Love is the key ingredient to healing. When we feel love, we are connecting to the True Self, and the True Self is perfect, without flaw. Consequently, the more we can see and appreciate the perfection of spirit in our lives and in those of everyone around us, the more we will feel healed and deeply loved.
Very often though, we feel we are not deserving of love. This feeling is particularly prevalent among those who struggle with addiction. Those in recovery must not only believe they are worthy of being loved, but they must also be open to accepting love from those around them and giving love in return, if they are to be successful on their path to wellness.
Self-love is the most important love we can invite into our lives. If we care for and love ourselves, then we are able to share love with others. Here are some ways you can expand your heart and bring more love into your life.
1. Reconnect with Your True Purpose
One way to cultivate self-love is to reconnect with our talents and true purpose in life, our dharma
. Dr. Deepak Chopra writes about the Law of Dharma
in his book, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success
, and how we can reconnect with our true purpose in life by creating a list of what we enjoy doing while expressing our talents. We can then ask ourselves how we can help and serve others, using our unique gifts. As we rediscover our passions, we become enthusiastic about sharing them. Our bright lights cannot help but inspire others and draw positive, loving individuals into our lives.
2. Practice Self-Forgiveness
Forgiving ourselves is another way we can bring more love into our lives. Releasing memories and feelings of shame and guilt associated with past deeds, and accepting ourselves exactly as we are in this moment, will enable us to move forward with self-compassion and confidence. We can also offer our forgiveness to others to build stronger, more trusting relationships by accepting others as they are.
3. Practice Positive Self-Talk
Oftentimes, we hold onto damaging stories about who we think we are, which we continue to repeat in our minds. Although it is sometimes challenging for us to do so, changing our thoughts, and consequently the stories we tell ourselves, is within our control. Practicing positive self-talk and transforming our internal monologue builds self-confidence and allows us to release old ideas that no longer serve us so that we can embrace opportunities to begin anew.
Sitting in silence will also help us reconnect with our essential nature: our spirit. When we meditate, we quiet the constant stream of thoughts running through our minds, and dip into the wellspring of pure consciousness and love. Developing a steady practice of meditation will allow us to connect with our spirit on a regular basis, each time bringing love, balance, and calm into our daily lives.
5. Nurture Gratitude
Gratitude is one of the most important emotions we can nurture. When we appreciate everyone and everything in our lives, our ego steps out of the way. We feel grounded in the present and full of love for the abundance we are fortunate enough to experience in each moment. As our gratitude expands, so does the love in our hearts.
6. Spend Time with Loved OnesSpending time with people who support us enables us to share the love we are rediscovering in ourselves. Spending time engaged in lighthearted activities, such as hiking or going on a picnic, are ways we can enjoy one another’s company and create closer bonds.
Giving our time is yet another avenue to expand our hearts. No matter how difficult our own lives may seem, there is always someone in need of our attention, unique talents, and energy. Volunteering for causes that are important to us, like those that benefit the homeless or animals, can help us feel fulfilled and connect us with others who are also working to improve our world.