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Finding The Beauty In Life During Sad and Difficult Times

One of the hard and challenging things that I find during my low points is to find the beauty in life during sad and difficult times. Losing a best friend, a lover, a relative, whether it be through death or simply the severing of a connection is hard, if not downright devastating. Rebuilding relationships after that can feel like an uphill climb and in addition people who struggle with depression or bipolar may have the added struggle of spiraling lows.

Not everyone has a strong support system filled with compassionate and understanding people, and there’s something to be said about those of us who did have a support system but find themselves left with increasingly dwindling support systems as time has gone on.

I find in my journey that every person I have managed to gain in my life with my particular set of struggles and unique ways of being is precious to me. So the loss of a person for whatever reason can shake my entire world. Especially when in some of the cases my crime has been, ‘you loved her too much and dived too deep’. Today’s post is inspired by such a challenge. The challenge of being in a moment when after all has been said and done, when you’ve reflected beyond the point of reflection, counted your losses and looked back at what you’ve gained. That moment when you’ve accounted for all the broken pieces of your heart and are left just sitting with what’s left and find yourself depleted.

Today I sat down. I meditated on Love. Acceptance. Quietness. And Beauty. I decided this post was long overdue.

The Challenge: 1,000 Beautiful Things

It’s a daily challenge, particularly when you live with mental illness and a small support system. But one that needs to be done.

I am constantly on a daily basis looking for a reason to want to live, looking for the beauty in life during sad times. But how do you do that when you are in the middle of the wreckage? Imagine this, you’re standing in the ashes of a disaster. Everything around you is dead, but in the sky you see a bird fly past. As you walk on you see a single green plant sprouting. You begin to make it a game, how many beautiful things can you find?

It’s hard isn’t it, especially in the beginning “to see the glass as full and not half empty, the good and bad in everyone” as Annie Lennox says in her song 1,000 beautiful things. But sometimes when every tear has been shed, you reach this point where your heart is just ready to let in some beauty.

So I’ve been compiled a list of some things that can help ease the pain, to recenter back in a place of quiet love, and to see the beauty during sad times when it’s feeling hard to see:

  • Meditate on Loving Kindness (Metta)
  • Listen to F*ck That: An Honest Meditation (video)
  • Deliberately meditate, reflect, and/or write about quietness. love. beauty. and acceptance. (youtube search these topics or google search to read or hear people talk about these same topics if it helps)
  • Take a shower and enjoy the warmth on your back
  • Cry and be fully with your tears
  • Make yourself a good hearty meal and focus only on it and eating it.
  • Watch a Video of people who want to make you smile! (And keep watching until you find something that gets you to crack a smile), in essence surround yourself with happy people who want to make others happy. (Ellen (especially her dancing and scaring people) and French and Saunders are two of my favourites)
  • Watch an entire TV Series online (see: television really does make you less lonely)
  • Listen to It Gets Better (Link)
  • Sift through Upworthy articles
  • If you have a dog or a child or someone in your life, and can tolerate hugs, give them one.
  • Watch and listen to people laughing
  • Do a Laughing Meditation (Laughing with Ellen, Laughing with monks)
  • Sit quietly and don’t react
  • Make looking for the beauty in life a game
  • Keep a list of all the beautiful things you manage to find
  • Take something that seems sad and give it a positive twist or story, a happy door it opened, something good that came from it. (Everything has two sides, flip around the sad side and look at it from the positive side, what it taught you about you, what you learned, what doors it opened, what it led to, and more )
  • Find something even if it’s just one thing to be grateful for each day
  • Be thankful for a celebrity or comedian or other figure who makes you smile when you’re down
  • Take it easy on yourself/be gentle with yourself
  • Do something kind for someone or Do something that makes them smile.
  • Do something nice for you.
  • Watch Kid’s Videos on youtube
  • Regress: Let yourself be a little kid again
  • Read the stories of successful people who started out rough, but had hope that it’d get better and it did (imagine if Oprah, Michael Jordan, Ellen and more gave up hope when things were looking grim!)
  • Remember tomorrow’s a new day
  • Remember: You are Loved
  • And though we haven’t met, I do Love you too.
  • And last but not least, if you’re feeling down and you need a listening ear and someone who believes in your worth, send a message. I haven’t met you yet, but you’re lovable, you’re worthy, and it will get better.

Get Lost listening to people who see beauty:

Those are just a few things I do to help me find the beauty in things. Last but not least, I’ve just come to accept that in my life there will be a lot of low points sometimes that last what feels like forever and a day, and sometimes we just don’t have the energy. I’ve gotten to that point; I still get to that point. Approaching myself with gentleness and love, and letting myself cry it out has been great.

