"Because one believes in oneself, one does not try to convince others.
Because one is content with oneself, one does not need others’ approval
Because one accepts oneself, the whole world accepts him or her"
- Lao Tzu -
If we accept ourselves, if we are content with ourselves, if we love ourselves, others will accept and love us. Our essential nature is love. When we open our awareness to this reality it transforms our relationships.
If this teaching reflects reality, then why do we often find ourselves in the opposite state? Not believing, valuing, accepting or loving ourselves? The answer has to do with whether it is "ego self" or our "true self" that is doing the loving and accepting.
When your true self has that experience of “I am”, It knows itself to be pure openness, acceptance, love, contentment and joy. This is its essential nature. For the true self the “I’ is unbounded awareness.
For the ego self the “I” is all about constricted awareness, identifying only with the body, mind and feelings.
When you meditate you eventually discover that our limited self is not who we really are and we learn to live our life from a place of unlimited awareness. The true self isn’t hiding from view. It is always there as the source and content of every experience that you have. From It comes the impulses of love that you feel in your life, along with feelings of creativity, bliss, sense of safety and self worth.
It is not necessary to approach loving ourselves as a self improvement project. Seeking to expand our awareness through meditation practice allows us to have moments in which we are open to the unbounded loving nature of our true self and we can experience it first hand.
Each time we notice this expanded presence of awareness we are accepting who and what we are with love and appreciation. Through the stillness of mediation we begin to clear a path that helps us move beyond the limited ego self and allows us to connect with the truth that we are wholly loving and loveable just as we are.
From that self love, the world around us begins to transform. This is the miracle of our true self awareness, knowing our self as our love and joy. That transforms all of our relationships into loving relationships.
Based on a meditation practice by Deepak Chopra
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