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….Including Myself!

love yourself

This was posted years ago in my blog “Jane’s Mindfulness Journal” but I was guided to share it today. Based on one of the important Reiki principles ” just for today I will love and respect every living creature” ,I have added the phrase “INCLUDING MYSELF” . I believe it is worth the time it takes to read. . This was published as an article in the highly prestigious Reiki International Magazine as well.

Just for Today I Will Love and Respect Every Living Creature

thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyselfleviticus 19:18

If we look at this, as it is worded in the fourth of theReiki Principles, it appears to be fairly straightforward. It is pretty obvious to us that one of the most important things in this world is to love and respect others, show compassion and tolerance, patience and understanding etc. We also know that we must be kind to EVERY living being and this would of course include animals, insects, plants etc., etc.The original wording of theprinciple as stated by Dr.Usui is slightly different, but the message is more easily understood with the above paraphrase which I prefer using in myReiki classes and in my own daily meditation practice.And the profoundness of the principle, if we truly think about it, opens the door to an entirely new way of perceiving the ups and downs of our lives, of relating to instances where we feel we have been wronged by someone, or taken advantage of, even purposely hurt or embarrassed, or injured in any way. Of relating to the different people who come into our lives and the way we accept and embrace all that is sent our way by God and the Universe.

In addition, if we add just two small words to the above principle, it changes the impact and intent even more deeply. Just for Today I will Love and Respect Every Living Creature…INCLUDING MYSELF!! If we do not truly love ourselves, how can we possibly love and respect our neighbor??

I will try and give insights into the following two questions we must try to answer:

1. Can we truly love and respect others if we don’t do the same for ourselves
2. Can we truly be expected to love and respect EVERYone??

Before going any further into the idea of loving even those who we perceive as causing us pain or wishing us ill, let us, just for a moment, think about our relationship with ourselves.

Do you love yourself? Are you proud of yourself? Do you respect yourself? Do you take yourself for granted? Do you put yourself down? Do you say unkind things about yourself ? Just for the next week, in addition to saying this principle each day with your daily prayers, meditation or whatever your regular practice is, try delving a little deeper into it. Pay attention during the day to the thoughts that you have regarding the things you do. Check the impulse to criticize yourself, or be compassionate with yourself. Note how you feel when you make a wrong decision, or get lost on the highway, or break a dish you are washing, or burn the supper, or simply forget to do something important. What feelings do you have, what words fill your head at the moment (stupid, clumsy, thoughtless, lazy). What sensations do you feel physically in your body? Where? Are you automatically hard on yourself, or, perhaps, compassionate and understanding.

Think about this for a week, and I think you will be quite surprised at what you find. Many of us cannot even say out loud “I love myself”, “I think I am great”, “I am perfect just as I am”, etc., but even those of us who CAN say these things and truly mean them, are still too often overly critical of ourselves.I would even think to perhaps state the principle in a little different way. Instead of “Just for today I will love and respect every living creature…(including myself)”…How about: “Just for today I will love and respect myself in the same way I imagine I love and respect every other living creature” . Said in that way, it might make it easier for us to realize how much more compassionate we can be with others, how much more tolerant and understanding, how much more patient and loving, than we tend to be with ourselves. 

Like a caring mother
Holding and guarding the life
Of her only child,
So with a boundless heart
Hold yourself…. And all beings
…Buddha

“We might quite readily offer such care to others, but we can learn to offer this same kind of gentle attention to ourselves. With the tenderness we might bring to stroking the cheek of a sleeping child, we can softly place a hand on our own cheek or heart. We can comfort ourselves with words of kindness and understanding. “ Radical Acceptance”, Tara Brach, PhD.

For once again, if we do not GENUINELY love and respect ourselves, our pretense at loving and respecting every living creature is just that…pretense… Self love is the first step in truly loving our fellow creatures. And when we love and respect ourselves, everything and anything that happens to us, can be dealt with in a healthy way.Only when we come to terms with our own shortcomings and learn to accept ourselves exactly as we are, to extend unconditional love to the beautiful person we are, to be compassionate with ourselves even when we are not all we expected of ourselves, to love and respect ourselves and recognize the beauty of our soul within…to feel worthy and deserving and freely offer praise and genuine respect to ourselves…only when we cherish our own being, no matter where we may find ourselves at a particular moment, or stage in our lives, only when we offer ourselves encouragement and love at each step along the way and appreciate our accomplishments-no matter how small, only when we stop taking ourselves and our own needs and wants for granted and understand that we are just as worthy and deserving as everyone else…only when we truly love and respect ourselves can we begin to truly love the next person.
LoveMyselfGraphic

Many people will say “I don’t expect anything from the next person (my children, my spouse, my co-workers, etc.) that I don’t expect from myself.” Well, perhaps we are much too hard on ourselves! Others find it easy to extend loving-kindness, compassion, patience, tolerance, understanding, forgiveness and encouragement to others, while they dole out to themselves judgment, blame, anger, belittling words, harsh accusations, lack of forgiveness, etc.