Some books and articles for Recommendation:

There Is No Greater Truth Than Love

It was January, when she said to me. “I never really loved you, I’m really tired, I don’t care about you, you’re just not good enough. I love someone more than I could ever love you, you are beneath them.”

My great grandmother had just died so we (my living grandmother and I) were in transition, I was in the middle of trying to finish my game before the end of the month, and my lover, my ‘best friend’, had cancelled several plans last minute to do things like go to the pub or put a christmas tree up, or to explain why she’d spend a week in florida with old friends but couldn’t see me for a single day on my birthday, or to justify why I was not her true best friend, why I was abandonable, and it just went on.

This latest row had been in response to my list tackling those things, the type of commentary I was having a hard time with. I’d sent them to her hoping we could tackle the problems. I said I am sure I am just being insecure, but wanted to work through them together. Why I asked, do you always get sick after we ‘make love’, or stand me up, or put me down. The reaction was, I was nothing to her, that I didn’t matter in the grand scheme of her life, I was free to go and love whoever I wished, that she was exhausted and tired and did not have the energy to maintain this relationship, I was not self-maintaining enough. She didn’t want me. And worse she wanted me to believe that this past several years had all been a lie, when did she know she was done with me? When my child was born this past Summer of ’15.

I had given all of myself to her, my heart, my love, my focus, everything, and she was throwing it back at me. She asked why couldn’t we be just friends? What was wrong with that, maybe that she didn’t know how to be a friend, maybe because as she said I didn’t know the difference between a best friend and a lover, or maybe she and most people didn’t know how to be a true friend. I left her with no hateful words, only thoughts of love and processing that pain, and she proceeded by ignoring me for about a week. I counter proceeded by entering a great depression and with that depression I retreated into my heart, I wept, but I did one step more: I quietly both dismissed and accepted this ‘truth’. That I believed we were over, but that I didn’t believe there were never moments that were genuine and true between us, and the steady truth that I would always be there for her unconditionally even if she could not love me back; but that I would need time to heal myself from the events that had happened before I’d let myself see her again.

Retreating To A Spiritual Space

 

I retreated into my heart. I felt nothing but pain, and yet my knee jerk reaction was to keep on loving. In my pain and sadness, in my need, I knew of only one place to go, one place that I could go to seek refuge. It was the one thing that I had learned over the course of the past 6 years that still remained constant that didn’t fade, that didn’t die, the one place that could feed my heart with love and give me eternal strength without ever growing weary or tired. It was Source, Love, God, Oneness,
Energy. That thing that connects all of us. I removed the middleman, that was her and began focusing my energy on directly connecting myself with this Loving Energy to repair myself, to become so directly connected that I became a conduit of Love, a beacon, a walking place of Love, that I returned Home.

I buried myself so deep into this place of Love, this place of God that the only way to get to me was to go through this Love, this God, this oneness.

I imagined this source, this place of unconditional Love, and I called it Jesus and God and Buddha and a million names. I realized that I loved differently, that my heart was different, and I asked myself why and began writing in a depressive-manic state of coping about this character made in the image of Source, who was sent on earth with one mission and that mission was to Love. He deployed a Raven into the shadow world, and the Raven referred to him as the incarnation, the embodiment of Love, the Love he was channeling, and this entity emphasized that we were all made of Love we simply weren’t allowing it. The Raven refers to him as Jesus, but the entity believes that he is more than the vessel, the conduit, he is pure energy, pure Love, what all this stuff that surrounds us is really made of, underneath it all.

This entity, was the place where I was at, I felt connected to it, I felt one with it. I had gone so deep into the heart of Love that when I looked at her, that woman, and the world around me and all the pain and I saw the shadows, the egos, all interacting, all the sources of wars, but underneath the shadows I saw the real them, the real ‘yous’, the real love underneath it all in all their beauty, and I was connected to each and every one of them. No better, no worse, different and yet the nonduality of being the same all at once.

This voice said to me, that second to attachment and apathy the problem with the world was that not only did we not know how to love, the world was devoid of love, we lack love, we lack caring. It’s not that Love is absent in it, we all have the ability to Love for the most part, we are all connected to love, we are all full of love, we are all made of the same stuff, fully capable, but we don’t allow that Love to shine through, and so we hurt each other, we create in-groups and out-groups, we use the word to poison people against others. We love not with love but the ‘shadows’ of love, the closest we can get to love often comes at the expense of others, shutting the world out, severing our bonds with the world so that we are bonded only to one. We are so disconnected from our most authentic selves, from Love, from everything.

