Self-love. Do you relax and smile when you hear these words, or do you cringe? Your reaction to this question will reveal a lot about yourself and whether or not you want to practice self-love meditation. Being critical of ourselves and engaging in a lot of negative self-talk is all too typical, sadly. However, this does not make it any less harmful to our sense of well-being and enjoyment.
Indeed, self-criticism is inextricably tied to a lack of self-esteem. Somewhere along the way, many of us learned that we have to earn love rather than have it bestowed upon us. We believe that in order to be loved, we must be perfect. The issue is that there is no such thing as human perfection.
Interestingly, the Dalai Lama was perplexed by the concept of "poor self-esteem" in a talk with Western psychotherapists - it was not something he recognized in Tibetan culture at all!
Self-love & Compassion: the two wings of meditation
Meditation has two wings: your head and your heart. The head gives step-by-step techniques, context, and comprehension of meditation's goals. The heart is the environment you create for meditation. If you follow a practice step by step while feeling unloving and self-critical, it will be ineffective, not to mention a subtle form of self-punishment. It's best not to meditate at all!
Meditation on self-love makes you happier, more creative, and more resourceful and immediately opens your heart to others.
And don't be deceived: self-love strengthens you. Self-compassion or self-love has an unjustified reputation for being weak or self-indulgent. Not so. Indeed, Kristen Neff, a self-compassion expert, argues that it fosters resilience, self-awareness, and compassion for others.
What are the perks of practicing self-love meditation?
Here are a few of the benefits of practicing self-love meditation. If you incorporate it into your regular routine, you should begin to notice some of the following benefits:
1. It relieves tension and anxiety.
Self-criticism or self-judgment feels the same as criticism or judgment from others. It produces rage, despair, and even terror, as well as tension and worry. Meditation on self-love literally helps your nervous system relax and feel protected.
2. It's more comfortable!
Continuing from the last point, with whom would you choose to spend your time? Someone who criticizes your thoughts, appearance, and behavior? Or someone who is interested in you, is kind, and treats you with dignity and compassion? If you prefer the latter, you can treat yourself as you would like others to treat you. Wouldn't that be fantastic?
3. Brings your unconscious self-criticism to the surface
Many people are resistant to self-love meditations. Why? Because, as previously stated, self-criticism is regarded as "natural," at least to some level. There are other explanations for this that are beyond the scope of this paper!
For the time being, it's sufficient to know that practicing self-love meditation will reveal where you fall on the spectrum of self-love to self-criticism. If you are more inclined to critique yourself, that is not something to be ashamed of.
"Not only does self-love meditation make you happier, more creative, and more resourceful, but it also immediately opens your heart to others."
Meditation is a method for self-discovery. It's okay if your self-love meditation reveals your unconscious habit of negative self-talk; you're not alone! You can begin to notice this self-talk, how it makes you feel, and how it influences your actions. And if you wish to improve things.
4. Increases strength
Self-criticism shrinks you and makes you less capable. Self-love, on the other hand, leads to a broader, kinder picture of yourself. You are aware of your 'weaknesses' or limitations yet are not threatened by them.
This makes change and progress something you're naturally drawn to undertake - you can select it consciously from a healthy place.
5. Allow our minds to rest.
We utilize our heads so much that we sometimes forget to feel. It is beneficial to 'unplug' your mind and recall what is most important to you. Is it to make you happy? Do you want to feel protected and loved? A self-love meditation is a simple and effective technique to spend time with yourself, relax your mind, and immerse yourself in love and respect.
A meditation technique for self-love
This technique can be done either by sitting or lying down. Make yourself at ease and begin by observing your breath for a few minutes.
When you're feeling at ease, pay attention to any emotions that arise. Is there anything that makes you feel irritated or unhappy in particular? It's better to start modestly with your first few sessions of practice, but you know what you're capable of. If nothing comes to mind right now, think of a recent experience that brought you some emotional distress.
Take a few deep breaths and pay attention to where that emotion is located. You might experience melancholy in your throat or fury in your solar plexus, for example. Examine your physical reactions to your emotions. Make your point.
Also, pay attention to the thoughts that follow the emotion. Do you have feelings of self-blame, remorse, or inadequacy?
Now, either silently or aloud, repeat one of the following statements. It's fine if none of the statements resonate with you. Look for another that suits and conveys a similar message of attention and care.
The first assertion is as follows. "I see you [insert your feeling here]." Sorry if that sounds difficult."
Another example: "I've arrived. You are welcome to stay as long as you like [identify your emotion]."
"I see you [insert your feeling here]." "I adore you."
If you disagree with these statements, you are not alone! Try to feel the intent and meaning of one of these statements for a few seconds. What does it feel like to turn toward your own discomfort with compassionate attention, rather than avoiding, diminishing, or criticizing it?
And does the fact that you can't feel any self-love toward yourself, toward your own agony, elicit any self-compassion in you? How difficult is it to go through life in this manner?
Include any resistance or judgment you have about the practice itself: "I perceive your opposition. That must be difficult. "Please accept my apologies."
You may imagine someone you care about feeling the same way you do. Can you direct the compassion you naturally want to give others to yourself? Is it true that they are worthy of love but you are not?
It's helpful to remember your common humanity: whatever disturbing or painful emotion you're feeling right now, individuals all across the world are feeling the same way. Suffering in many forms is a natural element of being human; it is not a punishment. Recognizing that many of us are concerned about our elderly parents or losing our jobs will help us to be kinder to ourselves and others.
Continue to feel your uncomfortable emotion while expressing your loving sentence. If the words are merely getting in the way, try to feel love in your heart instead. Allow love to come into contact with your pain. Continue the practice for as long as it feels comfortable, paying particular attention to how self-love feels for you.
It's helpful to remember your common humanity: whatever disturbing or difficult emotion you're going through right now, individuals all across the world are going through the same thing. Suffering in large and little ways is a natural aspect of life; it is not a punishment. Recognizing that many of us are concerned about our aging parents or losing our jobs will help you to be more compassionate to yourself and others.
Continue to feel your uneasy mood while uttering your loving sentence. If the words are merely getting in the way, just feel love in your heart. Allow love to make contact with your pain. Continue the practice for as long as it feels comfortable for you, paying particular attention to how self-love feels for you.
Finally, self-love meditation
When you criticize yourself, you miss out on viewpoints and insights that self-love meditation can reveal.
Perform this exercise as a call and response. Send out your chosen statement of self-love and wait for a response. If you're not used to sending yourself love, the response may be modest or ephemeral - a part of you may not "believe" or want to accept what you're expressing.
So, pay close attention to, listen to, and feel any response from your heart and body: a softening, a sense of relief, or a small amount of thankfulness. Those modest indicators are seeds that can be nurtured with self-love meditation.