“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are” ― Kurt Cobain
I had the joy of celebrating my 49th birthday last week. I also found myself thinking about the spiritual practice of self-love recently. What I realized is that I think it is important to take a different perspective. What if we liked ourselves more? Do you think it would lead to increased self-love? Or what I believe about myself is that I love myself but I don’t always like me. I wonder what shifts we might experience if we practice self-like more often? Maybe our self-compassion would grow and evolve allowing us to then practice compassion in the world?
As I was reflecting on this statement “I like ME” I realized I was focusing a lot of my time and energy in reviewing my life. There is an analogy that I like to think of when I find myself reflecting on the past or realizing that I am spending way too much time explaining my past to others, re-living my past, or just reflecting on it. The concern I have is not that I spend time doing this rather that I realized that I spend most of the time reflecting on the mistakes rather than the successful parts. Back to my analogy of a car. When we are the driver we look out the front window of the car. It is large, clear, open space in order for the driver to have the best opportunity to drive and arrive safely at their destination. In order to drive safely one must utilize all windows of the car – the front window or windshield, the side mirrors, the rearview mirror, and the back window. If you notice the front window is the largest of them all. This is because we are moving in the forward direction rather than backwards. When I spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror in order to see the back window I am most likely not driving as safely as I could. Now take this analogy and shift it to life. When I spend too much time reflecting on the mistakes and challenges of yesterday how am I capable of moving forward in life and creating positive, healthy experiences and relationships? Is that fair to me? Is that fair to the people in my current day life?
I invite us to take some time to really know the answer this question “Do I like ME?” You don’t have to share the answer with anyone unless you make that choice. Liking and loving yourself is a powerful spiritual practice. It is a way to step out into life in confidence and in alignment with the Spiritual Truth of your being. At 49, I can honestly answer the question with "Yes I like me." It has taken me many, many years, lots of spiritual practice work including forgiveness and gratitude work coupled with amazing friends and family support for me to get to this place honestly and authentically. I still have things I want to change about me and how I sometimes show up in the world and the truth is - I like who I am now.