All I had wanted in my relationship with her was to be seen, for my authentic self and loved unconditionally, to be allowed to see her for her most authentic self and to love her anyway, to be that oneness, and she kept saying I wasn’t worthy, I wasn’t lovable, I wasn’t valuable. That she would never love me equally or genuinely the way she had people who had been there for 15 -20 years and that she didn’t really care about me now, she couldn’t afford to. This was her shadow, and it was the shadow that disconnected me from all things in the world.

In my heart I retreated to this place that was so bright and beautiful, a place of pure Love, this place where we’re all connected to, where space and time are an illusion, where everything that is happened has happened, where all the possibilities and realities of the world exist. I imagined this love connecting all of us, that this was home, this is what we all are, this flowing of being. And when I was connected in it, the shadow world was just that, the shadow world, a place of form, none of it was real, it was all an illusion. None of that stuff was personal, because underneath it all, we loved.

I realized then that I had tried to bring people to love by entering the shadow world, I thought if I played the game of shadows that I could take people with me on a journey to a place of authentic genuine Love, a refuge, a source of home that does not ask or want or need, or make demands. So fulfilled and connected was it, so willing was it to see the real you beneath the shadows that it didn’t need you to love it, or be anything than what it was. So true was it and so at peace with it, with the knowledge that all would be and already was in a place of love, that this moment of experience didn’t mean much to it.

It didn’t need to convince you or me that the world was love, one day, in this life or the next it would unfold. Afterall when it’s over it all goes back in the box.

We Don’t Know How To Love

 

You see for years I believed I wasn’t capable of loving, of true, genuine, authentic love; not just that but I was also often criticized for my universal and unconditional concepts of love. Several times people have come into my life and criticized me for pursuing an all-encompassing love that knows no boundaries, that is unconditional, going so far as to tell me that love should be conditional, love should be exclusive, love should meet the insecure needs of past, that love should be jealous, that it is in short supply, and on and on.

This journey in life has taught me that I am more than capable of it, I am Love, and when I wasn’t being Love I wasn’t being true to me. I thought there was something wrong with the Love I did have to offer. And struggled with insecurities that blocked me from loving with the love I felt. Biological, Normal Love was too exclusive, Love was too conditional, it was too needy. Needing you to be a specific set of characteristics are you weren’t worth Love. Needing you to fit an image for you to be worthy, to meet their needs. This was not the self-actualizing Love we were made of it was a controlling love. Love that encouraged us to fill roles and be people we weren’t rather than to be just who we are and loved for it.

The Practice Of: Day In And Day Out

 

I wrote about Love day in and day out in my journal entries in story formats trying to capture the feeling, trying to be that feeling. So much so that if she were to enter my life again I wouldn’t ask her to change or meet my needs or be anything other than what she was. I’d simply challenge myself daily to accept her as the beautiful person that she is, to love her, flaws and all; to love myself flaws and all, to expand beyond myself, beyond ourselves, to expand so greatly that I could love all those who came to me, to expand such that I could love myself by being Love itself.

If I focused my energy that I had spent the past years seeking exclusive love and spent it instead on loving the world and serving the world with that love, as I did on any one individual, what would that look like?

I began looking back on my dreams, dreams I had had for many years on serving people with love, of helping, that I didn’t feel like I could do because the world didn’t want me. And I began to rebuild them again, but this time I didn’t ask myself how, I knew how. I would serve the world with Love. I would be Love, live Love, breathe Love. I would Practice Love so intensely so religiously, Love would be my religion, Love would be my beingness. Love would be me. And I would seed that Love into everything I do, instead of doing things thoughtlessly, I’d do it thoughtfully from a place of Love. I’d be a river of Love itself, and people could drink from my river, and I would look at all people who came to see me as part of myself. The nonduality of being one with me at the source but separate at the same time on the shadow level. I would see the world with a vision of nonduality, of both dark and light and know that it’s the light that connects us all, the love.

Each Day Is A New Chance To Do My Best

 

In my day to day life I became silent. The greater my love, the more silent I was, a sign that I was grieving. I meditated every morning and every night. I am Love. The sadder I was, the more I wrote: Love, Love, Love. I wrote it a thousand times, I walked it, I breathed it, I cried Love. Even my sadness came from a place of Love rather than a place of anger and jealousy and because of this my interactions with people changed, they became quieter, more accepting, more gentle. I began to look in the mirror and see vessel as beautiful, the voices of the shadows were just that voices. I read the four agreements, and decided not to take the shadow world personally, it wasn’t about me. I came from a place of love and I just did my best. Every day I did my best. And some days were harder than others.

I closed my eyes and every night I allowed myself to symbolically die and to wake up with a new dream every day. Today is a new day, this moment is a new moment. I lived in the moment and I put my entire heart and being into Love. Love and sowing Love would be my life’s work.

