AHas anyone noticed how incredibly focused the spiritual community is on self-improvement? Breaking habits, changing life styles, becoming more tolerant, less angry, more peaceful, more loving, more healthy, less resistant…I mean, this list is endless!

How can anyone that has a negative self-focus on not-having and not-being, be a match to a self-loving experience like acceptance, health, energy, love? I make these observations based on what I experience, personally. Wanting to change is a good thing and it is a natural thing, especially since it aligns with the universe’s own desire for evolution. But we must be honest with ourselves when looking within. By trying to change yourself, you might be negating certain things about yourself like your health, your habits, your style, your beliefs in order to exchange them for something that seems to be of more value. The real goal is to naturally allow parts of you that no longer serve you to fall away. This happens with time and practice. The danger which I’m speaking of here is resistance towards yourself.

It is important that we don’t set ourselves up for war with ourselves. To resist any part of yourself by “trying” to change it or deny that it even exists is to separate yourself from self-love. When we look at ourselves and our flaws with deep compassion and acceptance by allowing ourselves to express powerful emotions like sadness and anger (which society tells us is embarrassing, not right and not spiritual) we are telling ourselves that there is something “wrong” with ourselves. In that very act of negation we propagate the very self-hatred and abuse which we are so adamant about eliminating.

Here’s an exercise that has helped me to be more self-loving and compassionate towards myself:

1) Detect the feeling, habit or thought that you are finding undesirable.
2) Trace it’s origin, and discern where it’s coming from by asking yourself questions like, “Is this true?”, “What is good about this disability or negativity I’ve encountered?”, “How does it feel?”, “Where do I feel it?”
3) Ask yourself why you don’t want this feeling, thought or experience.
4) Enter the experience or thought fully. Allow yourself to feel it emotionally, mentally, physically. Just be with it.
5) Bless it, and ask it to reveal to you the lesson or experience which your higher-self (your compassionate and loving self) wants you to have.

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