Just barely 2 weeks into the New Year, I am seeing a consistent mental pattern among modern city dwellers especially working women or working mothers who tend to be very hard on themselves and their bodies. May be it’s because woman is traditionally perceived as the “weaker” sex; hence she has to try so hard to prove herself in the male-dominated society. In attempting to prove her mettle for survival, woman tends to drive her body-mind to the breaking point despite a constant plea by her body intelligence to slow down. Society has taught her to be so goal-oriented and driven by the “more & more” mentality as defined by society (better lives, better grades for children, more business, more contracts, more expansions etc); she works her body like a machine. By and by, her body develops certain chronic fatigue and body aches, subsequently her mental and emotional health also take a toll with an increased stress level, a constant restlessness, irritability and mood swings. Many women drag around with a pain body and a battered consciousness in life but they are unable to get out of the vicious cycle in which they are stuck in. Her sleep pattern also gets disturbed which denies her from the natural self-renewal process she gets during deep sleep state. When sleep is deprived, her ability to concentrate begins to wane; eventually complex mental disorders such as chronic anxiety, depression or fear psychosis begin to set in including physical diseases.
The root cause of this mental pattern is a lack of self love when we forgot inherently who we are, what for we’ve landed in this body and the importance of respecting this body intelligence. Driven by the egoistic mind’s fear and greed as a result of the societal conditioning, we have become very insensitive of our body and its true needs. In short, we have lost ourselves in the pursuit of a material life.I am reminded of self love by our ancient masters:-
Buddha said: “Love yourself”
Jesus said: “Love thy neighbour as you love thy self”
A Rishi said: “You cannot love others until you love yourself”
An important truth is love cannot be given until we reach the inner heaven of accepting and loving of self. Love is not love until we love our self. All our so-called love that we give to others is just pseudo or conditional love if we don’t love our self.
Five years ago, I was among one of these so-called unhappy women who had many material comforts in the outer world yet suffering from spiritual poverty in the inner world. It dawned on me that I could not live my life in this unconscious manner anymore. A simple decision to have fulfilment was all it required to get me out of this vicious cycle. Every body has the same freedom to make this conscious choice too.
To begin the healing process from this lack of self-love mental pattern, the first understanding we need to have is – we are the source of all sufferings, we are also the source of all creations and happenings! Everything that happens in life, we have subtly cooperated with it unconsciously but many times we are not aware of our actions. So the first truth that we need to internalise is – we invite all the pain and suffering to ourselves, only by taking responsibility for our body-mind and life can we feel empowered to make changes instead of feeling victimised or powerless.
If we have cognised that we are indeed responsible for our health, wealth and happiness, then we are ready to begin the healing process of loving our self!
Here are some 7 useful tips:-
- Seek help early. When you are not aware that you don’t know, then nothing can be done. However, the moment you are aware that you don’t know, you are ready for transformations. Help can come in different ways, such as spiritual counselling, reading other masters’ life and teachings, learning from others, working on own body-mind through different processes etc, the moment you have the courage to open up. Do not let the taboo of pride stops you from getting back to wholeness. Speak with someone whom you can trust and has the capability to help you work on your issues.
- Handle yourself with love & care. Human beings have to be handled with tremendous love and care especially if you are working with yourself. This is because you will be exposed to the amount of hurt and damage you did to yourself and others unconsciously by your unconscious mind. The guilt which comes with the realization has to be transformed through proper understanding, self compassion and self acceptance.
- Stop all madness! If you are feeling the suffocation in life, a constant short of breath, whatever you may be doing, just stop now! Take a pause; take a breather to see what is going on in your life? Are you happy with the way your life is now? If not, decide consciously that you are going to have only health, joy and contentment in your life. Send a protest to your body and see how it responds. You will not move out of your bed without joy and contentment. Of course, for a few days, people may think you are mad. Let it be, just don’t let the madness of life sweep you away, take charge by sending a strong message to your bio-memories. Your bio-memories will simply respond and start aligning.
- Come out of physical abuses and addictions. If you have been abusing your body with certain perversions or addictions, it is time to stop it. All addictions are nothing but a form of escape from reality. How many times you dump food into your body during moments of boredom or depression? Do you use distractions like smoking, gambling, and indulgence in shopping or watching pornography to escape your issues in life? Do you resort to any self-harming act just because you can’t stop the noise inside your mind? All perversions are a form of revenge you take onto yourself.
- Respect this body intelligence. Whether we like it or not, we all exist in the physical plane with a physical body. The body is the vehicle for our dreams and achievements in the outer world. Without this body, nothing is possible – even achieving enlightenment requires a physical body. This body also comes with an independent intelligence which has to be respected. In Vedic tradition, the body (microcosm) is a miniature of the Cosmos (macrocosm). Respecting this body means – understand this body has an independent intelligence that we need to align the body-mind with. The alignment begins with caring for this body in the form of Ahara (food) we give to this body through the 5 senses and maintaining the balance of this body-mind system by giving enough rest, sleep and enough workout like yoga, meditation and any other physical exercises. When you work on your body, you are indirectly working on your mind and soul.
- Center on Your Heart. The heart is the space where you experience love and compassion. Your heart can never lie, but your cunning mind will always deceive you. When you give love to yourself, you create a space to receive love as well. Love is a powerful healing energy which has the power to dissolve all the sufferings of the world. Listen to your heart instead of the mind.
- Start the seeking. Questions like – Who am I? Why am I here? Where am I going? What is the purpose of life? Ask all these fundamental questions about self, life, humanity and God. Unless we start seeking the meaning of life, we will continue to suffer from the unconscious way of living. Read all the scriptures, explore and decide for yourself what resonates with you. Spend quiet moments with yourself and contemplate on these questions. Speak with different spiritual teachers or enlightened masters who may be able to shed light into your darkness. Unless you discover your own religion through sincere seeking, you will never truly understand the essence of life.