I was looking through some quotes the other day and I ran across one that said something like:
Be good to yourself. Forgive yourself. When you treat yourself well life will treat you well.
I eyed it dubiously and then moved on to other sources. I was bothered by it, though so I went back to re-read it. It is an idea that I have heard many times over the last few years, expressed in a variety of ways.
I am uneasy around it because it sounds like something the small self would grab onto, in pursuit of building a better small self. I agree that it is important to love, forgive and be true to myself. But I cannot do or be any of these things as long as I am attempting, from the ego, or false identity, to be more forgiving, or loving or self-accepting.
From my perspective, to love, forgive and be true to myself means that I have aligned to the truth in my mind, and have surrendered the small self’s fear based thoughts and beliefs for correction.
I also see in the quote the idea that when I am aligned with the love in my mind, people will treat me the way I want to be treated. In my experience there isn’t really a direct correlation.
It is true that as I have become more loving and peaceful many people have responded to me with an openness and appreciation that was missing in earlier times. But it is also true that people sometimes act our their fear and self-hatred in my company (as I sometimes do in theirs). Maybe they act it out because they feel the space of love and acceptance around me, and recognize that they have come to a safe place to ask for help. So the cry for love is finally allowed out. Sometimes loudly and sometimes in ways that my ego does not like.
Always, the question for me is this: Am I at peace with the cry for love that is coming my way? Or do I experience it as an attack? Can I even see that it is a cry for love? If so, then I can answer it by extending love in a way that can be accepted.
To return to the quote, after sitting with it for a bit I saw that I could read it in 2 ways: the top layer, where it might be more of a nice concept than an experience for me. And at a deeper level, I can see it as an invitation to surrender my false ideas about myself to my Inner Wisdom.
If you are interested in taking that journey from a nice concept to genuine experience of love and forgiveness, here are 5 tools that I find helpful:
Love to you and have a happy journey!
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