A New Journey Begins

 

If I wanted to receive love I would give love, but more than just give it, I would be that love such that I was always receiving, always giving even in the silence.

There is no greater truth than Love.

I truly believe this.

Love, real love, observes, it asks questions, it is curious, but it does not Judge. It sees you for who you are, it’s unconditional, it doesn’t need, it is self-sustaining, self-illuminating.

My mission is to be so one with Love that I am one with all things, that I am self-sustaining, self-illuminating, that I am a conduit for love, that I am love. If Love is energy, it cannot be created or destroyed, then love is what we are all connected to, and to be oneness with Love itself, to be a conduit a vessel for it, is to be Oneness with all.

Love is a practice, a lifestyle, a way of being. It takes effort, even now I am writing this. Love. Love. Love. I write these words even in the face of people whose shadows look at me and still say I am not lovable, I am not worthy. But I am more than just lovable, I am Love. And every day I do my best to let that love flows through, to unblock and work through all the things that inhibit me from being that, and I hope to share that journey with you and those like you.

To do this other people and what they do aren’t my concern so much as what I do. I must lead the way by being the way, and that way is Love. And I believe that anyone can practice love, be love, to love themselves. And I offer the solutions that have worked for me on my journey.

A Life Of Love, A Life In Love

 

I value my relationship with the woman in this moment in time as it has manifested itself to me, who tells me I am not valuable. That I am not worthy. Where she treats me unequal, where she holds some people up and others down. I value that it has forced me to see her, really see her beneath the shadow, beneath the words, and in doing so it forces me to see all people who behave out of ignorance and pain and low self-esteem, out of a place in their heart and life that doesn’t come from love but from shadows. It’s forced me to see her and them and even myself truly as we are underneath all of the shadows, to see it in such a way that I can really love them unconditionally regardless of what they present, because I see who they really are, who we really are underneath it all, and these shadows all of that, they’re not the real you, or the real me, they’re things that will just go back in the box when it’s all said and done.

Most importantly I value what it has taught me about myself, my willingness and ability to love. It has helped me glean insights and hidden truths into the world around me. It has been only in the great sadness and adversity, only in the solitude and isolation that I have learned to open my heart to the way of Love, and it is only in this way did I learn how to really and truly Love her and those around me or at the very least begin the process of genuinely committing to the effort of learning to be that which I most want to be: Love itself.

By choosing to see the world and people in it beneath the shadows, to see the energy we all are, to embrace our most authentic selves: energy, light, Love, an eternal flame of Love, a Phoenix of Love, I begin the path of becomingness, of becoming Love, a conduit. It’s the idea that I live Love such that I see love in all that exists around me, that I live a life in love with all that surrounds me, that I become a being of this Love, of allowing myself to be what is our true self, sowing it in all that I do with effort in the beginning, effortlessly over time, Love is my life’s work.

So I offer you my Love, it is my heart, it is my work, and I sow it into all the things I do. I share with you my journey, my struggles and the insights I’ve gleaned, my path, my way is Love. I am Love. And so are you, there is no greater truth than the purity of Love, we just have to learn to let that Love shine through. This is my journey in doing just that. To Love is to serve, to serve is to rule.

How to Grow Mudita: Meditation and Practice, Learning to Cultivate Unselfish Joy

I thought that the first Article I would write about would be Love. A type of unconditional archetypal, godly Love. Metta even. But when I finally sat down after meditating on Love and the beingness of Love so much, something happened. The woman I was in love with who had been the catalyst for the downward spiral that would lead me up into the heavens, walked back into my life. And with it I felt the challenges of what it means to put Love into practice. Love for her joys, Love for her family, Love for the best friends she has, Love for her choices, Love for the new relationships in her life. Love even in the face of the voices that were threatening to undo all the work on Love that I had managed to cultivate in its absence. Prior to that moment the mantra I had been repeating day and night, day and night:

  • I am worthy, I am valuable, I am beautiful.
  • I am worth having.
  • I am love, I love.
  • My heart is precious, my heart is worth having, my heart loves.
  • I am not better or less than anyone else.

All of that began to fall apart as I surrounded myself with people who when they weren’t saying it, showed it:

  • “You are not worthy”,
  • “You are not valuable.”
  • “You are not worth having.”
  • “You are not beautiful.”
  • “You are not better, you are less than.”

And I began to challenge those voices in my head and I could hear them wavering, growing smaller, almost as if I didn’t believe in myself, I didn’t believe in it. Like I had to convince myself of the truth that I knew:

  • But I know I’m worthy,
  • But I know people are lucky to have me.
  • But I know I am a great best friend.
  • But I know I am giving of my heart.
  • But I know that I am honest, and courageous. and loving, and lovable.

