Kindness to Your Self


I have been on my spiritual journey for a while now. I feel I have to start all over because I failed the first step of 'Being Kind to Myself.' Can I overcome childhood trauma through meditation and how would I meditate towards being kind to myself?

—Sonia, U.S.A


Dear Sonia,

Each of us has a matrix of positive and negative influences, traits, and past actions to work with. Often I am tempted or hear it said that, “The first step on the spiritual path is X, Y, or Z!” All of them have their valid points to make: acceptance, kindness, devotion, and so on. So, please wash away the thought that you have to start over or have failed in any way whatsoever! As Paramhansa Yogananda once said to a discouraged disciple who said to him, “Sir, I don’t believe I have very good karma.”

“Remember this,” Master replied with deep earnestness, “It takes very, very, VERY good karma even to want to know God!”

As to the efficacy of meditation I would say, rather, God’s love can cure all. You can love God every minute of the day whereas few people meditate for only a small portion of our conscious waking hours. Nor would I exclude seeking wise counsel to help you although finding wise counsel is no easy task in a profession of so many atheists and skeptics. But your intuition that healing is an “inside job” is well placed.

But here’s the thing, how far can one get by constantly “loving one self?” The problem with emphasizing love is that we naturally make it so personal. By contrast, if you experience Divine Mother’s love your experience will be expansive and will easily find natural expression to others without having to consider their personalities. Your own feeling will be simply loving and will not depend upon the responses from others.

When you feel that unconditional love of God in your heart, your heart will be cleansed.

Having said all of this, it would be helpful to be mindful of your thoughts and aware of when you tend to put yourself “down” or engage in critical self-talk (whether silently or aloud). The antidote isn’t to analyze yourself (I mean, it’s ok but not enough), but is to relax the mind. You can do this through simple deep breathing; a double breath, expelling the breath into stillness and clearing the mind. Then use an affirmative thought or prayer such as “Divine Mother, naughty or good, I am forever yours. Be Thou mind!” Or, “I am thine, be Thou mine!”

We all have our faults. There’s no point in pretending we don’t make mistakes or haven’t, in the past, made mistakes. Rejoice when you find one that you can overcome! God doesn’t mind our faults, He seeks only our love (attention and attunement). What I am saying is don’t just push the pendulum in the opposite direction. That won’t work in the long run. (For example, saying things like I LOVE MYSELF.)

Rather find your center and find in that center the joy, love and inner peace of your soul which is eternal, divine, and worthy of Bliss.

Joy to you!
Nayaswami Hriman
Seattle WA USA /