As I began my metta (loving-kindness/goodwill) meditation this morning, I decided to spend a little extra time on the self. This led me to some very powerful insights about this part of my practice.
You see, in the past, I have always just offered a minute of love for me, and then spent most of the time offering my goodwill toward others. This to me seemed the Noble thing to do, and seemingly much less selfish. I mean, what the heck, I have a good life with so many comforts, that it only seems compassionate and kind to spend more time sending my blessings to others.
But this morning, I started to truly look at myself as my own best friend. And I began to see a deeper connection and something far more unconditional by doing so.
As I sat, I thought how I will be there through thick and thin. I will cry with David when he is sad, and I will laugh with him when he is happy. I will never abandon him even during the most difficult struggles or obstacles he may face. When he is sick, I will lay with him and offer comfort and understanding. And when he works, I will work side-by-side for as long as is necessary. And unlike other best friends, I have the complete confidence and wisdom to see that David will always be there for David until the day he dies.
Now while, in the past, this may have seemed self-absorbed, I now see that I have much more to offer the self. Without the need of approval or comfort from anyone else. And as my heart and mind become rich with this sense of love and comfort, I begin to see how this ultimately is the greatest benefit that I can offer to others. I see that the seeds of unconditional love and acceptance has to start with ourself. If we are only half full, we can only offer half to others. And even worse, we look to others to fill the void we have within our own being.
It is only by nurturing and encouraging this deep and fulfilling goodwill towards ourself that we are all we are meant to be. And I truly believe this is the seed that lies dormant in each of us, only waiting to be cultivated. And we cultivate this through daily practice and meditation. Moment by moment, with mindfulness and understanding. Always encouraging and supportive of ourselves.
It’s OK. You can do it. Be kind and generous, and love yourself completely.
May you be well, happy and peaceful.