Self-Love Advice From The Buddha

Self-love is vital for health and happiness. Love is a powerful, positive energy that is necessary for a healthy balance between mind, body and spirit. We cannot recognize love in others unless we have it for ourselves. It allows us something genuine to share with the world, and when you believe you are worthy, your life will reflect it.
Kathryn Remati is a San Francisco based, certified meditation instructor.
self love buddha
Kathryn Remati is a San Francisco based, certified meditation instructor.

The concept of self-love should not be confused with narcissism and selfishness. Rather, look to the ancient wisdom of the Buddhists. Self-compassion was emphasized often in Buddhist teachings and can lead us to the steps we need to take towards loving ourselves in a natural, organic and healthy way. 

“You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” — Buddha 

Loving ourselves unconditionally exactly the same way we love our children and pets is what we are striving for. But instead, we love ourselves with conditions. We expect to be happy with ourselves only when we get the job we want, after acquiring something or losing weight. Then and only then, do we feel worthy of our self-compassion. Why wait for the outside circumstances to change?

Eckhart Tolle will tell us that if we “Get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” Inside is where our love waits for us. Here are a few ways to fill our cup of self-love until it overflows, so we may be open to give and receive love freely right now.

Buddha On Self-Love & Self-Compassion

Be Nice

“Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care.” — Buddha

An essential first step is to improve our self-talk and quiet the inner critic that judges and condemns our actions and feelings. We think we need to be tough on ourselves for motivation but really the opposite is true. Taking care of something we love will gain our attention more easily and we will devote more time than we would on something considered hopeless or unworthy, which is how we tend to think of ourselves. 

A great way to begin the process of activating true self-care is to imagine how we speak to a friend who experiences failure or disappointment. We would encourage them and lift their spirits so they don’t take themselves so seriously. There is always a next time. Making friends with ourselves begins when we mentally speak with kindness and a gentle, light-hearted tone.

Next time we step on the scales or show up late to work, speak to yourself with kindness and no judgment. Use a term of endearment. Change that critical, mean inner voice to a warm, loving, expression of who we really are. This won’t happen overnight because we have been this way for years. We must try to love ourselves without exceptions and remember to be forgiving when we automatically revert to our old pattern of self-limiting speech. Love the negative parts and what we think of as faults too. Take advice from writer Elizabeth Gilbert who says, “Embrace the glorious mess you are”.

Read more: Explore how to be kind with the Yogic wisdom of Ahimsa. Also, discover hundreds of guided self-compassion meditations that help healing and improve self-confidence.

Choose Love

“Don’t believe false doctrines. Don’t follow the way of the world. ” — Buddha

According to Anita Moorjani’s book “Dying To Be Me”, choosing love it is the healthiest thing we could possibly do for ourselves. Her theory for optimum health is the difference between living a life making decisions based on fear as opposed to your decisions coming from a place of love. In great detail, she describes how a near-death experience taught her that a lack of self-love contributed to her illness. She states that illness is caused on an energetic level first where self-love resides and then the body follows. She baffled the medical establishment when after returning from the brink of death, she began to heal completely within days. Choose love always, in all ways.

Read more: Discover Melissa Ambrosini’s similar approach of shifting from a place of fear to love when feeling broken.

Use Affirmations

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.” — Buddha

Louise Hay is another believer in the power of loving yourself for healing. In her book, “You Can Heal Your Life”, she recommends repeating positive phrases like a mantra and writing them down.

Leaving affirmations on notes around our living and workspaces will feed our mind consciously and subconsciously, as it becomes a deep truth in time with repetition. Hay suggests that the affirmation “I Approve of Myself” cannot be repeated or thought too many times in a day. It is such a powerful affirmation along with “I Accept Myself Just as I Am”.

A true Louise Hay test of our self-love growing is if we can look into the mirror and stare into our own eyes and tell ourselves, “I Love You”. Keep trying until you see an amazing person full of love looking back at you.

Discover hundreds of free guided affirmation meditation practices to improve self-love, positive thinking, and self-empowerment.

Feel Gratitude

“Happiness will never come to those who fail to appreciate that which they already have.” — Buddha

Appreciation appreciates and so finding something to be grateful for every day is an essential step in our self-love growth. Begin a gratitude practice by journaling morning and night just three things you are grateful for, no matter how small they seem. Try a gratitude meditation where you are guided through your blessings. This has been scientifically proven to shift us to a positive perspective as well as impact us physically. Our immune system is strengthened so healing processes of the body are increased. Our health and happiness are impacted as research has also shown that we will achieve our personal goals quicker too.

Start by recognizing all the things about yourself that are working out and the parts of your body that you actually like and don’t want to change. Seeing your body as the amazing miracle that it truly is, will have you looking in the mirror or at photographs with love in a shorter amount of time that you expect.

Read more: Meditation and mindfulness teacher Manoj Dias explores the transformational power of giving thanks for our wellbeing. Practice giving thanks with these guided gratitude meditation practices for contentment and happiness.

See The Big Picture

“Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun, and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.” — Buddha

We have to put an end to comparing ourselves to others. This is the craziest thing we do because we may tell ourselves we are awful when there is always someone worse or better in any situation. The human family is flawed and the sooner we realize we may never reach our own tough standards for perfection, the sooner we can truly love ourselves as we are, flaws and all.

Everyone is suffering in some way from regrets, hurts, fears, doubts, and problems as they present themselves. The only people free from worry are in the cemetery, under the ground. As long as we are living, we will have some kind of suffering to deal with.

The answer is to deal with it. Don’t repress it. Be mindful and surround any obstacles with love. Instead of separating ourselves from others and feeling less than someone else, see the connection. When we look for similarities, they soon become obvious and love is more likely to appear.

Meditate

“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” — Buddha

Will another pair of shoes, a new car, or a new job give you lasting peace? Peace is found inside us all, past the external distractions just waiting for us to be relaxed and calm enough to feel it flow through the cells of our being.

Meditation allows us to access inner peace anytime we want. To truly spread peace throughout the world, we must first become peaceful ourselves. Peace and real happiness are a natural state of being that you can access at all times through regular meditation practice.

Become peaceful to yourself now and practice with these guided meditations by Kathryn Remati:

  1. Body Scan Delight Kathryn Remati 30:03
  2. Intuition And Acceptance Meditation Kathryn Remati 17:49
  3. Gratitude Meditation Kathryn Remati 17:02
  4. So Hum Breath Meditation Kathryn Remati 20:05
  5. Loving Kindness Meditation Kathryn Remati 15:01

Take one more piece of advice from The Buddha: “You cannot travel on the path until you become the path itself.” To give and receive love we must become aware of our true loving nature. We are already complete and enough just as we are. Meditate to dissolve the walls of disdain and to open and expand our heart space. Go within by meditating daily to bypass the labels, judgments, and fears and touch that source of true happiness, peace, serenity, and yes, true love for our true selves!

Read more: Also, read about these six pillars of how to practice self-love for accepting and appreciating yourself more.

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