Thursday, November 10, 2011

Be Kind to Yourself, Part 1

"Radiate love from the depth of your being and allow that love to transform your mind, eventually spilling out and radiating love to others through your actions."

If you do not have control of your mind, then you are like a ship at sea, tossed by waves and storms.  Life is a seeming chaotic place to live, as you are at the whim of what happens to you.  This is because our minds are reactive to our environment; they blow things out of proportion and focus on the minutia rather than the important things.  The fact that your mind, body and emotions are not You is an important teaching.  Once you learn to love and observe your mind, then the knot begins to unravel.  The power of the mind is when we consider the mind as us.  That is the illusion and is the lie we have bought.

The worst poison in this life, which may even be the hell that we have heard about, is when we are a slave to our mind.  Worse still is when our minds play back tapes of failures in our life, how worthless we are, or how we cannot do this or that.  If we are to believe in sins, this is one of the worst sins of all.  This can truly destroy us.  The danger about being a slave to your mind and that your mind is replaying negative thoughts is that this causes your emotions to spiral downward, with no way of escape.  Even the thought "why am I being so hard on myself" results in a negative emotional spike.

We should have compassion for people who are cold or indifferent to others.  These people may have the worst attitudes, are critical or judgmental of others and are simply unpleasant to be around.  These same people are even harder on themselves.  This is part of the karma of acting on negative emotions or thoughts.  As humans, we are unable to treat others differently from the way we treat ourselves.

Where is the way out?  The way out of this state is to realize that you are not your mind, your body or your emotions.  This is the first step.  This creates a buffer around your life, so you are not instantly reacting to things.  You begin to think "this is interesting; I ran out of money" instead of instantly trying to come up with a hundred plans to manipulate life to give you more money.  You give space to life and allow things to happen to you.  The second step is learning to be an observer of your thoughts.  You do not interject commentaries into your thought stream but just observe it, thinking "this is interesting."

What begins to happen is you will begin to have lapses of thought where you almost get the feeling of radiant light breaking through, a light filled with peace and love.  This is when there is a break in the mind stream.  The third step is learning to love your mind.  You are to love your mind as a child, as a friend, as a very necessary part of you that is your ally.  If you treat your mind as something foreign or "bad", it will react in this way to you.  The fourth and final step to break free of this bondage is to begin to fill your mind with positive, uplifting things.  Meditate on the many blessings in your life, express gratitude for everything that has been given to you, be joyful.

These steps do not have to be taken in order.  Each one is in fact not independent of each other.  They all can be summed up in the following statements.  Love yourself with as much love as you love others.  Give as much grace to yourself as you give to others.  Give yourself the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe you are doing the best that you can considering the circumstances.  Learn what you can, at the time, when you could have done something better, then let it go.  In short, radiate love from the depth of your being and allow that love to transform your mind, eventually spilling out and radiating love to others through your actions.

In the next part, I will write about ways that you can be kinder to yourself, in general.

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