By Blake D. Bauer //
Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place. — Kurt Vonnegut
Learning to value the very deepest parts of ourselves is often a painful stage in our awakening, through which we finally claim the intrinsic worth of our lives in and of themselves. Regardless of how it appears from the outside, we all live with parts of ourselves that are like dark rooms in which fragments of our soul feel mistreated or abandoned, and it seems as though no one is listening to our pain-filled cries. Ironically, it is ourselves whom we’re calling out to, asking our higher self to turn on the lights and flood these dark spaces within us with a deep self-love, care and respect. When we’ve lived believing and feeling that we’re not lovable or deserving of love, we find that there exists a number of these ‘dark rooms’ or ‘blind spots’ within us that are devoid of self-value and self-worth. As we touched on before, it’s often not until we allow ourselves to be used or taken advantage of that we realize that we are in fact the ones who have somehow betrayed ourselves.
If we still need to master this lesson, then each day we will purposefully create situations where we invite people into our lives to exploit us or test us, which reveals the wounded parts of ourselves that are still hurting and waiting to be rescued by our own loving care. Through our desires for peace, health, happiness and authentic connection our soul calls us home and asks us to turn on the lights in these parts of ourselves so we can assert from deep inside our being that we do not want to allow or create any more suffering for ourselves. Once we finally make this assertion, courage begins to arise within us so we can stand strong and flood these once darkened spaces with a knowing that we’ve always deserved genuine love, kindness and respect.
It’s helpful to know that these parts of ourselves that are temporarily devoid of awareness and love are the sole causes for the situations in our lives where we do not feel valued, appreciated or respected by other people. If we don’t value and respect ourselves, the people around us will mirror this back. If we don’t matter to ourselves, then our feelings, needs and desires won’t matter to those around us either. Once we finally commit to enlightening these love-deprived spaces within us, we’re called to honor our true feelings in every aspect of our personal and professional lives. This unavoidable process of re-creating our inner relationship with ourselves is often one of the most difficult aspects of our ongoing healing and spiritual journey, because it requires us to value ourselves enough to either re-create or leave behind every situation that does not mirror back our newfound self-respect and self-worth.
On a practical level, honoring ourselves means saying no sometimes; it often means we stand strongly in our truth, with kindness, respect and vulnerability, and then face whatever reactions arise when we do not speak and act merely to please others or to make them happy. Sometimes valuing ourselves means we need to leave a relationship, a job or a certain place, knowing deep down that our daily integrity, health and happiness are more important than the safety and security of cold, heartless, financial or material comfort.
I have observed that once we’ve suffered enough and are thus ready to value ourselves without compromising our inner truths for anyone or anything, life and the universe will always step up to help us on our destined path. We cannot know exactly how circumstances will unfold to provide us with precisely what we need to move forward, but we can always be certain that we’ll be supported in fulfilling our life’s purpose to bring love, joy and truth into the world. The opportunities, emotional help, financial resources and clarity we need do arise with each courageous step we take into the unknown territory of deep self-respect.
Excerpt from the international bestselling book You Were Not Born To Suffer
Shambhala Mountain Center hosts Unconditional Self Love, Qi Gong Retreat, & Meditation Retreat with Blake D. Bauer, December 1–3, 2017 — click here to learn more
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About the Author
Blake D. Bauer is an internationally recognized author, counselor, qigong master, and alternative medicine practitioner. His best-selling book You Were Not Born To Suffer and pioneering work focus on unconditional self-love as the key to self-healing, fulfilling your life’s purpose, and awakening spiritually. Bringing together what he’s found to be the most effective spiritual practices and holistic approaches to well-being, Blake’s work has successfully guided thousands of people around the world to greater health and freedom in mind and body. // www.unconditional-selflove.com