In my continuing studies of the Divine in all Beings, I am now learning what it means to becomes Bodhisattva, to develop an open and compassionate heart. In my book, “Love First, The Beginning”, I can see now that 32 years ago I was touching the edges of Bodhichitta, as one of the basic elements is the respect and kindness for yourself. Without this appoach we fall into self-ridicule and self-loathing as we naturally observe our behavior and find where we fall short. If you have also grown up in a critical household, your observations of YOU can be so sharp and unrelenting as to cause depression and self-harm.
The practice of Love First asks us to be willing to love ourselves even with our faults and nurture our tender hearts in a way that many of us did not receive as children. To become Bodhisattva, I am learning to take this practice even deeper, to honestly look into my soul and see where I have acted from self-interest and ego, the times where I was unkind to others or myself, and to truly embrace those faults and allow them to teach me to be more compassionate to all.
Giving yourself that compassion can be a challenge as it feels strange to forgive yourself when others are all too happy to pass judgement. But how can we commit to an awakened, open heart toward others if we cannot offer the same to ourselves?
“Today I will honestly look at who I am, the positive and negative traits and with love and compassion for myself, see where I can begin to make new choices in how I respond to Life.”