But…how can these things be true when my own lover, or my own best friend, or the woman down the street, or -insert name here- looks at me and says:

  • “You are not worthy, this person here is”
  • “You are not worth much of anything, this person in my life is”
  • “I would abandon you and throw you away for this person.”
  • “Did you really think you could replace her? No, you’re the one who is replaceable.”
  • We’re all laughing at you.

These voices became a challenge. I felt love in my heart, I could feel it. But slowly as my self-esteem entered into defensive mode, as my security in myself began to waver, I began to fall from love into darkness, even going so far as to wishing unhappiness. Perhaps then, if there were no other people in the way who made her happy in ways I cannot, then perhaps, the flitting thought crossed my mind, then perhaps, I will be lovable, I will be worthy, I will be valued. Immediately I caught myself slipping back into the habit of envy and jealousy, a poisonous trap. I gently steered my thoughts away and analyzed what was happening.

I was doing my best, but I needed a different method to challenge my thoughts, to fight back harder with love. The moment came when I closed my eyes. Analyzing the world around me I said:

  • Human Beings are Fickle
  • And yet still, I Love
  • I Love
  • I am Love
  • I wish for those I Love to be surrounded by Love; Even if that Love is not me
  • I will build a Garden of Love for those I Love, Even if it is without me
  • I will sit quietly and watch from my window enjoying from afar the Love that they have, in the same way one enjoys two birds flying together in the sky, or watching a birds nest grow.
  • I will Love; and allow the person who is meant to Love me, Love me; especially if that person is me
  • I will come from a place of not needing Love; but being Love itself

Re-Grounding myself into a place of Love I sit here today. It is today then that I’ve determined, my first post should be about Mudita. A guide towards combatting feelings of envy and transmuting them into feelings of Mudita, of Love.

What is Mudita?

A topic few people seem to talk about is “Mudita”. There are a ton of books and articles on how to love, on how to make friendships, on how to be kind, there are articles on how to ease jealousy and envy, but not on how to practice feeling the joy of people. There are even articles on how to be mysterious and distance and petty and cruel—but Mudita. The lack of discussion on this matter baffles me. In a world so full of competition, of the have’s and the have nots this is incredibly important.

In Buddhism Mudita is pure joy, pure, sympathetic, vicarious joy for another. It is the opposite of jealousy and envy. It would be for example the joy we feel when the person we are in competition with, who perhaps was once our best friend, wins the woman we both were in love with. It’s when you watch the lover you want start a family with another, the birth of their new or second child, the strength of their marriage, or even when they form a strong bond with another, all while they exclude you. It’s when a group of people chatter happily and avoid letting you into their circle. It can even be their success. Somehow for whatever reason they are doing well, they have the things we want to have, and it doesn’t have to be material, it could be spiritual.

It stands to reason then that the issue is not the other person, but ‘us’. The medicine to the poisons of jealousy and envy then seem to be to ground ourselves in an image of self-love, to rebuild ourselves up so that we see ourselves in a more positive light rather than projecting our feelings of insecurity onto others.

When we are secure in our selves we can project Mudita and the genuine success, happiness and love that surrounds others doesn’t bother us.

First you cannot have anything.

There is no person or thing in this world that can be owned or possessed. Everything you have is borrowed. It is from this perspective that I like to think we borrow our best friends, we borrow our lovers, all of these are experiences temporarily on loan to us. I’d like to believe and find it comforting to do so, that each spirit or soul for better or worse makes a spiritual contract with our higher selves. They negotiate and agree on lessons and experiences we need to learn, people we need to meet. Sometimes those experiences we agree to lead us to feeling sad and lonely, it is from this sadness and loneliness can we either stagnate and die, or enter a doorway of growth and compassion that transcends anything we could have ever known before. Other times we enter contracts with people that are related to joy and happiness and having someone with us always.

I believe we attract into our life the people and lessons that we need to have in this moment, that if we run into the same problem repeatedly it’s reincarnating into our life until we learn what it is we need to learn from it, and graduate to a new level of being that attracts a new lesson into our life. I’d also like to believe that it’s from the worst experiences that our hearts break the most, and it’s when they break, truly break we have the opportunity to unleash onto the world true love and beauty if we so choose.

Thinking in this way has allowed me to have some peace of mind, by offering the idea that things happen for a reason, that people are in our lives for a reason and that we are in control on a spiritual level we just don’t consciously know it. We can become conscious by this by deliberately choosing to grow or simply accepting ourselves as we are.

