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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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LONE LEAF

TEARS
A wellspring trying to break loose,
And release its burden of unshed tears.
A lifetime worth of sorrow and pain…
Loneliness and Aloneness…
Of being known and understood by no one but You.
I’ve chosen my own way-no complaints.
But at times the burden is unbelievably heavy.
Can I get a porter for a few days???

Just a little background…this poem “came to me” in 2006 and below  you can read the circumstances which forced it to find its way to me if you are interested:

July 24th 2006

A little background.  I do not “write” poetry. It seems to be sent to me already written, and I am just asked to get paper and pen and record what is being “said” to me. It goes straight down on the paper with no changes or work involved. What you see here is just as it went onto the paper this morning.
>It comes after a month of dealing with my Dad’s hospitalization, nursing facility and finally being released home today. In addition, I have left my job, (a true blessing I assure you), one of my daughters has moved in with me (forcing me to give up my clinic room), another daughter is leaving to set up her life in Boston and is also staying with me the past 2 weeks, another daughter arrived this week after 3 years of Embassy work in Uruguay with husband and 3 children. As they are Gush Katif “homeless”, they have no home, no job, etc., and also find themselves in what will be a very stressful month until they find a place to live, get their kids registered in school and find work. Another daughter is also moving with her family from her city home to a country home and are also dealing with moving. And of course my youngest, my son, has moved in together with his wonderful girlfriend in Jerusalem (you can see pics of them on the post “A couple of lovely couples”). So, it has not been a quiet period and I guess the events have finally gotten to me in some way. Although my daily meditation, pranayama, yoga etc., has kept me generally quite relaxed and unstressed…just flowing…and my complete faith in God and His Universe has kept me from worrying about the future, as well as my daily dose of Reiki and the 5 Reiki principles which I meditate on each morning (see the blog title for a list of them), which give me much strength to deal tranquilly with whatever comes my way, knowing that all is for the Higher Good of all concerned. However, we are human, and so, apparently the following poem found its way to me today…

with love light and JOY

Jane

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“Just for today I will experience all in complete acceptance, joy,gratitude and freedom from fear”.

Lotus Pond, Sarnath, India

I have been going through a very untranquil period in my life recently, feeling unbalanced, disorientated, confused, and much of this is showing up in physical symptoms of various degrees of severity.  Finding where the inbalance comes from is the easy part.Finding the way BACK to balance is more difficult, and I’ve been “working hard” at it for some time now, and seeing no results. In place of complete Faith and acceptance in joy and gratitude, Fear and doubt have slowly crept back into my life as well, to further complicate issues – emotions and thoughts which I have managed to overcome over the past years, and this in itself is disturbing. So, as I do when I find myself “stuck”, I made the decision to move inward and allow the answers to find their way to me, and, as always happens, it works! Below you will be able to read the full message as it came to me.

Just a short note….each morning, aside from chanting the 5 Reiki Prinicples with full intent, I have added the following to my morning routine as I was guided to during a meditation last year:

“Just for today I will experience all in complete acceptance, joy, gratitude and freedom from fear”

This is an extremely powerful sentence, for it requires us to be living in complete FAITH in God and the Universe, to accept all things, and to be joyful with all that comes our way. And of course, to be grateful for all these blessings. While repeating this today, I did so with full and focused intention – something I haven’t been doing lately.

When things are not going as we imagined they would, it takes full attention to and intention to these words to help us get things back into proportion and perspective, and to understand that our need to know when, and why and how simply makes our lives much more difficult.  THese are all things which should be entrusted to God and the Universe, as discussed in previous posts.  “You can have either Fear or Faith, not both”. Mutant Messages Down Under-Marlo Morgan

So when the following message came to me during my morning meditation, I once again felt the release of fear and doubt, and with this return to balanced thinking, to Faith and Acceptance, to joy and gratitude, am certain that all other things will find balance once again in my life as well.

Message from My Morning Meditation

My life is a twisted turning road and I never know what awaits me around the next bend.  But I travel this road in complete Freedom from Fear for I know without a doubt, with complete Faith in God and His loving Universe, that another wonderful exciting and beautiful surprise is waiting for me once I get around the curve.

It may be a sharp and unexpected turn and I will have to navigate it carefully and slowly,  but once I get past it, a whole new and wonderful vista appears before me once again.

I am truly blessed to have found this road of liberation and joy and love.  God is the engineer and Master builder and administrator of this road, and He has graciously given me, and everyone, free access to it. We just have to be willing to take the first step into the unknown with  Freedom from Fear, and complete acceptance and Faith in what lies ahead.

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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Just for Today I Will Not Worry

Shiva with Offerings-Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh

This is the first of the five Reiki Prinicples*(See end of post).  Below is a full length  article I wrote several years ago for William Rand’s International Reiki Magazine.  It discusses in full what worry is, why it is a useless expenditure of energy,  (worrying is like praying for what you don’t want – worrying is like paying interest on money you don’t have, etc), and ways and reasons to avoid it.  Faith plays a very vital part in this and I hope you will check out this article.

Just for Today I Will Not Worry

Below are a couple of additional thoughts re: the issue of Worry and the Role of Faith which perhaps may be of assistance to you.  I find “not worrying” to be one of the greatest gifts I have given myself over the past 10 years, and that it brings me great tranquility and feelings of well-being, and also makes my life a lot easier.  My wonderful Ayurvedic Doctor in Rishikesh, India, once said it very simply.  “Worrying is God’s job, not yours” (Dr. Arora).

Cultivating Faith is no different than cultivating a garden.  The more time you spend on it, the more beautifully it will grow and bring you joy.  You must weed it continually, and the weeds in the garden of Faith are Fear and Doubt.  The water and fertilizer which allow it grow are Prayer, Meditation, Patience and more than anything else, Gratitude.

Not knowing is not necessarily a bad thing.  But if you do not truly trust the Universe to provide you with exactly what you need, at exactly the right time and in exactly the right way, the “not worrying” becomes more difficult.  Cultivate Faith and then you will not be concerned about what the future holds in store for you, or be stressed by the “not knowing”, as you will be confident that what it holds for you are only good things…even if they don’t always seem to be “good” from your own human perspective at the moment.

Accepting and truly believing that all things are good…WORK ON THIS IDEA

I know that this is fairly easy to understand on a mental level, if we truly begin to work on it and think in this direction. But true application of this idea in our daily life, no matter what happens and no matter how difficult things may seem, is another thing.  The understanding of accepting all things as good must eventually come from the heart and soul , not only from the brain.  It is something which must become part of the essence of our being if we truly want to feel the amazing feeling of acceptance and the lightness and ease of living which it can bring into our lives….

 *Reiki Principles with my personal editing which makes them all the more powerful for me and my students when chanted on a daily basis:

-Just for today I will not worry

-Just for today I will not get angry

-Just for today I will give thanks for my many blessings

-Just for today I will love and respect everything living creature (including myself)-  LINK to another full length article

-Just for today I will do an honest day’s work (0n myself)  my daily practice (see Previous Post to see what this involves) sustains me and is the most important daily work I can do, as everyone benefits from it. It is an anchor in a churning sea-like the eye of the storm- granting me harmony in chaos and tranquility in turmoil.

with love light and JOY

Jane

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