Integrating the Ideal of Selflessness with Self Love
I really don’t know how we arrived at April 2019—already over a quarter of the way through another year . It certainly isn’t somewhere I set out to get to. (This is where I was going to make a lame joke about getting here ahead of Time, but I realized that the whole concept was too convoluted and stopped myself. 😉 ) Truth is, though, that this year, like its Sisters before it, is speeding by before I even have a chance to settle into it comfortably. I suppose the remainder of the year will be much the same.
However, I take heart from the fact that I began 2019 from a far better Place than any of these past few years. I am still not where I want to be by a long shot, but I am ever so much more firmly and consistently on the Path. This is for several reasons.
- I am, in large part, content with myself.
- My attitude (constant work in progress that it is) just keeps improving.
- While I have by no means slowed down, I have found and cultivated that still place within, and visit it often these days.
- My connection with Spirit, and with the Guidance that is always present when we stop and listen, is growing stronger with each passing day.
I don’t know about you, but I am more encouraged by what I’m experiencing and what I See unfolding around me. I feel another huge paradigm shift approaching, a groundswell of Consciousness returning to this planet as it hasn’t been able to since the Fall of Atlantis and the Earth’s fateful tumble into Two Dimensionality. It is still very far from being a done deal, as some people say, and there is much confusion and unrest in the world, but Change can only come out of Chaos.
I am approaching life with Hope! I know that the disasters in the news, both natural and man-made will continue, and that the world is going to keep seeming Crazy for a good while to come, but I have high hopes that out of all of this discord, a new pattern will arise. I know that a great number of Lightworkers are striving toward this change, and that a great many more people are finally open to, and searching for a more balanced, meaningful way of life.
Ego, Self-Preservation and Selfishness
Everywhere I look these days I see photos and posts touting Self Care. I have been on a Spiritual Path for a very long time, and I have seen a great deal of change, both of attitudes and expression, from what was labeled the New Age Movement in the 1980s. There is also a lot of talk about Self Love. Both of these concepts are vitally important. My belief is that they have come to the forefront now because we live in a world so rushed and complicated that people easily lose track of just what their priorities and main concerns should be.
If Self Care is remembering to take care of yourself, of understanding that you need to stay healthy, to eat right, exercise and get enough sleep, etc., than this is indeed a Good thing. If Self Love is the realization that unless you love and accept yourself (flaws and all) just as you are at any given moment, without judgement or needless guilt and self-recrimination—you will be unable to love others Unconditionally— than that is just right.
Where is the line though, between all of this Self Attention, and Selfishness. I have to wonder. I see so much of self-indulgence and self preoccupation put forward by people supposedly Spiritual and in pursuit of higher consciousness, and to me, at least, it very often smacks of Ego stroking. Just how many Selfies does it take to go from self-acceptance and being comfortable in your own skin— to vanity and narcissism? How spiritual is it to package the pursuit of Higher Consciousness as a marketable How-To and sell it with a slick Social Media campaign?
Part and parcel of a Spiritual Path, no matter what the philosophy or religion, is Self Sacrifice and Selflessness. The act of putting others before Self, of eradicating the Ego Self, and replacing it with that aspect of the Higher Self which loves unconditionally and without judgement is intrinsic to spiritual growth. The ultimate goal is to dissolve all patterns and obstacles that prevent us from recognizing our identity as a part of All-That-Is.
Now this is a tall order, and a difficult balance to reach or maintain. The Ego uses every tactic at its disposal to keep us as an [I]rather than I AM. While the concepts of Self Love and Selflessness can on the surface seem a paradox, they really are not. We simply must learn to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”— to Nurture ourselves just as we should Nurture others. When caring for our own health and well-being is so that we may continue to be of service to others, than we are on the track back to God or Spirit. I think the temptation to Self Indulgence is perhaps stronger than it has ever been. With our constant connection to the media through our phones, computers, devices and television, it has become all-pervasive.
While on the one hand, the fact that Spirituality has become the subject of countless internet memes is encouraging, there is a sad and serious downside. What was out there, the lunatic fringe or New Age, has become mainstream enough to be memed. On that other hand, it promotes a great deal of mis-information and outright falsehood. There are endless videos of a new version of Talking Heads, self-proclaimed Gurus who are anxious to coach you through the coming Shift????? And if I see many more photos of bathtubs surrounded with candles and filled with flower petals— or near naked yogis twisted into provocative poses for the camera…
Taking Steps Toward Self Love
I do see the challenges that life presents to self-care and maintenance. In the past few years I’ve been a prime example. While I have made major progress, there is still a long road to go. Taking the time to exercise, eat right and meditate have truly been my biggest challenges. Like so many other in this fast-paced world, I stay eternally either too busy or too tired to contemplate much besides reading or watching TV at the end of the day. It is easy to get so caught up in the chores and jobs I set for myself, or just the endless minutiae of life, that I often just can’t get myself to Stop.
Last year, during a short meditation, I was Told that if I were ever going to take steps to begin living a more balanced life it was imperative that I make a start. And that starting small was okay! Just give this quest for balance, this yearning toward a more fit and healthy lifestyle 10 Minutes a day to start with. Though it was baby steps at the time—it was the beginning of something much more pervasive and positive.
While I will write much more on this in future posts, I will say here that from a humble beginning last year, much growth has taken place. I/we (the whole family benefits) have been on an odyssey of choosing an increasingly healthy diet. Possibly the most life altering ideas and choices have come from a renewed interest in Ayurvedic health practices, and the chance reading of an article about Anthony William, the Medical Medium . I have two of his books now— Medical Medium and Life-Changing Foods. Food as Medicine seems such a revolutionary idea to so many who were raised on fast food and processed fare. However, it is an idea with roots in all of the oldest healing traditions in this world. Incorporating much of the advice he offers in his books has felt natural and is proving to be life altering.
One Change leads to another. I began doing an hour of yoga at least five days a week, instead of irregularly and hurriedly, about two months ago. Not only is it becoming a habit, something I can’t wait to get to each day, but the transformation in this short time is gratifying. I feel better than I have in several years, clearer and more focused, and energized rather than eternally tired.
I am more enthusiastic about my healing work and meditation than in the past decade these days. I feel renewed in soul and purpose. I can’t wait to see what a few more months will do for me. I hope I can inspire others to try this kind of sustained Self Care for themselves…