If we struggled to win the approval of a critical parent, we may have internalized the message that no matter what we accomplish, it will never be enough. Even worse, we may have developed the belief that we are not enough – not smart enough, not attractive enough, not talented enough, not patient enough, and not good enough. Ultimately, we may come to believe that we are unworthy of love.
Yet the truth is that love isn’t something you have to earn, win, or deserve. Love is who you are. Your true self is pure love, infinite awareness, and unbounded joy. Through meditation and other mindfulness practices, you can recover your awareness of your essential nature. Even if you have suffered from feelings of low self-worth most of your life, your radiant nature is always there, shining beneath the surface of conditioned beliefs and thought patterns that will begin to dissolve as you spend time in the space of inner quiet, opening to expanded states of awareness.
As you realize that real love has nothing to do with anything outside yourself, you will feel a small light in your heart. At first it will be the size of a spark, then a candle flame, and finally a raging bonfire. Then you will wake up and the flame will devour the sun, moon, and stars. At that moment there will be nothing but love in the cosmos, yet all of it will still be inside your own heart.
Activity: The Shine in Your Eyes
In addition to meditation, conscious inner dialogue is a powerful tool for connecting to your true self. Throughout the day, whenever you look in the mirror, even if just for a few seconds, make eye contact with yourself and silently repeat these three affirmations:
- I am totally independent of the good or bad opinion of others.
- I am beneath no one, and no one is beneath me.
- I am fearless in the face of all challenges.