Thinking in this way also allows me to realize that the ‘having’ of things is futile, that if it can be lost it was never yours to begin with, and that the only eternal thing you can have is love and a connection to it, building this bond is with oneself is stronger than any relationship you can ever have, and it is in this relationship that you are always worthy, no more or less than anyone else.

I want what you want.

The second thing I remind myself is that we are all one, all connected. We all are born with basic needs, love and security. We all want these things, and if we are honest, I want what you want. Love. We seek Love in all kinds of ways indirectly and directly. It is in the absence of Love that all wars are formed. In this way, if Love and security is what you want, I want that for you as much as I want for me. It is impossible for it to come at the expense of me because I can create security and love wherever I go, independent of any one thing.

The only way to get love is to give love, is to encourage Love. To encourage security. In the movie, The Family that Preys, someone says “You cannot have happiness by destroying the happiness of others.”

It may give us temporary glee to think that we thwarted someone’s happiness so that they can suffer and feel what we feel, “If I can’t have him no one can”, but the truth is, when we destroy his happiness, we destroy the happiness of a million other people, and what we are left with is emptiness. We are left with ourselves, in the end what we do will always come back to us, in some way or form. If we never resolve to loving ourselves we live at the mercy of others and their whims, abilities and limitations, destroying all things around us without love simply because we could not allow love into our hearts in response to another person’s love that excluded us but included another; simply because we were limited in our ability to stretch, expand our hearts and love ourselves enough to genuinely love outside of ourselves without condition.

Imagine instead if we sowed love, if we encouraged love. If we pushed love together all around us, if we felt joy in the love of those around us, even the things that we love but don’t have the illusion of having. Love so great such that we felt it as if it were our own. If we said, “I don’t care if you love me, I don’t care who you love, so long as you love anyone, anything with all of your heart, and never stop loving or giving, and you sow that love all around you.”

I meditate on that feeling, I imagine myself sowing love. If for every drop of sadness we felt in our hearts we instead planted a seed of Love, well. We’d have a garden of Love. But if everyone went out of their way to make someone suffer or to deny love to another, in response we spread unhappiness, misery and love and we essentially prevent ourselves

Coming From a Place Of Lack

For whatever reason we tend to function on the basis that the things we want in this world are in short supply. The Law of Supply and Demand. We don’t tend to believe that the world is full of abundance and that there is not a short supply of anything. Resources are limited, people are Limited, there is only one you. This is true on one hand, but if you look deeper there is no shortage of what you want and what that ‘you’ is made of. Energy, atoms, oneness, the sharp lines and edges that define you beneath a microscope at the tiniest of levels start to blur, underneath it all we are all made of the same stuff, energy, light, love.

There is no shortage of love. We are all capable of love and some of us are more capable at allowing that love to shine through us than others at any given moment but we can all learn to love and come from a place of love. This starts by realizing that there is nothing that I have to offer you, that you can’t give yourself, there is nothing she can offer him, that he can’t get himself. We all can give love. When it comes to Love and unrequited Love and even unrequited friendship we tend to focus our attention on the person’s shadow, their ego. I refer to this as part of the shadow world the illusions, a shapeshifting mask we wear. We are drawn to some shadows, some people more than others.

But in a world full of billions and billions of people, all made of the same stuff, all with different frequencies and tasks; why is it then that we choose to centralize our existence on a singular person, rather than exploring the world of love around us? Because there is no person like them? There is absolutely nothing that could possibly be better or more compatible or contribute to the joy that you feel, only this one person, thing or quality? Your entire world centers around whether they love you or because they have something that you don’t have? Some admirable quality, some bond, some family, some thing or object, some imaginary projection of idealized happiness that you want?

On the one hand you’re right, in our lifetime I will never meet another you, another soul identical to you, I may meet someone like you, or similar to you, but it won’t be you. If I lost my child, and had another child, no child would be like the one I had before, nor would any dog or cat. People are irreplaceable. In this way, there will never be anyone who can be you ever.

On the other hand no one person, holds a monopoly on love or a beautiful experience in life, because there is no shortage of love and each of our individual experiences are equally qualified to be just as beautiful as the next persons. Love radiates through everything, it is everything. And if you function from the basis that only one person, one type of experience, one object, one thing holds a monopoly, that when denied to you in some one– such as if that one person does not allow themselves to love or appreciate you, but gives it to another, or a person attains something that you have projected and imagined that you want, then right there you have given your power away. And the power you have given away is the power to Love. To Love not just yourself and to love others and to Love them enough to let them be free, all because you come from a place of lack.

What makes any object or event or thing so special that you would give up your ability and power to truly love yourself and consequently them in return. This is not just a form of self-harm, but destructive to you and the people around you, including the ones you claim to love.

