The Lochness Monster
Self-love is such an elusive creature, isn’t it?
Or it can be anyway, for a lot of us, myself included.
It’s a major theme for me in this life. Self-love, worthiness, feeling a bit defective… all major themes to explore and transcend. Prior to incarnating I lined up a variety of experiences that would reinforce this irrational yet deep-seated fear where I feel fundamentally flawed and unlovable — by myself, or anyone else for that matter. And unraveling this programming has been a feat!
Well, a feat on one hand because it’s taken up so much time and energy, but on the other hand it actually became super straightforward and simple once I had this kind of shift in perspective.
And that is what I’d like to verbalize here.
Knowing Thyself is Loving Thyself
So I’ll get right to it.
I’m finding that in order to truly love myself, first I needed to discover myself. To “know thyself,” as they say. Which maybe sounds extremely obvious — but this wasn’t obvious to me for a long time, and maybe I’m not alone.
If we don’t know who we are — truly know who we are, beyond the layers of conditioning and distortions and coping strategies — then following all these new age teachings to feel worthy and loved is more of a band-aid. We can try to love the hell out of ourselves, taking nice long baths and eating well and lighting candles and all that, and that’s fine… but we’re not going to get very far if we don’t really know who we are first.
So who are we? Who are you? Who am I?
Not to get too esoteric here, but my belief is that we’re all individualized fractal portions of the infinite intelligence and consciousness of Source, or God, or the One, or whatever label feels right. Each slice of pure Oneness (which could be referred to as the soul) incarnates with its own personality, purpose, tendencies, and preferences.
And then through living our lives, unless we grew up in a Buddhist monastery or in a cave or whatever, we typically pick up a lot of programming and distortions that make our original clear light of consciousness a lot more murky and confused.
As an added earthly twist, we usually don’t realize how murky things are, or how distorted we’ve become, until clarity returns. Kind of like how when I’m wearing my glasses and I vaguely realize that what I’m reading isn’t as clear as it should be, but I don’t pause to clean them until they’ve become so thoroughly covered in smudges that I can barely make out what’s in front of me... but when I finally take a minute to clean them I marvel at how clear everything is all of the sudden — and kind of laugh at how much easier it would have been to read those last few chapters if I had cleaned them earlier.
If we pick up some teachings on self-love and try to apply those to a murky, unclear picture of our true self, it just doesn’t work. That’s what I’ve found, anyway. Sometimes it can make us feel a little better for a period of time, but it never ends up lasting or really changing anything. Which makes sense — if we’re not building from a stable foundation, of course it’s not going to sustain. This is true for just about anything, self-love included.
So lately I’ve been focusing on knowing myself and staying centered in this knowing. And when I say “knowing myself,” I mean in two ways:
- My individualized fraction of Source field awareness that I’m on this planet to embody including my personality, tendencies, and preferences
- The fact that I am one with Source and not separate from it, and that this “I” that I speak of is ultimately cosmic presence energy that temporarily individualized itself in order to live out a particular human experience
That is my current curriculum, if you will.
So practically speaking, what does that actually look like?
Basically, I’ve been experimenting with making my awareness of my vibration my priority throughout the day. Within reason of course — and I understand that this can be made more or less challenging to actually implement depending on schedule or obligations — but I think there’s always a way to at least start.
Here are some examples of how I’ve been doing this:
- Taking a little time in between daily activities to just sit, think, contemplate, and be (sometimes referred to in Eastern traditions as “Pratyahara”)
- Doing a quick 10-second assessment a few times throughout the day to check in with how I’m feeling and where my energy is at
- If I’ve been working on my computer or watching TV for a long time, I’ll take a minute every so often to pause and come back to my center (this is super helpful to sprinkle into any Netflix binge watching sessions)
- My dog Sophie seems to have kind of a barometer for when I’m feeling ungrounded, because I’ve noticed she likes to come up to me for attention when I’m really lost in my computer or a TV show; so instead of giving her some quick attention and going back to finish the episode, I’ll take that as a cue to pause what I’m doing and give her a bunch of love and attention, which is fantastically effective at helping me recenter
Even with reading and learning, which are arguably excellent activities to engage in, I’ve been experimenting with staying centered and grounded even at the expense of reading less pages in a day.
