Recently I read a book titled, Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It, by Kamal Ravikant. In this little book, the author shares a personal practice that has turned his life around – from failure and depression, to success and happiness.
The practice is deceivingly simple. Basically, you say to yourself over and over again, “I love myself. I love myself. I love myself.” You say it when you walk about. You say it when you are in front of your computer working. You say it when you feel down. You make it your daily mantra.
I love simple practices that have the potential to make a difference, so I decided to give it a try. At first it seemed unnatural. Silly, actually, and a bit egoistic.
I suppose this is expected, because few of us are brought up to “love ourselves.” We are conditioned to “love others.” Loving oneself is considered a selfish act, whereas loving others is a virtue.
But I’ve always wondered, “Can we truly love others if we can’t love yourselves? Isn’t the degree of our love for others dependent on the extent we love ourselves?” So I persisted.
Gradually, my resistance and reluctance melted away. In the process, a new level of awareness came into being. I began to notice areas of my life where I had not been as kind and loving to myself as I could have been.
For example, if I truly loved myself…
I could have been more respectful of my own time and boundaries.
I could have stopped and taken better care of my own needs instead of forging ahead, ignoring or overriding them.
I could have accepted and loved me as me instead of comparing myself with others and striving to be something I’m not.
I could have trusted and followed my inner wisdom, as opposed to the advice of others.
As I continued to repeat, “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself,” this little mantra slowly began to sink in. It became as natural as a second skin. Now when negative thoughts or situations arise that contradict this truth as I know it, I find myself saying, “I simply refuse to be unkind to myself. I choose to love myself.”
Loving myself is great. How about extending this love to everything I encounter, everything I do, and everything that comes into my awareness? I wondered. What would my life to be like?
With these questions in mind, I begin to expand my “love practice.”
I now say “I love you. Thank you,” to my dishes as I wash them.
I say “I love you. Thank you,” to my teeth when I brush them.
I say “I love you. Thank you,” to estranged friends who come into my thoughts.
These words always bring me to the present because you can’t really love something without being aware and mindful of it, can you? They also gently dispel negative thoughts from my mind. I find myself more at ease, at peace, and in harmony. And there’s more joy, gratitude and abundance in my day, less negativity, agitation and fewer feelings of deficiency.
What if this is the way of life – living in tune with the loving vibrations of the universe, instead of living in fear, worry, stress and unhappiness? Not bad. I’m loving it!
How about you? Why don’t you give it a try?
Recommended Reading: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It