By Marian Connor
I was thinking…
The first thought when you mention love is usually the romantic kind and although I agree that it can be a thing of beauty, I also feel that far greater minds than mine have opined on the subject for millennia, creating such a panoply of literature I fear I would have little to add. Instead I would like to take a moment to promote the ‘love of self’ and the sharing of that love with others.
“The opposite of fear.” Marianne Williamson
Dignity, honesty, respect, kindness, forgiveness
Accepting, caring for and loving oneself can be a big ask. Many of us will show a great degree of affection and respect for others whilst harbouring a distinct disregard for ourselves. It is difficult to genuinely extend care for others if we care little for ourselves.
I suggest we make friends with ourselves, that requires a sense of worth, we want to become our own best companion, because let’s face it; you’re going to spend a life time with yourself.
One step towards this is by looking at the way we speak to ourselves. Positive language really makes a difference to everyone, even when addressing oneself.
The Chinese refer to the mind as a chattering monkey, we have a continuous dialogue in our heads, tell yourself something often enough, you will begin to believe it.
Jorge Paulo Lemann said “It takes the same effort to think small than to think big.” To paraphrase him, as long as you’re going to be thinking anyway, think self compassion, kindness, encouragement, love. Take your pick and your embarking on a lifelong friendship.
I am not suggesting a happy clappy approach to life, although there is nothing wrong with that, I don’t want you to deny your feelings and faults, I am suggesting we acknowledge and embrace them and try to implement a better way.
The unconscious mind and psycho-neurological system does not differentiate between thoughts real and imagined, it judges by what you tell it, we need to tell it more positive things.
Just as emotions follow physiological changes simply smiling can elevate your mood. When your mood is elevated you will smile, like an ouroboros of cause and effect. Taoism believes the cultivation of an inner smile is a gift to self creating harmony.
“Even the simulation of an emotion tends to arouse it in our mind.”
Charles Darwin, Origin of Species
I recently saw a TV programme which showed the behaviour of 4 year olds on a hidden camera in a group situation. It was quite delightful and it reminded me that nothing really changes regardless of our age; we all have a small child residing within us, with frailty and a need for nurturing.
Encourage that 4 year old within you and welcome it within each adult you encounter, this may allow you to be more tolerant, creating a more positive relationship, promoting reciprocity and an elemental step towards a better life.
“Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
I would like to conclude with the wise words of Whitney, actually the words of Linda Creed written whilst being treated for breast cancer but immortalised by Whitney. “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.” Once you have embraced that idea you can share by engaging with others, which will keep you an active participant in the game of life.
I’m sharing the love with this poem.
Love after Love by Derek Walcott
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was yourself.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
Let the alchemy continue with our fifth element, ‘Laugh’ in our next blog post!
If we have whet your appetite for further discovery, keep in mind that we create interactive experiential workshops and events embracing the 8 elements, exploring a myriad of ways to enhance your happiness and health. Oh yes and let’s not forget these are beautifully packaged with individually created accoutrements for your delectation. All delivered by us, in a delicious way.
If you haven’t already read our introduction to the 8 Elements, why not check out ‘The Alchemy of 8′.
Image Tile/Header- A V&A Museum Maiolica dish from Italy 1500-10
YouTube – Jessica’s “Daily Affirmation”
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