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Reflections on Self Love as a path to inner peace

"Self love is the beginning,

an essential centerpiece

that opens the door

to unconditional love

for yourself and all beings"

- Yung Pueblo

We all love, we surely know how. We love our family, our friends, our neighbors, our pets. We give them our love freely, encouraging them and supporting them when they need us. But when it comes to ourselves we just don't do the same. We believe that loving ourselves and cheering up for ourselves is pure vanity. And that belief is the one that closes our eyes to our own beauty, to our own support system. Loving yourself is not only necessary but also vital for your own well being.

How much energy do you spend pushing emotions like anger and sadness away, just resisting the way you feel? How many times do you tell yourself that you are not worthy, that you are not good enough, smart enough, thin enough, pretty enough and many more unloving things? Loving and accepting yourself just as you are is a practice that requires patience and a lot of compassion. Ugly things might come up, painful memories that have kept you trapped in the past. Suddenly you realize how much darkness there is in you. And knowing this is actually a good thing! Embrace this darkness, allow it to be; find forgiveness for everyone involved, including yourself. When you do this, little by little you shed the layers that cover your perception not only of yourself but also of your world. You see yourself differently, your light starts to get brighter and you see the difference in the way you relate to others. Your relationships are more loving, more authentic, more compassionate. You learn how to set boundaries in these relationships so everyone is heard and acknowledged.

Remember: You are not trying to change yourself or "fix you" because there is something wrong with you; you are just healing your perception of who you are to let your own love and compassion shine out from within.

So accept and love yourself just as you are: with your light, with your darkness. Loving who you are today is the first step toward inner peace. Stop fighting back, know that you are already perfect.