depends on the amount of freedom
you have in your heart.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
I use to walk around taking things very personally.
If I walked by a stranger who gave me a dirty look,
or if a bank teller was rude,
I thought it meant there was something wrong with me.
However, what I’m realizing is that none of it has anything to do with me.
I have a brand new sense of awareness now.
When I begin to experience negative self-talk inside of me, I consciously stopped this.
I then seemed to be shifting almost immediately to a place of self-love, forgiveness, acceptance, and compassion for myself.
This inner awakening has begun to translate into a new perception of my outside world.
Instead of my usual thoughts and reactions that occur
when confronted with less than ideal responses from the external world,
I am able to see me in you and you in me.
Right away I begin to feel compassion because I know that you hurt, just like me, and you feel joy, just like me. You worry and feel scared sometimes, just like me.
You have bad days, just like me, and you have amazing days,
just like me.
You are seeking, just like me.
You want to believe in love, just like me.
I look at people passing me by in the store, on the streets, or in traffic,
and have a deep sense of knowing that they too feel separate sometimes,
and they too have times when they fear they will
never be enough
—just like me.
We all feel the same things.
This realization has allowed me to continue loving
even when it isn’t returned to me in the exact way I initially wanted it.
True love, after all, is to love someone and
expect nothing in return.
I practice this daily by being honest
about what’s in my heart,
without holding on too tightly to the outcome.
For me, practicing love is the same as practicing the art of
and giving others the freedom to just be--
accepting them exactly the way they are.
It’s something we can do with friends, family, love interests, and strangers alike.
The simple act of making a shift within has completely transformed
the type of relationships I’m attracting.
When you live from a place of self love,
the world mirrors love and compassion
back to you.
When you give yourself unconditional love,
compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance,
you’re then able to give that to others.
Some things that work for me:
1. If you don’t feel real love for yourself yet, act as if.
Act lovingly towards yourself and do things that nurture you,
make you stronger, and make you proud of who you are and how you live your life.
Exercise, meditation, helping others freely,
and eating a healthy diet work really well for me.
Practice progress, not perfection.
2. When you feel hurt by someone else,
remind yourself that they are just like you.
They hurt, feel fear, have insecurities,
and feel the need to defend and protect themselves.
They are no different than you and me.
At times, we all react to the programming in our minds.
As you commit to feeling unconditional love and compassion for self and others,
you will begin to transform the programming in your brain.
All you need is awareness.
Just be aware.
3. Remember, others are on their path just like you are on yours.
You are both just doing the best you can.
4. Be of service in the world.
Nothing will help you find compassion within yourself
and for others like coming face to face with people
who have much less materially and way bigger problems than you.
5. Turn within and ask your higher knowing to show you where you
lack integrity, love, trust, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance.
Then ask yourself to heal.
Be patient with the process.
Sometimes small shifts happen over time.
Allowing your own process to unfold
is an act of love in and of itself.