You could not give what you don’t have. As such, you could not genuinely love others when you fail to love yourself in a genuine way.
Showering yourself with material things, fame, and even power are often not acts of self-love. Because these things could be your way of filling up an empty hole inside you. You could appear powerful, yet loathe yourself within.
Perhaps struggles within and without render you to see your existence as meaningless or pointless. Or, a disease might be causing you to become gloomy, irritable, impatient, and terrible to be around with.
These acts may hurt the people around you, but the one who is hurting the most is you. Even if it pains you to hurt your loved ones, you could not do otherwise because you’ve lost loving yourself for quite awhile.
But, you’re not doomed forever. Even if unworthiness grips your heart, you still can find that loving presence inside you, if you only want to. All you need is a strong belief and willingness to love yourself again.
Strengthen Your Self Love Through The RAIN Technique:
Loving yourself means giving it compassion and care. Address your feelings of insecurity and unworthiness through Tara Brach’s meditation of RAIN of Self Compassion.
RAIN is an acronym that stands for Recognize, Allow, Investigate, and Nourish. It’s a four-step practice of mindfulness and compassion.
Recognize what is going on;
Allow the experience to be there, just as it is;
Investigate with interest and care;
Nourish with self-compassion.
You can use RAIN as a stand-alone meditation or go through the steps when necessary. The steps are as follows:
Step 1: R—Recognize What’s Going On
Recognize and consciously acknowledge the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that are affecting you in a given moment. Look at the things that make you feel unworthy.
Recognize that you’re stuck and are subject to limiting beliefs, emotions, and physical sensations. The common signs include a critical inner voice within, feelings of shame, fear, anxiety, or depression.
Recognize them mentally and acknowledge their presence.
Step 2: A—Allow the Experience to be There, Just as It Is
Allow the thoughts, emotions, feelings, or sensations that you recognize to just be there. Don’t try to fix or avoid anything.
When self-judgment arises, allow it too. It doesn’t mean by allowing it you’re agreeing with the feeling of how unworthy you are. It does only mean, you acknowledge the judgment as it arises including all the painful feelings underneath.
If ever you feel fear, acknowledge it by saying “Yes” or “It’s Okay”.
Step 3: I—Investigate with Interest and Care
Investigate with a natural curiosity. Investigating means having the desire to know the truth, directing your focus on your present experience.
Investigate in yourself the aspects that want the most attention. Ask yourself how you are experiencing your body, what are you believing, what that vulnerable place want from you, and what are its most pressing needs.
To make your investigation more transformational, avoid conceptualizing. Leave the concepts as they are and put primary focus to the feelings and senses your body provides you with.
When you manage to approach your experience in a non judgmental and kind way, you’re able to connect with your hurts, fears, and shame more.
Step 4: N—Nourish with Self Compassion
The moment you recognize you are suffering, self compassion naturally arises. Let this self-compassion bloom into fullness by nourishing your inner life with self-care.
Connect to your inner woundedness, reach out to the most frightened and most hurtful places inside you. Recognize what it needs and offer gestures that show you care by providing its needs.
Give reassuring messages if it needs one, or forgiveness and companionship. Or, love. Experiment and see which intentional gesture most helps in comforting, softening, and opening your heart.
Mentally whisper into it by saying, I’m here with you. I’m sorry and I love you. I’m listening. It’s not your fault. Trust in your goodness.
You might want to continue this healing process by gently placing a hand on your heart or cheek. You may also envision yourself being bathed in or embraced by warm, radiant light.
If offering love to yourself is hard at this time, visualize a spiritual figure, family member, friend or pet whose love and wisdom gently flow into you.
This act of self-compassion may feel awkward at first, but when offered in a sincere and most loving way, it will soon nourish your heart.
After completing the active steps of RAIN, be aware of your presence and rest in that tender space of awareness.
The purpose of RAIN is to free yourself from the idea of your unworthiness and other self-limiting ideas of self. It’s becoming familiar with the truth and of the freedom of your being.
The RAIN of Self Compassion is not a meditation taken only once.
It’s a process you need to do as often as you can, when you can, until you sense warmth and openness, a widening of your perspective, a quieting of your mental stories, and a softening of your heart.
The shift could be partial at first but will soon become your practice for life, transforming your doubts and fears in a healing presence.
As you slowly recognize the feelings of unworthiness, fears, or even your own judgment, you’re starting to de-condition yourself from the old habits and self-limiting beliefs that confine your heart.
You will soon experience a natural loving awareness, the very truth of who you are.