How to Really Love Yourself
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Hi! I am Brian Marc Zimberg, author of Stop, Smile, Breathe, Be and creator of Access Points, the Modern Life Meditation Plan, where we show you how to shift your attention out of your mind, connecting to the most profound inner peace of meditation, thus realizing your True- OneSelf, and then living a life of greater joy, happiness and true self expression where we all become contributions to the world.
In today's video, I want to talk about self love.
You've heard the concept of self love. You know, basically the more that we learn to accept ourselves and love ourselves and have appreciation for ourselves, all things can stem from there. We've heard of the idea that we can't really love someone else until you love yourself. And I'm sure you've had some realizations in the things you've read or done. You've had some epiphanies, you've opened some doorways into accepting and embracing and loving yourself. And that may have lasted for awhile, and for often for many people, it fades away. And when it fades away, we're back in our mind and the battle and the struggle of life with unworthiness, fear, anger, a deep self-loathing and hatred that happens for some people even.
So, let's finally take a look at what self love really is. There's so many misunderstandings and misconceptions about self love. What self love really is, is learning to embrace and accept every single aspect of you. When we learn to embrace and accept all aspects of ourselves, we receive love innately. You see, so often self love is you trying to love yourself. The separate mind concept recipe loving yourself. You have to try to love yourself.
Now, if you have a child, you don't try to love your child. You have an innate love for your child, right? You can't help it. When you see a beautiful sunset and you're blown away by it, you don't try to love that sunset. You have an innate love for that sunset. True self love is having an innate love for yourself. And when you learn to open and embrace all aspects of yourself, then there's a flowering of innate self love that just overflows within you. You don't have to attempt to try to love yourself. So, instead of you trying to love a part of yourself, from within you is a full opening, acceptance and embrace of love. You get the difference? There is an innate love emanating from you for yourself that has compassion, that has acceptance, that has love. And when we allow true self love, we connect to the Divine within ourselves.
When you connect to the Divine within yourself, in that space, you start to really come to the core of self love, this deep appreciation and compassion that allows you to move into any aspect of yourself without getting lost in the judgemental mind that beats ourselves up, that creates a separate. You see, real suffering is when we are identified with our mind. When our attention is stuck in our mind in the beliefs, in the comments, and making too much meaning out of the emotions that we have. It is in those moments that we find that we have to try to love ourselves, that we are in the suffering, struggle and battle of life. Therefore, we have to apply a way to love ourselves. Because "Oh my God, I am being so hard on myself. I need to learn to love myself." And what we are really doing is we're not having a space of total love and acceptance. When we have a space of total love and acceptance of who we are, we can have a natural fluidity of allowing certain things to rise and fall, see good and bad fall, and rise and fall. Comments and ideas about ourselves can rise and fall. Sadness, anger can rise and fall. Judgement can rise and fall when we have space for it. If we don't have space for it, we are battling against it.
The truth is that all suffering and struggle in life comes from us being identified with our mind. When we are in our thoughts, when we are identified with our mind, we believe ourselves to be separate. When we are fully in the belief of our own separation, we are in survival. And in that survival, we have to protect ourselves. And that's where the struggle and suffering in life comes, by being identified with our minds. You see, in the identification with the mind, everything is created separately. There is duality. There is good, bad. Right, wrong. And as we grow up in the development of who we believe ourselves to be, we decide that I have to be the good. Right? "Be a good boy or you won't get your dessert. Be a good girl or you won't get the new doll." We're shown our entire lives that we have to reach for societal concepts and ideas of what good is, and bad is no good. We don't want the bad. Be happy. Stop crying.
So, in our mind, there is only duality of separation. The good and the bad. What happens is we habitually are reaching only for what we think to be the good part of ourselves. And we're pushing away everything that we don't like about ourselves or that we have been told is the bad part of ourselves. So what happens is we are torn, you see? We think in this ideal image of ourselves, we would only have all the good parts of ourselves. Like one day, you're going to be a saint. Who knows about that, you know? But we're working to only the good part of ourselves. And in that, we do two things the bad part of ourselves. We deny it. So, we pretend it's not there. We repress it or we indulge it.