But it is only when we can find the way to love ourselves unconditionally that we can truly understand the words:

…thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…leviticus 19:18

The idea has obviously been around for a long time and is not a new concept developed by Dr. Usui… The Great Hebrew Sage Rabbi Akiva said “This is the most important point in the Torah…the rest is just commentary”.

The idea of loving the next person as we love ourselves becomes very easy as we simply extend the same gracious and loving attention to everyone that we do to ourselves.

And that will bring us to the second part of this discussion…loving and respecting EVERY living creature:

Let us look at this idea of loving and respecting EVERYone …. This would seem almost impossible when we think of some of the strange, difficult, inconsiderate, spiteful and even abusive people who we meet in our lifetime. But there is a profound lesson in extending understanding, forgiveness (see the post re: Forgiveness ) , compassion , patience and tolerance to those who truly wish us ill. It brings us once again in contact with the idea of FAITH…faith that God is sending these people into our lives for a loving purpose…no matter how difficult that may be for us to see.

We must learn to Cherish those we dislike, even those we perceive as enemies, for they are gifts from God and we must be thankful for this blessing and pray for the wisdom to learn the lesson these people have been sent to teach us

We draw to us those who will help us learn about ourselves. Each time we are presented with a challenge dealing with another, we are really being presented with an opportunity to look inside ourselves to see what about us it is that needs working on, so that we may grow.

The idea of loving each and every person, no matter what, is quite difficult, almost impossible, but I present the idea to you for further thought and consideration, together with the following collection of quotes and insights, and perhaps your comments will lead to further discussion which will benefit us all:

Every person sent to us is a blessing meant to teach us a lesson we need to learn.
In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.
Dalai Lama
Everything that irritates us about others
Can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
Carl Jung (1875-1961), Psychologist ~I have learned silence from the talkative,
tolerance from the intolerant
and kindness from the unkind.
I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.
Kahlil Gibran
What angers us in another person is more often than not an unhealed aspect of ourselves. If we had already resolved that particular issue,we would not be irritated by its reflection back to us.~ Simon Peter Fuller (from ‘Rising Out of Chaos’) ~
No-one can make you feel inferior without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) ~
Nothing can hurt you unless you give it the power to do so.
~ A Course in Miracles ~~
The main teachers of patience are our enemies.”
Dalai Lama

and with this I wish you all much love and compassion, patience and tolerance, and freedom from fear to accept and embrace all that is sent your way by God and His Loving Universe.

with love light and JOY
Jane
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Love yourself enough to allow yourself to be happy! You deserve it.

Be Happy You Deserve It

True happiness is a state of BEING.  It is something you ARE.  Something you choose to BE.

 If  you’ve been blessed with something or someone who gives you joy and pleasure; enjoy it.  Love yourself enough to allow yourself to enjoy it, without any further expectations beyond the feeling of happiness you have been blessed with.

Joy is something you can experience in every moment.  It is something you deserve. It is a choice you make. .

Be happy.  Love yourself enough to allow it. You deserve it.  Being happy is not the same as being funny.  It is not necessarily making people laugh at your jokes or your antics, although it may be. (Many people believe if they play the clown, it means they are happy people, but think of the picture of the sad clown…a clown is wearing a mask to hide something else deep inside…it is not his true being).

True happiness is a flowing energy which radiates out from the depth of your soul and can be felt by anyone who comes in contact with you, even if you don’t say a word.  It can be felt in your smile, in the sparkle in your eyes.  It is a light which glows from within and it is your choice to allow it into your life.

Sometimes it may be something or someone who brings us a feeling joy.  This is lovely and should be appreciated and experienced to the fullest.  Don’t deny yourself this pleasure just because it comes from an outside source.  It is still a blessing to be grateful for and to enjoy, even though it may be momentary.

But remember that TRUE happiness comes from within.

