Love – it’s what “makes the world go ‘round.”
It’s something everyone longs for and thinks they will never find. Romantic love can be glorious, messy, challenging, and sometimes downright dangerous. As we focus on love this month, I would like to turn your attention to you and how you love yourself and the world in which you live. And how even the smallest bit of conscious love can make the world a better place. This is my Valentine’s Day gift to you.
How To Become Conscious
Before we become conscious of our behaviors, in order to determine if they are loving or otherwise, we must first become conscious of our thoughts. Words and actions always follow thoughts, though you may not realize it. Sometimes the words just come flying out of our mouths before we realize we’ve had a thought! And becoming conscious of our thoughts, words and actions is not an easy job.
Here’s a beginning: If you sit still for just 5 minutes and close your eyes, you will see how your thoughts bombard you non-stop. If you continue to sit and let the thoughts come without becoming attached to any of them, if you simply watch like you’re viewing a movie or television show, you may be surprised at the nature of many of those thoughts.
Now, the whole idea is to be kind, loving and gentle with yourself. Do not berate yourself for the thoughts that come up. Simply pay attention to them. Let them float up and away like bubbles moving from the bottom of the sea to the surface where they pop and dissolve. When you open your eyes you can then begin to explore the nature of the thoughts that came up.
Loving Thoughts Precede Loving Actions
If you noticed many of the thoughts that surfaced during your quiet moments were judgmental thoughts about friends and loved ones, gently ask this question: Are you accusing others of the very things you disown or reject about yourself? Awareness is the first step toward making any kind of change. And if you desire to love consciously, you must go within. You must know what goes on inside your head and your heart.
Husband and wife authors of Conscious Loving, Gay and Katie Hendricks say that, “When you don’t, or can’t acknowledge your feelings or accept something about yourself, it’s a sign that deep down you don’t love yourself. And, if you don’t love yourself, you’ll never feel completely at peace with yourself and the world around you.”
We Make The World Better By Changing Ourselves
Most of us don’t have huge, world changing missions. But we each have an important purpose for being here I think that the purpose of our human existence is to discover how to truly love. I’ve written about that in my most recent blog. (See Love Is A Many Splendored Thing) I love what Swami Satchidananda has said in The Yoga Sutras. “We are not going to change the whole world, but we can change ourselves and feel free as birds. We can be serene even in the midst of calamities and, by our serenity, make others more tranquil. Serenity is contagious. If we smile at someone, he or she will smile back. And a smile costs nothing. We should plague everyone with joy. If we are to die in a minute, why not die happily, laughing?”
May you experience a deep sense of self love this Valentine’s Day and may that love grow continuously as you spread the joy of that love every day from this day forward.