I feel like I need to unblock my fears and start listening more to my intuition, it’s like I’ve got my chest blocked with anxiety. People say that I always give a lot of love to everyone, but somehow I never feel like I deserve to give love to myself. How can I exercise or unblock my self-love?
—Nadia , Spain
Let us first ask whether “self-love” is ego-love or divine-love? How can we love the ego which has its unending ups and downs of positive and not so lovable thoughts and actions? To truly establish “self-love” we must clarify whom it is we are loving? The true Self is the soul: the immortal Atman, the all-knowing, all-wise, all-loving unique creation of God placed into manifestation since the beginning of Time.
And yet it can be confusing to love this Self because it is, for most of us, indistinguishable from the ego. So the safer approach is to direct this love to its Source: God. Unfortunately, this “God” carries a lot of baggage in today’s society. Perhaps being from Spain, this “God” is seen as one who punishes. (I don’t know of course for sure.) For many devotees, their God-love is directed to their guru; for others, it may be a deity whose qualities are dear to them. How we define God is less important than how pure our devotion is. For God is all forms and yet, no form. All names, yet no names. This part only your intuition, your heart can recognize…a bit like meeting someone and knowing that you will marry them someday.
And to complicate the process further, how can we love someone we have not yet met? So the solution is to calmly pray for devotion. Pray to know God. To feel the presence of the divine Heart in your heart! Here’s another suggestion: love Love itself. The feeling of love, extracted from the object of love (usually another person, for example) can be, in its turn, your Ishta Devata—that to which your devotion goes. Love can be towards the abstract (Love itself or God unembodied) or to God in form such as Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, or, for many of us, Paramhansa Yogananda. It is easier to love God in form than in the abstract (for most people).
Therefore, to develop self-love, love God (in whatever form is dear and meaningful to you). Loving your self as ego is fraught with uncertainty and instability.
One more point: when you are loving to others, direct that love to God in those forms. In this way, it is all God and there is no distinction. This is the real secret. From our ego, we will always be constrained to love some more easily than others. It is only from the soul and to the soul that we can truly love without condition. God’s love is unconditional, and to experience love purely our love, too, must be unconditional.
I’ve given you a big job but it is worth the effort. “All is Ram.” God alone, God alone: in you, and in others.
Blessings to you,
Seattle WA USA