Yogi, what does it truly mean to have love of self? Is it more than self-acceptance and always being undeniably yourself? Because I feel like I’ve achieved that yet it still feels like something is missing.
wideyed-leaver asked: Yogi, what does it truly mean to have love of self? Is it more than self-acceptance and always being undeniably yourself? Because I feel like I’ve achieved that yet it still feels like something is missing.
When you talk of loving yourself or accepting yourself or always being yourself, you are conceiving and relating to yourself as if it were an object. Such an object is not yourself, it is solely the idea of who or what that self is.
The sum total of identifications you collect in order to comprise that idea of who you are is called the ego. The ego does not have its basis in maliciousness or pain, only mistaken confusion.
Put simply, the ego is the object that you mistakenly believe to be you. You can love a concept but a concept is not living consciousness in the way you are. A concept cannot exist without thought. Thought depends on consciousness. Consciousness does not depend on thought.
In order to love something, to accept something, to be something, there must be a subject who is doing those things and an object to which the action relates.
So, for example, when you talk about accepting yourself, who is doing the accepting? And what is being accepted?
The thing being accepted isn’t yourself. This is because you are already yourself. There is nothing else you have ever been or will be. You may be uncertain of who you are experiencing as a body-mind in this world or how people see your body-mind, but the one thing of which you can be certain, the very thing on which uncertainty depends, is that you exist. In order to be uncertain about who you are, you must have already intuited that you are.
So what we can accept or reject isn’t actually ourselves but rather the idea or concept we have of ourselves.
In that light, what becomes of self-love, self-acceptance, or being yourself?
The thing about love is that actually experiencing love means loving. The experience we have when others love us depends on how loving we are. Some may experience the love from others as securing, validating, or comforting. Whereas those who have felt loving know how it can urge you to do anything, overcome anything, regardless of your own need for security or comfort.
Perhaps then self-love is the love that comes from the self. Self-acceptance is the acceptance that comes from the self.
Who is that self? What is that existence, which is there already before the mind, before the emotions, before the body, and before the world are ever known?
If you want to love yourself, and therefore abide as the limitless source of love, if you want to accept yourself, and therefore accept the entirety of existence, if you want to be yourself, and therefore recognize what you have always been and will always be,
then you must cease conceiving and relating to yourself as if you were an object and know the living existence that you are.
Among many things I could recommend, a few are daily meditation, the book The Places That Scare You by Pema Chodron, and playing with puppies.
Namaste 🙂 Much love.