De-attach with love
We can't talk about meditation or analyze it to truly understand its effects. Dissecting meditation doesn't get us closer to the experience. The practice of consistency does. Through meditation, as a tool of realization, you can observe the tendencies and craziness of the mind and gain some perspective that our thoughts are, in fact, separate from who we are.
When we reveal it, we heal it. Although we can intellectualize our thoughts and thinking to a degree, intellectualizing our emotions can be more o a challenge. Primarily if no one taught you how to love yourself.
If this is you, please know that you are not alone. Before embarking upon my path of healing, I thought I loved myself. The truth was that on an intellectual level knew that I was supposed to love myself, I even said it out loud, but I couldn't access the emotions of love to myself, like for example like I did when I was directing my focus and awareness on a person I love. No one taught me how to love myself, through this process, I taught myself, and I can wholeheartedly say today that I love myself. In fact, I sometimes find myself thinking loving thoughts of myself, instead of having the nasty thoughts that I used to. I am sharing this with you so that if you can relate to these emotions. Please know that this is definitely a possibility for you too.
By the practice of self-discovery, I began asking myself one question whenever a negative emotion or thought rose up. Whether that emotion/thought was directed to me, or anyone else I asked myself: where in this situation am I not loving myself?
This was a little tricky in the beginning, coming from a co-dependent background with a long line of mental illness throughout both my parents' experiences, I had to step out of myself and look at the situation as if I were talking to a friend. Let's just say, I was very hard on myself. Here's where I learned to be kinder and forgive myself. What's the point of kicking yourself if you have a negative thought? I used to do that, I used to get upset and frustrated only to leave me more frustrated.
Here's a quote by one of my all-time favorite authors and poets, words that I live by and remind myself whenever I got stuck in a negative cycle of negativity and self-hate:
"When we know better, we do better"
– Maya Angelou
Take a minute and say these words to yourself, say them aloud. There lies so much compassion in these words. Through these words, I was able to remind myself that it's okay, we all forget and slip into negativity every now and then - when I acknowledged that I knew better and therefore extended more compassion to myself.
I learned by becoming my best friend first, honing in on what I value regardless of what society or anyone for that matter thought – that my most important relationship is to myself. I learned to forgive myself, and my showing up every morning in meditation, I was able to cultivate more love for myself.
Life feels so personal. Me—my—mine! We connect and cling to our thoughts and emotions as though they are real. How can something be so real when it's always changing? If you are your thoughts, then what were you thinking about last Monday at 2:15 pm?
Through this week, when a negative thought or emotion of yourself rise up, journal in your notebook or in your smartphone.
Ask yourself: where in this situation am I not loving myself?
Breath into it and see what arises within you, journal it down.
Extend yourself compassion.
For example: give yourself a long hug. Repeat Maya Angelous quote to yourself. Stroke a part of your body with compassion just as you would when comforting a child. If a loved one of yours would be in front of you, how would you show that person compassion? Re-direct the compassion to yourself.
This is a safe community, created to encourage communication between each other and to share experiences. Please leave questions and comments in The Atelier The Ché Private Facebook Group for your fellow meditators to respond based on their personal experience. Constructive and nurturing feedback only! Sara will not be answering comments or questions or navigating your personal circumstances. Those can be done in a session.