In the past when I would start getting burned out, in my endless quest for knowledge I would kind of blindly force myself to read another chapter, and another chapter, and another. And while I was able to read a lot and learn a lot with this mindset, at the end of the day I found that I would feel a bit lost. My core energy, my true self, my connection and oneness with All That Is, would feel ungrounded and off — like I lost sight of why I wanted to learn about all this stuff in the first place. That was usually the tradeoff when I didn’t prioritize energy awareness.
At that point I would do my best to recenter, either by lighting incense or taking a bath or asserting to myself that I’m good and worthy and part of Source or whatever — and sometimes it would stick, sometimes it wouldn’t… but every time this happened I would end up setting back my own energy (not to mention productivity) in the long run.
So now I’m making energy awareness my priority. It’s better for me, the people around me, and even my productivity levels.
It’s a win-win-win!
Keeping that as my priority regardless of how much I learn or get done, not only do I usually end up learning more and getting more done (not to mention feeling a lot better), but I ended up giving myself kind of a crash course in who I really am — in what my purpose, personality, preferences, and tendencies are as an expression of the One Infinite Creator. What my “energetic signature” is like. That came as kind of a natural byproduct, because I found that maintaining my energetic center and awareness requires knowing what my own energy feels like in the first place — so it’s kind of perfect.
And in knowing all of that about myself, self-love just comes naturally.
To know thyself is to love thyself.
Because at that point it’s loving myself, yes, but not in an imbalanced ego-crazy way — it’s seeing it through the perspective of the totality of creation and Oneness and other-selves. It’s all kind of beautifully blended together. Unified, crystallized, infinite.
From that state it’s not something that I even need to try to do — it just flows. Easily and naturally. And then sometimes I’ll feel like taking a bath with essential oils or lighting some incense or candles, which comes up organically as a natural manifestation of feeling in love and in flow, which then effortlessly perpetuates more of the same.
It feels like the natural order of things.
Loving it All
Another thing I want to mention within this context is “flaws,” or at least what we classify in ourselves as flaws. Because let me be clear — even with all this awesome newfound self-knowledge I still do a lot of stupid shit, particularly in my awkward interactions with other humans. But what’s changed dramatically is my inner reaction and self-judgment about it.
I don’t fight it anymore — if anything, now I kind of embrace it.
I embrace my flaws as a part of me, and as a part of my soul’s current expression on this planet.
Because from that perspective it’s not a flaw — on the contrary, it’s one of the infinite forms of creation and experience desired by All That Is. And as a part of All That Is… I say bring it on!
What’s the worst case scenario anyway? I seem a little weird and awkward and imperfect to other souls? To other parts of myself? Fine! Great! Now what?
Interestingly, as a result, I’ve noticed a lot of my social interactions lately have kind of naturally smoothed themselves out. But not by trying or forcing — by surrendering.
It reminds me of one of Bentinho Massaro’s talks called something along the lines of “Admit defeat and be free.” If we just say “fuck it” to whatever we’re fighting, to whatever perceived flaw we’re trying to conceal or avoid, whether it’s feeling unworthy or awkward or fundamentally unlovable… that has a way of effortlessly melting away any resistance, and naturally making way for more healthy and productive energy as a byproduct.
Surrendering and radically accepting whatever aspects of myself that I see, no matter what they are, has helped me a whole lot. That, along with the other stuff about knowing thyself that I said earlier, which is ultimately all interrelated… it’s all been super helpful.
Now I love myself not just in spite of all the weird shit that I do, but because of it.
All the weirdness, all the awesomeness, all the awkwardness and Himalayan salt lamps and turquoise and fascination with energy and cosmology and reality — all of that is me. All of that and more is my particular manifestation of the infinite love and light of Source, out of the gazillions of manifestations that are also out there. What’s not to love?
Also if you think about it, not loving yourself is kind of a big middle finger to Source. (I can’t take credit for this fantastic analogy; I heard it from the portion of Source awareness that is Bentinho Massaro in a recent podcast episode). Even if we feel love for every other person on the planet, if we ourselves feel fundamentally unloveable and unworthy, that’s like us saying to the One Infinite Creator “hey I think you’re great for the most part, but there’s just this one part of you that I can’t stand!”
When we put it that way, it’s almost laughable.
So let’s not flip off Source!
Let’s honor and love ourselves just as much as we honor and love others. We each have something unique to contribute to this reality, a reason for incarnating on this planet at this time, and different sets of strengths and weaknesses that we bring to the table…
And knowing thyself is the first step.
We’re all loved, we’re all love, we’re all one…
And so it fuckin is! 😎