From an inner contentment.  From living in an attitude of gratitude and being thankful for all your blessings.

 From appreciating what you have AT the moment, IN the moment.

It is not something you search for and find if you are lucky.

True happiness is a state of BEING.  It is something you ARE.  Something you choose to BE.

Many people think that once they find happiness they will be grateful for it.  It is just the opposite.

If you are grateful, you are happy.  Simple as that!

Please check out this post for further insights:  https://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/04/18/the-secret-of-happiness/

Love yourself enough to allow yourself to be happy!

with love light and JOY

Jane

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Personal Needs – Focusing Within – Survival

My own needs are no less important than anyone else’s, my own feelings no less valid than  another’s.  I do not love others less when I choose to  make self care my first priority when necessary.  I do not diminish my to service to others or my nurturing them,  I do not belittle my commitment to them, when I love, serve and nurture myself first, when necessary.

Focusing within is not a selfish act but one of self love, self compassion, self respect, self preservation.

It is  an act of survival.

Through my own recent difficult period, this is another important message and insight I have been reminded of and blessed with.

with love light and JOY

Jane

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Just for Today I Will Love and Respect Every Living Creature

thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself…leviticus 19:18

If we look at the above, the fourth of the Reiki Principles, it appears to be fairly straightforward.  It is pretty obvious to us that one of the most important things in this world is to love and respect others, show compassion and tolerance, patience and understanding etc.  We also know that we must be kind to EVERY living being and this would of course include animals, insects, plants etc., etc.

The original wording of the principle as stated by Dr. Usui is slightly different, but the message is more easily understood with the above paraphrase which I prefer using in my Reiki classes and in my own daily meditation practice.

And the profoundness of the principle, if we truly think about it, opens the door to an entirely new way of perceiving the ups and downs of our lives, of relating to instances where we feel we have been wronged by someone, or taken advantage of, even purposely hurt or embarrassed, or injured in any way. Of relating to the different people who come into our lives and the way we accept and embrace all that is sent our way by God and the Universe.

In addition, if we add just two small words to the above principle, it changes the impact and intent even more deeply.

Just for Today I will Love and Respect Every Living Creature…INCLUDING MYSELF!!  If we do not truly love ourselves, how can we possibly love and respect our neighbor??

I will try and give insights into the following two questions we must try to answer:

1.  Can we truly love and respect others if we don’t do the same for ourselves

2.  Can we truly be expected to love and respect EVERYone??

Before going any further into the idea of loving even those who we perceive as causing us pain or wishing us ill, let us, just for a moment, think about our relationship with ourselves.

  • Do you love yourself?
  • Are you proud of yourself?
  • Do you respect yourself?
  • Do you take yourself for granted?
  • Do you put yourself down?
  • Do you say unkind things about yourself ?

Just for the next week, in addition to saying this principle each day with your daily prayers, meditation or whatever your regular practice is, try delving a little deeper into it.  Pay attention during the day to the thoughts that you have regarding the things you do.  Check the impulse to criticize yourself, or be compassionate with yourself. Note how you feel when you make a wrong decision, or get lost on the highway, or break a dish you are washing, or burn the supper, or simply forget to do something important.  What feelings do you have, what words fill your head at the moment (stupid, clumsy, thoughtless, lazy). What sensations do you feel physically in your body?  Where? Are you automatically hard on yourself, or, perhaps, compassionate and understanding.

Think about this for a week, and I think you will be quite surprised at what you find.  Many of us cannot even say out loud “I love myself”, “I think I am great”, “I am perfect just as I am”, etc., but even those of us who CAN say these things and truly mean them, are still too often overly critical of ourselves.

I would even think to perhaps state the principle in a little different way.  Instead of “Just for today I will love and respect every living creature…(including myself)”…How about:  “Just for today I will love and respect myself in the same way I imagine I love and respect every other living creature” .  Said in that way, it might make it easier for us to realize how much more compassionate we can be with others, how much more tolerant and understanding, how much more patient and loving, than we tend to be with ourselves.

Like a caring mother

Holding and guarding the life

Of her only child,

So with a boundless heart

Hold yourself…. And all beings

…Buddha

“We might quite readily offer such care to others, but we can learn to offer this same kind of gentle attention to ourselves.  With the tenderness we might bring to stroking the cheek of a sleeping child, we can softly place a hand on our own cheek or heart.  We can comfort ourselves with words of kindness and understanding. ” Radical Acceptance”, Tara Brach, PhD.

