10-day retreat.

From there, a meditation practice turned into a mediation business which in turn fueled a passion to help others.  That passion ultimately became the Empty Bowls project which serves the poor and hungry in local area communities.

When I read Elizabeth's story, it reminded me that when I love myself first, letting go of the labels of mother, wife, daughter, employee...the Universe celebrates.

It's not that I don't love being a mother or a wife but - MY life has meaning BEYOND that.  And if I postpone what feeds my garden, my garden can wither as the seasons change.

My journey from this point, then, is to treat myself as someone I am in love with.  I will not postpone what has heart and meaning for me.  Instead, I will spend A LOT of time with what nourishes me.

What would you like to spend A LOT of time doing?  What makes you happy?

Today, I set the intention to treat myself as someone I love dearly, spending A LOT of time doing activities that have heart and meaning for me.

"All that we are arises with our thoughts.  Speak or act with a pure mind or heart
 and happiness will follow you as your shadow, unshakable."  

"Whatever you wish to marry, go absorb yourself in that beloved,
 assume its shape and qualities.  If you wish for the light, prepare yourself 
to receive it; if you wish to be far from God, nourish your egoism and drive yourself away. 
 If you wish to find a way out of this ruined prison, don't turn your head away from the Beloved,
 but bow in worship and draw near."  

Affirmative Prayer:
Breathing in and breathing out, there is a realization of a Creative Source that is present in each moment.  And as the night falls and the stars light up the sky, there is a deep knowing of a Power that is filled with the energy of love and of life.

This energy, this Creative Source, is individualized in me and is seeking an outlet through me.  I step into the embrace of the One, letting everything that is the opposite of peace, of passion, of purpose, fall away and I dwell in the beauty of the Now.

Letting go of any resistance, I feel an amazing grace swell from within as my heart overflows with love.   Affirming my worthiness to receive, I welcome the laughter and the joy that bubbles out from me as I spend time with myself.  The activities I choose make me so happy and I welcome the freedom I have to spend A LOT of time enjoying those activities.  Expressing the Divine Source that is seeking to emerge through me, I am nourished and fulfilled as I follow my heart in my daily choices.  Mundane details are no longer important as I claim the passion and the purpose that is my Divine birthright.  I shine from within as I live my purpose and everyone I meet is touched in beautiful ways that remind them the Universe is working for everyone's highest good.  We simply need to say Yes and let life unfold perfectly.

I am so grateful for the grace of Spirit within me that tells me every day how deserving I am of self-love.  And I give great thanks for my Divine talents and abilities that make me unique and that emerge in amazing ways.  I am filled with gratitude for the Creative Source that magnifies my joy and happiness as I dwell in the areas of life that have great meaning for me.

From this place of gratitude, I release my Word to the Divine Action of the Law, knowing it is already done.  I am now a magnet for opportunity and for success.  And I let it be so.  And so it is!