You know, a friend of mine was telling me he was so good. He was into drinking, he was using it to repress and hide from things. And he was going to a therapist. But the therapist couldn't even help him because he was lying to the therapist about how he was really feeling and what he was doing. See, when we build upon these lies to ourselves, we fester. We fester in an inauthenticity with ourselves. And really, there's nothing worse than that. We don't like this battle within ourselves. But we also don't like to feel unworthy. We don't like self-hatred. So we rather pretend it doesn't exist. When we pretend it doesn't exist, we are living that lie. We are building that lie. We are building that inauthenticity.
What we want to be is authentic with ourselves. You see, when we embrace the good and the bad and we bring it into wholeness. Like the Yin and Yang. Like the Tao. When we embrace all aspects of ourselves, when we accept them without repression, without indulging. What's indulging anger look like? Roar, roar, roar, roar! (laughs) Right? We get angry, we indulge it, we go with it. Sadness, repressed. "I'm fine, I'm fine," when deep down, we're feeling like, you know, but we pretend that it's not real. Or sadness indulged, depression. " I’m the worst me in the world, there's no worse than me. What's wrong with my life? What's wrong with me? I'm so bad. I'm no good. I don't deserve to live." You know, all that comes from, the indulging of the feeling of sadness. And it comes because we don't want sadness. We only want happiness. Sadness is bad. It's a real immature way of dealing and looking at our emotions. Who we all are is the full, the full spectrum of all our emotions, all our feelings, all our thoughts. And when we're going to learn allow all of those here and exercise we're going to do later, you're going to learn to look at all the good and all the bad of yourself and finally get present to them. When we get present to all aspects of ourselves, we find that all of these things we are avoiding, they have a gift to offer us. Sadness, anger, fear, unworthiness. Each one in its seed is actually a doorway to greater joy and happiness. Believe it. It's the truth and I'm going to show it to you.
See, the mind has ideas and who you are and who you should be based on all those things we talked about, based on all that conditioning. So, what the mind is kind of trying to do is constantly maintain this identification of being a separate person. And it's doing it by helping you push away the bad and get the good. Divide, divide and divide. It's the endless battle of the mind. What we need to understand is that this duality battle of the mind will never stop. So, we need to become aware of it and be able to take one step back and away from it.
The problem is as we push away the bad, we are disowning half of ourselves. How can we have the full embrace of self love if we're disowning half of ourselves? So, first off, it's not your fault. This is an operating system and a program of the egoic survival animal. Dividing and pushing away and separating the good and the bad. The great divide of the mind. So, now it's time to reclaim all of who you are. When we learn to embrace and accept every aspect of who we are, like I said, that is what self love is really is.
When we are whole, we are integral. We are full, we are integrated. From there, we are in alignment. We are in alignment with our heart. We are in alignment with our True-OneSelf. We are in alignment with the Divine. From there, there is a fluidity in the flow of Divine through ourselves and really into the great expression of who we are into the world. When we are disowning half of ourselves, only reaching for what we think is the better part of ourselves and denying the other part of ourselves, there is no wholeness there. We are putting ourselves in a half. We are blocking the integral. We are blocking ourselves from being holistic and whole. What we all want is to experience that wholeness.
The reason we have an innate nature within ourselves to become dawned upon, we want that connection to the Divine. Because we want to know what that wholeness is now. We want to experience what it is to be connected and feel full. The full embrace of love.
How can we finally let everything that we are be here so we can embrace and accept it and feel the innate self love that you desire? That you deserve? That connection that can be moment-to-moment without the blockage of dividing yourself. It's time to bring all pieces back together.
So, let's take a look at the Yin Yang as an example. Okay, the nice Yin Yang of the Tao, of the wholeness, of all reality, of all life. In the Yin Yang, you have one side dark, one side light. One side dark, and in that dark side, you have a dot of light. Contained within the dark is still a part of the other side. Contained within the light is still a part of the other side. Complete in a whole balance. Neither side can ever really overtake the other side because there's always, no matter which way the dark moves, it has within it, contained within each other, the other aspect of each other. So, it can constantly balance itself out.
So, soon we are going to do an exercise that's going to get us down to looking at every single part of ourselves that we don't like. Just like in the totality, the acceptance of the Tao is that wholeness. Imagine for you, the embrace of every aspect of yourself, being the embrace of that wholeness. It's full. And that's actually what true fulfilment is. True fulfilment is the embrace of the totality of every aspect of yourself. No longer buying into the program of the mind which is chasing what we think of is good. In this idea of this image of what we've been told and the pushing away of the bad. When there is finally an ability to sit and have tea with deep unworthiness. To just be here with it and to not indulge it. To not repress it, to not push it away, to not hold on to it, to not overindulge it, then we find real freedom. Real self love.