Learn to Enjoy Your Own Company

It is no secret that this entire website was founded on the basis of Love, that all things are Love, that we are all pure Love. There is no doubt in my mind that this is true, but this is more than a truth to me. This is a way of being, a way of living, a way of seeing. Humans have a special gift, the ability to create the reality around them through their thoughts, their perceptions to shape the world. To build it. When I come from a place of love, and see the world from that place, my entire being changes, my heart changes. If I look out on the world and see the world as full of love, but functioning from a place where we suppress and do not allow it to flow through us, then I feel truly feel the Law of Abundance and my connection to all things. And it’s in that place where I can practice positive solitude. A place where self-love trumps loneliness such that I enjoy my own company.

To enjoy your own company it’s crucial to tap into that reservoir of pure love, feel that unconditional love and extend it towards ourselves. Before I believed the world was made of Love, that there was nothing of Love I used to feel really bad about myself. People had ostracized me, gossiped, put me down, they found all sorts of reasons I wasn’t welcome. In fact my worst fear was that people would see through me and into my heart and see me for the ugliness I believed I was underneath it all.

I remember one day listening to Buddhist Monks and they were meditating and talking about feelings of guilt and empowering yourself by taking responsibility for your actions but not the actions of others (blame). But what I remember the most was they separated my behaviour from myself, explained why I behaved the way I did, and they said you are lovable. When I was saddest, I used to close my eyes and imagine the monks meditating daily sending their love out into the world towards me. I meditated on forgiveness and love, and I realized of course I am lovable, to be lovable means that you are loved by someone, and someone does love me, many people who I don’t even know, who I’ve yet to meet love me. Even those of us who have behaved the worst and committed the most terrible atrocities out of ignorance and lack of self-love are lovable.

To enjoy your own company is to realize you are lovable and to love yourself.

We often don’t see the whole picture

It’s hard sometimes. We look at someone and we covet it, we have that ‘girl crush’, we want to be her, because maybe if we were her or him, maybe the person or thing we wanted would love us, maybe we’d feel love. But there are few problems with this:

  • Nobody’s life is perfect, everyone has to work for the things they love. The saying the grass is always greener on the other side because it’s fertilized with manure fits perfectly here. We are often seeing the side of them they ‘want’ us to see, the ‘perfection’ they attempt to emulate. The ‘gilded’ fences. We don’t always get to see their struggle, their pain, their weakness, we usually just see the ticky tacky on the surface. We’re on the outside looking in, dreaming of the fantasy but not the hard work and the pain and the sweat and tears that takes to get there and to maintain it for the most gilded of us. We don’t get to see the pain, low-self esteem and even lack of love that fuels their success, that they may feel on the inside, all the while they project an ‘idea’ of everything is great. Such happiness is conditional, such happiness is an illusion, it’s based on situations, people and things and even a hierarchy that involves looking down on others so they can feel above someone and better in some way. You have to be willing to love yourself enough to want more than the ‘false-we-are-better, ‘I’m better, you’re not’ projection that society tends to encourage.
  • There is more to life than a person(s) who is unable to value you, an experience with them that you wish to have, no one thing is the center of the universe. More honestly ask yourself what is it about the person who has rejected you that is so special that you would give them so much power to define your worth. Everyone is special, do not get me wrong, everyone is worthy, but sometimes the people who exclude people the most are the people who feel the least worthy, and seeking it by attempting to break you and others around them down.
  • You can remove the middleman, and create something just as beautiful it may take work and even tears, it will definitely take effort, but imagine building something so beautiful, true and pure in your life that other people will want for themselves. And, if you are honest with them, you can use it to lift other people up and not down as others may have tried to do to you before, as we have been trained to do to others. We can lift those up by encouraging them that they too are worthy, that they can be their best selves, they can achieve the same in their own way. This nothing to lose type of honesty takes work to maintain, to maintain that happiness and peace and love. It will not be done in a day, if you committed as much to it as you did loving another or hating another into your own well-being, and heart (love), you would have your own paradise by now.

Look Beneath the Desire

We can realize that what we envy in people is just admiration. It is possible to admire people without putting yourself down. To truly admire them. When we feel jealous of someone we don’t feel jealous of them, we feel jealous of the idea we are projecting onto them or what they are projecting. There is nothing wrong with admiring the love someone has and working to build a relationship and love with someone who will see and appreciate you. There is nothing wrong with making room for that with a person who is meant to share that experience with you, and there’s nothing wrong with admiring and loving yourself even if others don’t do it, or your experience and situation does not look like someone elses. There is beauty in who you are and what you’ve been through, and more importantly what you have to give.

