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April 7, 2020

The Importance of Self-Love with a capital ‘S’

These days, there’s a lot of talk about “self-love.”

It’s just as rare to see two full moons in the night sky as is it is to walk down the street, or into a cafe or supermarket, and not catch a glimpse of a shiny phrase (often rainbow-colored with an accompanying unicorn) like “follow your bliss,” or “peace, love, and happiness,” or “love yourself.

While these concepts can serve as sweet, little reminders to slow down—enjoy the next sip of tea to the fullest, or smile at a stranger while in the longest grocery line of our life—it can also seem like another cheap new-age ploy. Something that is trying to sell a service, coerce us to buy an entire line of herbal diffusions, or promote a yoga retreat far away from home. 

To be clear, many of the health and wellness programs out there are wonderful—gifts and tools offered by sincere professionals to assist a person’s healing journey. For instance, yoga is a gift that means union or to yoke one’s smaller, limited ego-self with the higher, infinite capital Self. The yoga tradition offers tools through meditation and breath work that invite a practitioner to go beyond the reliance of outer material pleasures and ask, “What self Am I willing to feed?”

Based on conditioning and past experiences, the ego, which acts hand in hand with the mind, tends to annoyingly tell us:

“You aren’t good enough for that job,”

“What’s the point in changing?” or

“Just buy half the online store and you’ll feel fine.”

In this way, life and one’s life force (or breath) is the vehicle used in the present moment to guide us once again back to who we really are—boundless, limitless love. The more gratitude that is practiced, the more it shows up. 

Sometimes the call to start putting Self-love into play can come when a friend says, “I understand what you are going through, but how about you try taking care of yourself, like you would a baby.”

Now, even an experienced yoga practitioner, who has already submitted to a few hundred child’s poses in yoga class and established a consistent meditation practice with positive lifestyle changes, may have no clue how to put this practice in to play.

Like the baby who stomps and flops on soles that are bare while learning how to walk, Self-love is also taking a shoeless walk. It may be to rediscover a forest, or just around the block when you need air. It’s leaning up against a tree to whisper out deep secrets or resting a tired head on a soft green mossy bed. Self-love is allowing time before bed to write out what makes you happy in life and filled with complete joy. It could sweep in on the form of volunteering time to a cause that works hard to liberate all sentient beings on Earth like an animal sanctuary. Self-love is what connects us all as one.

Compassion is a flower that grows in love. Love for God, a lover’s eyes, a bike ride, your mom, dad, cow, brother, sister, daughter, son, or sunset.  Love is the key that awakens compassion.

Love is the journey taken to remember who we really are. Being in community with kind, like-minded, and supportive people can absolutely empower great change—both inner and outer—and stir inspiration.

Communities can be a playground for Self-love to express itself in the world. So we can share experiences with gratitude. A sense of community can further cultivate the power of love by showing respect for every individual’s unique charms and contributions. Sometimes our community can also offer blessed opportunities to realize how many barricades we have built against love. 

When a community is unkind, judgmental, and disrespectful, we should recall the child born from having practiced Self-love. The one who reaches out to be caught, adored, and offers love in return.

Having committed to a life long relationship with love itself could be a sure way to replace any disease contagion by sending it out with love and compassion.



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Melissa DeGasperis  |  Contribution: 270

author: Melissa DeGasperis

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