Now, in a way what I'm asking you to do here is counter intuitive. It's counter intuitive because we don't look to walk into the darkness. We think we want to find the light. But let me share something with you. The more you go into the shadows, the blind spots, the spot you can't see in the mirror, you can't take the turn to the next lane of your life if you're going to smash somebody right there, you're going to smack into something. You need to see in order to make the right proper movement. So, the proper fluidity to your own wholeness would be to not have any more blind spot. So, we want to expose the truth at the deepest level. So, the animal is always running away from facing unworthiness, from facing fear, from facing anger. The truth is these, as we share in access points and in “meeting the voids”, the doorway to happiness, these are the three doorways to happiness. The seed root of all your emotions, all your "negative emotions", fear, unworthiness and anger. And when we learn to get present to emotions, we go so deep within them, we become one with them. They have a gift to offer us. They show us the doorway to our own true self, our own fulfilment, happiness greater than ever before.
So, what we want to do is really look at every aspect of ourselves and learn to be present with it, accept it without making/believing the mind and getting into a negative bombardment of beating ourselves up. Or without indulging it outward into anger or to into the story of sadness or to repressing it and pushing it away and pretending that it's not there creating that angst and that lie and inauthenticity. We want to get present to each emotion, accept each emotion. And instead of being with what is because when we are with what is at the deepest levels of being with the peace of the Tao, Is-ness, being-ness. But “it is what it is” has become a kind of a way blowing things off. And really, it's just another way of repressing things, pushing things away. And its root, there's tolerance. Now, tolerance means that you're not being with what is. You're frustrated by what is. Tolerance has violence to it. It is a frustration to it. You're tolerating somebody. You're tolerating something an aspect of yourself. That's not what we're looking for. We're not looking to tolerate an aspect of ourselves. We're looking for full compassion and embrace and acceptance of all parts of ourselves. We tell the truth of everything that we are, the wholeness of what we are.
Alright, so, what I want you to do...if you're driving a car, you can just think a couple of things for now and come back and really do this exercise. If there's some place that you can grab a pen and paper, go ahead and give yourself a second to do that... So, on a piece of paper, I want you to write down all the different negative aspects of yourself. All the things you don't like about yourself. All of things you think other people don't like about yourself. Write all those down in one side. On the other side, write about the good things about yourself. All the things you like about yourself, even all the things that other people like about yourself. After you've done that, you're going to write down the emotions. Clarify what these emotions are associated with the things you don't like about yourself.
"I like the way that I smile at people." You read that part "I like the way that I smile at people," and you admit that part, how does that make you feel? "Ah, it makes me feel pretty happy actually." You write down happy. Go over each part, okay? And start with the positive, make it a little more okay for you now.
But now, we are going to turn, we are going to face the shadow, the blind side, okay? We're going to get into some deeper work here. Now, certain emotions when you are with them, you're going to feel and start to see the body want to have discomfort and push them away or call them back. So, I invite you to take a look at the link below or I'll pop it on the screen here but we have a program called "Meeting the Voids" and to really be free from emotions that are running you on a deep seeded level. I sit down and I talk you into the core of unworthiness, into the core of anger, into the core of fear and we get to see how the different levels in the way it's running us. But the main thing in the willingness to welcome everything is, is to finally allow ourselves to be with an emotion and start noticing the patterns of the mind saying, pushing it away, "No, I'm okay. That's not true. That's not real." Or, "I don’t like that. I'm scared. I'm so sad in indulging it." We want to start seeing these patterns and then learn to just be with it. Okay?
So, step 1 is going to be admitting that it exists. Step 2 is going to be give it space and embrace. It sounds crazy, but you're going to learn to have space and then embrace with love, sadness, anger, frustration, fear. You're going to find a seed of each one of them that they have something to offer you. So, on this negative side of the list. “Negative.” You're going to write down all the things you don't like about yourself. All the things you don't like about yourself, write them down.
