"Love yourself" can sound like a grating, tricky directive. The language implies there are two of (each of) us - "I" and this other "I" - and one "I" must give in and show affection for the other. But who's supposed to love whom? And why do we find ourselves in two pieces?
At core, who we are is the energy of Love. I do, however, also have thoughts about me - but those thoughts can change and are not what I am. Years ago, I heard Louise Hay - publisher, author, and affirmation queen - say that when we hate ourselves, we're just hating a "story about ourselves".
Here I'd always thought I was hating me but actually I was hating my own judgmental, unkind thoughts about me, like "I'm not good enough" (a classic).
Loving ourselves is about identifying ourselves as love - rather than identifying with a story of who we are. That's it: identify what you truly are and you'll find love there.
Often we believe feeling loved comes from outside us. But loving ourselves is actually just allowing ourselves to feel loved regardless of circumstances. We lean into the love that is always here.
Suffering may only be a product of looking for that sense of embrace outside ourselves. Love is always present. But to feel it, one must go to its source - within, not on the surface. And that takes practice. So let's practice.
From the Inside