Do you have a hard time starting good things in your life and sticking to them? Do you fail to take care of yourself? Do you often find yourself in situations in which you’re unhappy? Maybe the problem is lack of self-love. We have to learn to love ourselves, as an essential part of the path of self-improvement and self-realization. But how do we do this?
You’re running around working hard, taking care of others, with so many plans and goals. But where are you in all of this? Did you forget yourself?
It may seem like a positive thing to say that you don’t think of yourself, that you only think of the well-being of others. But, in reality, it doesn’t really work like this. After all, if you’re not well, how much can you really help others? And in many cases, this disregard from your own self translates into a type of self-sabotage, in which everything in your life goes wrong.
Because of this, spiritualists and therapists conclude that it’s necessary to develop self-love. Learn to love yourself fully so you can be yourself fully. In doing that you can maximize your potential to love and serve others. But what does it mean to love yourself? How can you develop self-love?
One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Saint Mother Theresa: “The fruit of prayer is love. The fruit of love is service”. We can reverse this sequence: service leads to love, which leads to spirituality. So, to learn to love yourself, you need to serve yourself.
How do demonstrate love? What does it mean to serve someone? It means doing things for that person, seeing how best to increase their physical well-being and overall joy. To develop self-love, then, do the same – for yourself!
Start taking care of your body, mind, and spirit. For your body, eat well, exercise and get enough sleep. Stop hurting your body with cigarettes, booze, drugs and carcinogenic foods, such as meat. For your mind, develop a program for inner peace, take care of your emotions and free yourself from the opinion of others. And for your spirit, take seriously to the path of self-realization, with a daily program for advancement, with meditation, prayer and so forth.
Be kind to yourself. Give yourself presents. Have “you” time in your busy schedule, doing things you like to do. Even Krishna says in the Bhagavad-gita that you can’t be a yogi if you don’t have leisure and recreation. Value your well-being in the knowledge that the world needs you strong and well, so that you can perform your duties to the best of your abilities.
Our great spiritual master, Swami Prabhupada, would remind us that if a ship goes down at sea, first you must make sure you’re not drowning before you can help others from drowning. If you’re drowning, you can’t help anyone else. When we’re not well, we not only cannot help others, we end up being a burden. If you don’t love yourself, you will likely bring strife and pain to those around you too.
In the book, “The 3T Path” (http://3tpath.com/books/), you’ll find hundreds of suggestions and time-tested techniques for taking great care of your body, mind, and spirit. As you develop love for yourself, you’ll be able to love others and, finally, love God.
Watch my video on this topic here.
Look what they’re saying about The 3T Path book: “The 3T Path is magnificent, objective, accessible and extremely didactic” – Clóvis Melo