How to love yourself

“As a mother would risk her life to protect her child, her only child, even so should one cultivate a limitless heart with regard to all beings. So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings; radiating kindness over the entire world.” ~Buddha

loveRecently, I have slightly changed the way I begin my meditation. I start with thinking of my Mother, and connecting with the love that she had for me. This love, I feel, is still as potent and present as it was when she was alive. With gratitude, I thank her for her unconditional love and acceptance of me. The encouragement and nourishing words, loving intentions, and gentle kindness that I always felt from her. Laying her hand on top of mine would always convey that gentle comfort to know that I was loved.
Being aware that we are only separated by a veil of illusion called life and death, I send her loving kindness. That my Mom may be well, happy and peaceful.

For me, this connection to pure unconditional love opens my heart for the loving kindness that I can send myself. Acceptance of the self, the impermanence of all things, and the connectedness of all beings both living and dead.

For you perhaps, your Mother was not a person who personified this type of unconditional love. But you can begin with anyone who is an example to you. Whether it be a parent, teacher, Priest, Monk, or friend. Just allow your heart to open and feel this abundant love and compassion. Then share that love with the self. Unconditionally, with acceptance and encouragement. Spreading this love outward towards Family, friends, and the World with the same gentle love and compassion.

Breathing in lovingly, breathing out lovingly.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.