Now, you can even write down the things that people, things you think people don't like about you. We do the same thing in the other side. Each one of those, we're going to write down the emotion, okay? "I don't like that I'm not taller." Read that, how does that make me feel I'm not taller? "I feel less than... I feel not good enough." Right, isn't that what the core about is? Just write down the emotion, okay? And each one of them, now that we have admitted it, it's going to be amazing if you just write it down. Everything that even though your mind will have an argument, "Well, that's not true about me. I don't feel that way about myself." But if there's anytime you felt that way about yourself, or if deep down maybe you do, or others might, write it down.
So, what's going to happen is, if you are okay admitting all of these things as a possibility of being a part of you and all these things possibly part of you, guess what? There's nowhere to run. There's nothing to hide from anymore. It's all part of you at some point, in some time. You don't have to block anything off. You don't have to repress. You’re going to get filled with such energy and joy and each seed of emotion is going to bring you a present and a gift and it's a doorway coming closer to the truth of your one self. Total self love.
So, step 1 is admitting it all. So, you've done that part. You've written it down, you've admitted. This could take some time for you to sit down and do it yourself. Do it a little bit each day and you're going to find a whole shift going on for you. You're going to find a renewal of what it is to be you and to be okay. Fully embracing and accepting yourself.
So, give an example for the second part, you're going to give it space and embrace. So, we isolate one little section that you write about yourself. "I don't like that I talk too much. I don't like the way my voice sounds." The emotion of the word of that is a feeling of shame of not being good enough. So, now that I'm going to admit it, I'm going to give space to just this feeling of not being good enough. And we're going to start to notice that if I’m with it, it doesn't feel so comfortable and I kind of want to NOT be with that, but giving it space means I'm not going to push it away or indulge it. I'm just going to let it be here finally. Finally, I'm going to have tea with it and be here with this.
So if there's discomfort, I'm going to let discomfort be here and rise and fall. My mind is starting to say that's not true, that's not good. Or my mind is starting to say that I really am unworthy of this, that's the truth of who I am. I'm not so bad, I'm just going to let that story come and go like traffic. Like a radio in the background. And now, we're going to embrace. We’re actually going to offer the same love you would offer to a child. You're going to offer that love to that emotion within you.
So, by being with the emotion, we're not running from it, we're not run by it any longer. So, what we want to do with each one of these emotions... I'm going to read something I've written and something along the lines of what you can say to each aspect of yourselves. You really want to say this in some way that feels comfortable to you, to each aspect of yourselves. You want to start living and breathing this with each part of yourself. When you go through this list, a few each day, you're going to find (sigh) the gifts that are going to come from this, the energy that's going to be released, the vibrancy in the way of being in life. I'm excited for you.
So, really what we want to do, is to learn just “be” with these aspects. Give them space and embrace and offer it that love. What's really great is I've written something that we can say to each aspect to ourselves. And we'll put that below. You can read it to each part of yourself and help create this release. It doesn't have to be word for word. It's the sentiment of what's being said here which is the energy and the flow of what you want to start offering to every aspect of yourself. So you say to each part of yourself (we're talking about shame here) so, say we're being with shame. You say, "I embrace this part of me. I no longer push this aspect of me away. You too are accepted here like a lost child. I offer you love and I allow you to be here. I will not allow my thoughts or my feelings about you to run me. I accept you here as part of the whole of who I am. I release my battle with you and offer the embrace of love to you."
You just rewind that part and play it back or write it down for yourself. We have it below. Remember the mind is always labelling, dissecting, separating, to be separate. This means you need to survive and you can be destroyed. Recognize the oneness of who you really are. What meditation really is, shifting out of our minds to that oneness. So for self love here, we are leaving the battle of I like myself, I don't like myself, you're good, you're not good. We're letting that conversation continue like two bulls, hitting horns and an ocean washing it away. And instead, we're letting self love emanate. Emanate. Like innate self love that we have for a flower, sunset or a child. We're going to let it flow from us. We do this by allowing all aspects, all aspects of ourselves. We no longer are pushing away, repressing or indulging. We no longer are going to be blinded by living only half of who we are. We're going to accept the Yin and Yang, the whole of who we are. And you're going to find a movement and fluidity to life. Because no concept, no label, no idea of good or bad, is who you are. Who you are is the limitless nature of Divine love.
Until next time. Here's to living an awake life from your True-OneSelf, and into the greatest expression of you.