I’ve had some time to reflect lately partially inspired by reading A Mind At Home with Itself by Byron Katie. One of the things I find most inspiring about her work is her ability to experience her life without attachment. In my view, she teaches through her work, to examine our thoughts and determine if they are really true and how we would feel without them. She seems so free to love others and herself (she says there is no separation between herself and others) without adhering to any imposed definition, label or opinion.
I’ve examined this idea in a previous post, Whom Am I without Employment. However, I think I’ve reframed that question now to look within to find my own value independent of others opinion or labels, approvals or disapprovals and independent of employment or job title.
Do I need to conduct a strengths inventory? Does this process require me to be objective? Is there a formula, a defined way to to be comfortable with me – or dare I actually try to get to a place of loving myself? The thought of loving myself has always seemed so selfish and has been a continuous concept of conflict. While I’ve read one needs to love themselves in order to love anyone else, of course loving others is so much easier – and is as natural to me as breathing.
Recently when having lunch with a friend, without pre-meditation, I said, “I like who I am in the eyes of my children.” I’m not sure now what prompted me to say that but I believe that statement to be true. Am I comfortable without the clarification? Can I just say I like who I am? If I can love others with their perceived faults, why then is it so hard for me to love and accept my own?
Over the years when I’ve faced stressful situations I’ve often told myself to invite calm: in this moment, I am fine. It’s funny that the present becomes the past so quickly – this moment is gone and a new one takes its place. If I am okay in this moment, can I also value myself in this moment? And if the answer is yes – could it be that simple that I could actually love myself in this moment and commit to just that?
Expanding on that thought then, I must also love myself in the past. If mindfulness is being present and giving ones full attention to the present, then I feel some comfort in accepting self love in the present which is independent of labels, opinions or job status – but rather just my existence in this moment. In resisting the urge to dredge up the past, to wallow in the shoulda-coulda-wouldas, mistakes, regrets, failings, losses and in resisting the urge to fear the future – I can actually find a space where I can embrace myself with acceptance and love and it does inspire me to be less judging of others.