For once again, if we do not GENUINELY love and respect ourselves, our pretense at loving and respecting every living creature is just that…pretense… Self love is the first step in truly loving our fellow creatures.  And when we love and respect ourselves, everything and anything that happens to us, can be dealt with in a healthy way.

Only when we come to terms with our own shortcomings and learn to accept ourselves exactly as we are, to extend unconditional love to the beautiful person we are, to be compassionate with ourselves even when we are not all we expected of ourselves, to love and respect ourselves and recognize the beauty of our soul within…to feel worthy and deserving and freely offer praise and genuine respect to ourselves…only when we cherish our own being, no matter where we may find ourselves at a particular moment, or stage in our lives, only when we offer ourselves encouragement and love at each step along the way and appreciate our accomplishments-no matter how small, only when we stop taking ourselves and our own needs and wants for granted and understand that we are just as worthy and deserving as everyone else…only when we truly love and respect ourselves can we begin to truly love the next person.

Many people will say “I don’t expect anything from the next person (my children, my spouse, my co-workers, etc.) that I don’t expect from myself.”  Well, perhaps we are much too hard on ourselves!  Others find it easy to extend loving-kindness, compassion, patience, tolerance, understanding, forgiveness and encouragement to others, while they dole out to themselves judgment, blame, anger, belittling words, harsh accusations, lack of forgiveness, etc.

But it is only when we can find the way to love ourselves unconditionally that we can truly understand the words:

thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself...leviticus 19:18

The idea has obviously been around for a long time and is not a new concept developed by Dr. Usui… The Great Hebrew Sage Rabbi Akiva said “This is the most important point in the Torah…the rest is just commentary”.

The idea of loving the next person as we love ourselves becomes very easy as we simply extend the same gracious and loving attention to everyone that we do to ourselves.

And that will bring us to the second part of this discussion…loving and respecting EVERY living creature:

Let us look at this idea of loving and respecting EVERYone …. This would seem almost impossible when we think of some of the strange, difficult, inconsiderate, spiteful and even abusive people who we meet in our lifetime.    But there is a profound lesson in extending understanding, forgiveness, compassion , patience and tolerance to those who truly wish us ill.  It brings us once again in contact with the idea of FAITH…faith that God is sending these people into our lives for a loving purpose…no matter difficult that may be for us to see.

(see my blog post re: forgiveness at this link: https://notinindia2012.wordpress.com/2012/02/02/living-in-the-shadow-of-the-past-and-the-power-of-forgiveness/  )

We must learn to Cherish those we dislike, even those we perceive as enemies, for they are gifts from God and we must be thankful for this blessing and pray for the wisdom to learn the lesson these people have been sent to teach us

We draw to us those who will help us learn about ourselves.  Each time we are presented with a challenge dealing with another, we are really being presented with an opportunity to look inside ourselves to see what about us it is that needs working on, so that we may grow.

The idea of loving each and every person, no matter what, is quite difficult, almost impossible, but I present the idea to you for further thought and consideration, together with the following collection of quotes and insights: 

In the practice of tolerance, one’s enemy is the best teacher.
HH Dalai Lama

Everything that irritates us about others
Can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.
Carl Jung (1875-1961),
Psychologist ~

I have learned silence from the talkative,
tolerance from the intolerant
and kindness from the unkind.
I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.
Kahlil Gibran ~

What angers us in another person
is more often than not an unhealed aspect of ourselves.
If we had already resolved that particular issue,
we would not be irritated by its reflection back to us.
Simon Peter Fuller
(from ‘Rising Out of Chaos’) ~

No-one can make you feel inferior
without your consent.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) ~

Nothing can hurt you
unless you give it the power to do so

A Course in Miracles ~~

The main teachers of patience are our enemies.

HH Dalai Lama

Every person sent to us is a blessing meant to teach us a lesson we need to learn.

I leave you with the above thoughts and truly hope you will begin to ponder your own actions on a daily level regarding the different ways you relate to yourself and your Being.  The thoughts you generate regarding yourself, the feelings you encounter on both the emotional and physical levels when you “do something wrong” or feel dissatisfied with yourself, the amount of loving kindness and compassion , love and respect ,you extend towards yourself each day, etc.

I wish you all much love and compassion, patience and tolerance and freedom from fear to accept and embrace all that is sent your way by God and His Loving Universe.

with love light and JOY

Jane

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