Let’s go radical this Valentine’s Day! Make it a priority to ask YOURSELF to be your valentine.
Are you are your own worst critic?
If so, the challenge of your personal growth is an attitude adjustment from self-judgment to self-acceptance. Are you driven into your personal spiritual work from a deep desire to serve? Then the personal growth challenge is to find a way that allows service to be offered easily without an attachment to an outcome. A core thread in my spiritual integration work is the practice of radical self-acceptance. An ordinary motivation to choose the work of self-inquiry is wrapped up in the packaging of punitive self-judgment. Reliable detachment from outcomes comes only as a result of a deep acceptance of yourself. By loving yourself and having compassion for all of you, you are better equipped for loving others
Try on the truth that you cannot truly love someone if you don’t love yourself.
The daily practice of self-acceptance is a very important one in the growth of your spirit. If you are in a loving relationship when you don’t love yourself, you tend to look to the other to validate your sense of self and this dynamic wears thin after a while. What works better in the long run is that if you commit and follow through with deepening your intimacy with yourself, you can actually see the other person and their true beauty rather than trying to glean a glimpse of them through the veil of the projections of your unclaimed love of yourself.
This is a wordy way of expressing the age-old truth of ‘Know thyself’. This truth has been in our collective mind before the Golden Rule of ‘Love thy neighbor as you would yourself’’. Somewhere along the way cultural mores made it more of a priority to love others; even to the extent of allowing our self-deprecation to turn to self-loathing. I suggest that it is imperative that we do the work of learning how inherently precious we are before we explore the concept of the preciousness of others. We cannot truly declare the inherent preciousness of life if we do not claim (and embrace) that we, ourselves, are part of that equation.
Given this imperative, it is also important to embrace the gift others give to you each time they enter into relationship with you. They give you a reflection of what it is that you need to accept in yourself, especially when you react to them with an activated emotional response. When you REALLY feel something about a person; whether you think they are the best of the best, (we call this falling in love, hero worship or kissing our guru’s shoes), or if we feel they are the worst of the worst, (like anyone you dislike, politicians not of your affiliation, or people and systems of authority who you blame), you can use this as soul instruction to accept what you are reacting to as a part of you too. The theory goes that as long as we reject any part of what we encounter in others, that aspect of ourselves remains in the shadow and comes forward in unconscious ways. I call this a sacred gift so, therefore, you can be grateful for everyone in your life as they show you a reflection of your soul that you alone can’t easily see. Awe becomes possible when you relax into the knowledge that you are also a reflection for everyone you encounter and their reactions to you are, likewise, instruction for their personal inquiry of self-acceptance.
What I find so curious about Valentine’s Day is that it is all about giving one’s heart away.
Why would anyone want to do that, really? The heart is an essential life maintaining structure, literally or metaphorically. I wonder if asking yourself to be your own Valentine this year could allow the potential of radical self-acceptance to deepen into your reality. I wonder if that could shift any difficulty you have in allowing yourself to hold yourself in sweet compassion. I smile hugely with the idea of you sharing your love with the world while being responsible for your own heart.
Happy Valentine’s Day Everyone!