I am often inspired by things I read which cause me to reflect upon what is being shared—and Jamie Catto’s blog did just that.
It led me to reflect upon giving love to oneself.
Through life there is often much focus upon pleasing others. Perhaps this begins in early childhood. When we make our loved ones laugh or we do what they ask of us, they are happy, they smile, they are kind and loving towards us; we may experience this as joy, a feeling of goodness, warmth and safety. Conversely, if we do something they do not want us to do, it may be reacted to with coldness, perhaps creating an uncomfortable and unhappy feeling within.
This learned behavior then translates to new relationships, where patterns are strengthened by repetition. Just like that, by the time we reach early adulthood we are trained; our happiness, feelings of self-worth and self-love are dependent upon that which is external to us—the reactions of others. We have chosen—perhaps without realizing—to allow others to define us. We lose our intrinsic connection with identifying, seeking and trusting our own truth.
Media’s insatiable propaganda of consumerism plays a pivotal role in directing one’s focus outwards. It weakens the connection with the true self and instead affirms a bind with the external. It induces us to wrongly believe that by striving to acquire objects, we will find happiness, that the emptiness, dissatisfaction or uncertainty residing within dies and fulfillment is achieved.
Media tells us what we should look like, what we should have, what love is, how true love should present itself, what should make us happy and unhappy. We are told what we should think in any given circumstance to feel “accepted” by social norms—often derived from political motivations.
Media is the external.
No matter how much one receives from the external, it is never enough. Feelings of unfulfillment may engender deeper delusions, leading one to wrongly assume that the cause is not having enough, causing one to strive even harder to obtain the external and in doing so, one detaches even further from their own consciousness and truth.
There comes a point of realization when we focus on what is external—we give away our power and our innate ability for self-determination. Our thoughts are our thoughts. We choose what we think. Our feelings are our feelings. We choose how we feel.
The void felt cannot be fulfilled by the external. The void is the disconnection with the true self. Within you lies the most abundant source of joy. In connecting to your own truth you feel love.
A cycle is just that—it is a cycle and it will go around and around until there is a change.
Change—how does it happen?
To my mind, the beauty of life is that it brings change. There is a myriad of things that may happen to bring change into one’s life.
How to give love to you?
To my mind the most loving thing one can do, is to connect with your own truth—to feel it, to listen to it, to sit with it and to live it. This connection is a journey and new paths are laid, replacing old conditioned circuits.
There are many things that help me to connect with my truth; for example, reading spiritual texts, prayer, giving, yoga and sharing love and kindness.
After yoga practice, I feel a deep sense of radiant joy and peace, which I experience as an abundant source of love from within. I would describe this as warm, powerful, healing and fulfilling. It is a beautiful light—practicing yoga is a way of life.
Below is an extract from Jamie Catto’s blog titled Leave Your Job Today. To my mind, it intimately, kindly and beautifully shares a reflection of giving love to oneself:
“I’ve been slowing down and I notice that the amount of time it takes to chop and peel the fruit in the morning, to eat or drink it consciously, appreciating every mouthful and every taste as if it’s the first time I’ve ever tasted it. To be present with my whole body, not just the sensations in my mouth but my whole body, as my genius system of tubes and chambers delivers and harvests the nutrition, then washing myself slowly and gently, unhurried, limb by limb, stroke by stroke. To love and care for every inch of myself as I clean and enliven the whole surface of my skin-body and then to dry each area equally lovingly with the same presence and care I’d give a baby and to then cream or oil my limbs, connecting deeply to muscles and sinews, thumbs seeking out any lines of stiffness or resistance, unknotting and relieving, combing the energy through; to stretch myself out and attend to my hamstrings and tendons and breathe through my joints, my spine, my stillness. To breathe deeply with myself, waking up my organs with a smile for each one, guiding an inner smile through my liver, heart, spleen, lungs and kidneys and so wake up my body’s innate self-mending power and even take a little longer to send some of that magic healing juice out into the world, to all living beings, ‘May they all be free of suffering’—and watch the good juice I’m sending have its transformational effect in my mind’s eye, to see it do it’s good—and to then light herbs of sage and sweet incense, step by step making my way through the house, room by room, step by conscious step allowing the smudging, clearing qualities of the smoke to reach every corner.”
Give love to you and allow you the respect, love and patience to receive, experience and enjoy it.
The external control ebbs. Truth lies within.
Peace be upon you.
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Assistant Ed: Gabriela Magana / Ed: Catherine Monkman