Do you want to meet the love of your life? Look in the mirror.
– Byron Katie
This may seem as a nice thought, and yet we know that it’s not true, right?
It may not feel true. And the reason it doesn’t feel true is that we are not quite there yet.
If we have spent a lifetime being lukewarm to ourselves, or even ignoring or battling ourselves, it takes some intention – and perhaps time – to turn it around.
How do we love ourselves?
The answer comes in two parts. First, what do we mean by “ourselves”? Is it just the image I have of myself? No. The answer is more radical than that. It’s all of our experience. It’s all that I am experiencing, here and now. What I am experiencing happens within and as what I am. It is what I am, in the moment.
Then, do I love it? Typically, we find that we like some parts, dislike other parts, and are neutral towards some parts. Loving it is different. It means kindness to our experience, no matter what that experience is. Kindness towards sadness, anger, joy, exhilaration, grief. Kindness towards resistance, discomfort, contractions. Kindness towards joyful and scary thoughts. Kindness towards physical pain. Resting with it, in kind presence. Even finding love for it.
That’s how we love ourselves. Finding love for my experience, as it is, here and now.
It’s a tall order. It’s radical. And it’s how we discover that we are the love of our life.
I, as all of my experience in the moment, is the love of my life, when I have found how to meet it with genuine love.