Many people live a
love. They cannot love themselves, and therefore they cannot
love anyone else. Some even feel that they do not deserve love. The
sad fact is that without love, no matter what else you have in life,
it's not enough. We need to love ourselves unconditionally in order
to live fully.
The love I'm referring to here is not
romantic love. Love here refers to
unconditional, universal love and respect for
life – yours and everyone
else's. We are all capable of
this type of love. In fact, if we can
strip ourselves of all our negative emotions, imprints and ego,
what remains is pure, unconditional love. That is who or what we are
underneath all the layers of impurities that we have accumulated.
is that we have forgotten
how to love. We have to learn to open our
heart to love again.
Open Your Heart To
There are four steps involved in
opening our heart to love:
First, we have to accept that we
are capable of love - pure, unconditional, selfless love! We
have to accept the need to express this form of love in our life
in order to live fully.
Next, we have to
forgive – ourselves and everyone else, especially those whom
have hurt us in the past. Learning to forgive is not a choice. It is
a necessity! We need to forgive in order to heal ourselves and make
ourselves whole again. If we cannot forgive, we cannot move forward.
We will continue to carry old wounds and burdens with us. When we
forgive, we let go of all these wounds and burdens, and instantly
feel lighter and stronger to move forward.
Forgiving does not mean forgetting. It
means we're willing to let go of the past and willing to give
ourselves the freedom to start afresh without encumbering ourselves
with the old wounds. We remember the lessons without bitterly
holding on to the pain. We do not wish to blame anyone anymore.
There are three types of forgiveness:
Forgiving those who have hurt us
Forgiving ourselves for hurting
Forgiving ourselves for hurting
To open our heart to love, we must
learn to love ourselves first. To do that, we need to start by
forgiving ourselves for all our shortcomings and mistakes. We need
to stop blaming ourselves. We stop blaming others and circumstances.
It does not mean that we do not accept responsibility for our
actions. What it does mean is that we recognise our weaknesses and
mistakes and wish to give ourselves another chance to make our life
work for us.
TO ERR IS HUMAN, TO FORGIVE DIVINE
Forgiveness is an expression of
compassion. Our compassion should not be extended to just
other beings but also to ourselves. If we are not compassionate
to ourselves, it is difficult to show true compassion to others.
So forgive yourself! ...
Our life is an expression of all our
mental and emotional imprints. All these imprints find expression
outwardly in our life sooner or later. The sooner they are
expressed, the more liberating it feels. Bottled up inside, the
negative imprints can grow into something potentially more harmful
and malignant. We need to give these negative imprints a chance to
be expressed so that we can release all the pent up energies we hold
inside us – energies that can manifest physically as illnesses and
emotionally as fear, anger, frustration, guilt, doubt and lack of
Here are some suggestions on ways to
express yourself and
transform negative, pent up energies into
positive, liberating energies...
Sharing with trusted friends and
Professional counseling or therapy
Action here refers to actual acts of
loving-kindness in our lives. Like all habits, we need to integrate
this into our daily lives in order for it to become a part of us.
Here are some exercises to help
generate more feeling of loving-kindness towards all beings:
Generating unconditional love
requires effort at first. The
Buddhist's Metta Meditation is a good
meditation to help generate unconditional love towards all
Universal love is unconditional and
without any bias or prejudice. If you have a certain prejudice
towards certain people or race, try to make an extra effort to love
them unconditionally. For example, if you are biased against
in general, make an extra effort to seek out Muslim orphanages or
old folks homes to give gifts during a New Year celebration or a
3. Perform an
Unconditional Act of Love Daily
There are many things you can do daily
to show your unconditional love. For example, we often do not notice
the mailman, or the garbage collector. In the office, we often do
not notice the tea lady and maintenance staff. Do you know who
sweeps your office daily? Make an effort to know these people as a