Love Yourself Regardless

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It’s easy to think highly of yourself
when you’re feeling good
looking good
and everything is going your way.
It’s easy to like the person that you are
when you’re perceiving yourself as successful,
well-liked,
intelligent,
capable,
motivated,
confident.
But what happens when the opposite true?
What do you think of yourself
when you’re feeling terrible,
looking terrible
and nothing is going your way?
How do you feel about the person that you are
when you see yourself as a failure
unlikable,
stupid,
incapable,
unmotivated,
hesitant?
True self-love means
that we can hold ourselves with tenderness
through thick and thin,
that we can be kind to ourselves
even when we’ve blown it,
when we’ve lost it,
when we’re down in the dumps.
This too is a practice.
Cultivating maitri–
feeling unconditional kindness towards yourself,
offering genuine friendliness
to the person you are right now,
this is a most excellent skill.
It is a lifelong journey,
like a good marriage.
And like a good marriage,
it requires forgiveness,
understanding,
trust,
and openness to the great mystery.
If you do no other thing
in this lifetime
except learn how to truly love yourself,
it will be a life well-lived,
because this true love felt within,
can then be radiated as true love
to all beings, lightening the burden of others,
showing them how to be loving as well.
Don’t delay.
Begin again and yet again
as many times as it takes
until one day
you can love yourself
regardless.

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