List your Strengths

Everyone has a list of strengths. I’ve compiled a list of a few things that have helped me on my journey of rediscovering my worth, value and strengths. My inherent gifts, dreams, the things that make me special and consequently learning to cultivate them and give back in a way that serves others. I am sharing them here in hopes that it perhaps could help you to do the same.

I will list a few great ways to do this
based on

  1. Take an Inventory of your Strengths (VIA).
  2. Create Affirmations surrounding those strengths.
  3. Figure out what you want and find ways to give it to others.
  4. Challenge yourself and the voices that say you are not lovable; for every reason someone (whether it’s your voice or not) says you’re not lovable you find a reason in your head for why you are lovable; and if you can’t find a reason then ask yourself why you aren’t lovable and things you’ve done to prove that you aren’t lovable.
  5. If there is nothing lovable not even a single thing you can find, then ask yourself why that is and if you want to change that; then ask what you could do to be the lovable person you already are.
  6. Realize that nothing other people do is about you, this is about you and your relationship with you, just like the things people do is about them and their relationships with themselves we all just happen to interact with each other’s worlds.
  7. Focusing on building a you-first relationship, do things that make you feel good but remember to speak with love and act with love, this is not an excuse to hurt others, but to kindly prioritize your needs so that you love yourself.
  8. Ask yourself who is the best version of your most authentic self and what do you need to grow into this best version of your authentic self (your authentic self is not what others want or tell you to be, but who you truly feel you are).
  9. Ask yourself who you want to be and why and then work on being that best version of yourself.
  10. Write down things that would make you happy and what it would look like, these are things you are projecting onto other relationships, work on ways to emulate and be the very things you want.
  11. Go on a heroes journey where you discover your inner worth and value and cultivate that feeling, those feelings are your weapons against negative thinking and breaking the pattern.
  12. Figure out your Life’s Purpose with This handy reflective Test (The One Question).
  13. If possible choose your company wisely, be picky and selective on the people you surround yourself with; this is especially important in the beginning of the practice, as the voices of others can sometimes set you back, if you can’t change your surroundings, then be selective about the thoughts you let hold weight and be ever vigilant about doing things that remind you of your inherent worth and value.
  14. Alternatively ask people to give constructive (meant to build you up) rather than destructive criticism (meant to devalue and break you down for their own sake); in cases where this is not possible a handy skill is to learn how to view the constructive criticism beneath the destructive words, use it to strengthen yourself. Dismiss anything said only to break you down and build themselves up.
  15. Seek counsel from those who love you and want the best for you, not themselves; sometimes this means seeking your own counsel.
  16. Make room for the people who will value, and cherish you. This is important especially in the beginning, it is important to be careful as to not attach or depend on the whims of other people cherishing you or not as their opinions could change today or tomorrow based on something you said or didn’t say that lined or didn’t line up with your beliefs. Your love and worth in yourself has to be strong as people who value you today may not value you tomorrow, but your love and care for yourself with practice can remain constant.
  17. Be patient, Rome wasn’t built in a day, everything takes time!
  18. Create a daily meditation or Practice on things you can do each day to cultivate love for yourself and others
  19. Take it easy on yourself, do your best on any given day.
  20. Forgive yourself.
  21. Practice seeing abundance, joy and love in all things.
  22. Practice Metta meditation and Tonglen, these are great although difficult practices that revolve around cultivating joy for others, breathing in sadness and breathing out love. With time it gets easier.
  23. Find ways to be happy that is not dependent on anyone or thing but on things that you can do.
  24. Cultivate unwavering self-love.
  25. Imagine the happiness of those around you, smile for them, and then, imagine happiness in your life and smile for you.
  26. Realize that there is peace and even love in solitude too.

Below are some books I will be recommending, but if you don’t get a chance to buy or read them don’t worry, we’ll be talking about them in weeks to come.

Books:

  1. The Way To Love, Anthony De Mello
  2. The Four Agreements,
    Don miguel ruiz
  3. Positive Solitude, Rae Andre

Free Online Resource.

  1. VIA Institute of Character
  2. The One Question

Other Articles and discussions on Mudita:

  1. Be Happy For Others
  2. Mudita
  3. Mudita: The Buddha’s Teaching On Selfish Joy

Guided Meditation on Forgiveness and Self-Love:

  1. Meditation Oasis: Podcasts
  2. Self-forgiveness meditation, by Jack Kornfield
  3. Self-Love Heart Meditation, Andrew Weil
  4. Thich Nhat Hanh, The End of Suffering
  5. Meditation Forgiveness, soul-link productions

Other Resources for Inspiration and thought:

  1. View On Buddhism: Guilt
  2. Heroes Journey, Character is a vital lie, Shots of Awe
  3. The Ancient Heart Of Forgiveness
  4. 12 Principles Of Forgiveness