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“If you don’t heal what hurt you, you’ll bleed on people who didn’t cut you.” ~ Unknown
All the ruckus in the world is a result of not loving ourselves enough and not healing ourselves from what broke us.
Anger, greed, jealousy, insecurity, lust, and power are the emotions we spill on others to meet our own shortcomings. And most of us run away from our emotions, like grief, jealousy, insecurity, and the like.
We think that by running away, we can get rid of our feelings. In reality, it takes courage and strength to completely experience them. Once we experience these emotions and witness all our upcoming thoughts, without reacting, we become free of them. That is what the saints would call “freedom” or “liberation.”
Freedom from attachment to thought. Thoughts still exist, memories still exist, but our mind is still, like water in a river. This process looks like a simple one, but in reality, almost all of us are struggling to make peace with difficult emotions and experiences.
Every time we make peace with an incident and its accompanying emotions, we grow—our soul expands and we become free from destructive reactions in the future. This is how we grow stronger and become mature human beings.
There is no scale to measure our strength and maturity when we perceive our emotions and experiences differently. What might look like a life-changing event for you might be a simple event for me. Does that mean I don’t value your emotions? On the contrary.
In this game of constantly trying to be on the same page with our dear ones, we get hurt over and over, not understanding what they mean and why they’re hurt. The only key is self-love.
If we love ourselves like we’d love our dear ones, if we are compassionate to ourselves like how we are toward others, if we understand ourselves first, we understand and love others.
As much as it sounds cliché, it’s true: if we don’t love ourselves enough, we cannot love others fully. Lack of self-love creates doubt, anger, and insecurity, which leads to hurting people whom we love the most.
After all, who is going to bear our tantrums other than those who love us the most? But is it right on our part to throw tantrums on the people who are supposed to be loved, cherished, and celebrated as the gifts of god for us?
When we go beyond throwing tantrums, we are called toxic. When we become toxic, we (and everyone else) can sense it. We start hating our words, presence, and actions, without meeting our shortcomings and inefficiency. We complicate it even more, spilling more and more toxicity on our dear ones.
“If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both saltwater mixed with air.” ~ Nayyirah Waheed
As Waheed says, before behaving rudely to our dear ones, maybe we should ask ourselves the following:
>> Is my emotion valid or does it come from my past? If it is not valid, is it right on my part to spill poison on my dear ones who are not responsible for such emotions?
>> If the emotion is valid, can I communicate it without assuming or coming to false conclusions? Can I be more patient?
>> Should I bleed on people who didn’t break me?
This practice is easier said than done. But what do we achieve out of it? We achieve love, peace, and freedom.
As I was reading Heartfulness magazine this month, I came across some known, yet important, ways to reiterate the path of self-love.
>> Own the bad moments
>> Speak to yourself the way you would speak to your friends and family
>> Reframe “mistakes” as a “learning lesson”
>> Take the compliment
>> Give yourself the compliment
>> Throw judgment out of the window
>> Create self-compassion practices
>> Have vulnerable conversations
>> Push yourself in healthy ways
>> Make space for gratitude