Friday, May 7, 2010
Love your self
Love your self. This was the advice given by a wise saint to a person who sought his advice on what is the best method of reaching happiness and peace. Sounds easy, doesn't it? Presumably, most of us are doing this without being told to do it. Yet, why is it that there is so much sadness, sorrow and depression in this world? If we are truly loving ourselves, what is blocking our joy?
Many years ago, I was attending a lecture on personality development when the speaker asked us to answer a simple question on "Who am I?". Many of us attempted to answer this by giving our name, our career details, our personal life details etc. Try as we did, we ended up describing ourselves by relating ourselves to someone or something else and was not a proper description. For example, our name is not us.
If we think deeply, as suggested by seers and philosophers, we will realise that we are not the body but only residing in it. A time will come when we will have to exit the body as it becomes frail, weak and unsuitable for us. Yet, most of us falsely identify ourselves as the body and seek to indulge the body by sense gratification. Any pleasant sensation that we get in the body, we presume is pleasant for ourselves. The truth is that our self is not at all affected by what happens to our body. The self, therefore, is not our body. It is also not our mind or our intellect.
The advice "Love your self" is not about loving your body or about being selfish. If we identify our inner self truly, we will realise that it is the same self that is present in all living beings - be it other people or other forms of life. The bodies are different and so are the minds and intellects but the self is essentially the same.
This self is called life by ordinary people. When the life goes away, the same body which was attractive starts rotting and decaying. People start shunning it and want to get get rid of it as soon as they can. The attraction in the body is only due to the life in it. So, celebrate the life that is in you and in others around you. Seers say that it is this life that is a representation of God. When they say love your self, they really mean love God. Love God unconditionally.
Love your self means love your life. Love the self in others. Live life selflessly.