Loving Oneself5 mins 215 5 mins 215
We all know what it means when one has a true love towards either a person or an object or an idea. A true love means not necessarily the possessiveness or affection or caring. In fact, the great philosophers say that the true love is not of anything that the thought can produce such as affection, caring, possessiveness and so on. As an expression of our love towards someone we may become angry on that person, which means there are some feelings and emotions associated with the love. In general, when we have love on something we try to protect it, we try to give utmost caring to it and when something bad happens to it we get worried much about it and we even curse ourselves for the possible loss of caring on our part. When we lose it finally we become grief-stricken for quite some time and try to do something that may help in continuing with its memory. By observing at the object of memory we may try to find some kind of comfort or happiness that may wipe out the grief due to the loss at that moment.
All that is stated above is with respect to an external entity, be it a person or an object, where we express our love. When such a love is there we try to spend more time and effort to understand about the external entity so that we can be in a position to act rightly. Acting rightly means here that an action that is taken at the right time and producing no or little negative effect on the external entity. In order to get such an understanding we may have to observe all the aspects of that entity as closely as possible. All this should be possible for anybody with the power of love.
Now, what may happen if we turn this love towards ourselves? One might suddenly and obviously say that it will be a selfishness on our part. But it need not be called selfishness since we are not asking to love ourselves at the cost of loving an external entity. In fact, love has no limit since one can love the entire world. The possible limitation may arise when we try to express this love in the form of an action physically. So, when we start loving ourselves we will need to understand ourselves completely. The meaning of ‘ourselves’ means both our body and the mind. For some people we may have to include the ‘soul’ also but for the sake of simplicity of this presentation let us keep only the body and the mind. The understanding of the body may involve the physiological structure, the functioning of various organs and the inter-communication or inter-dependencies that exist among the various organs. It is not just the external organs such as the five sensory organs, hands, legs and so on but the internal organs too such as the liver, heart, lungs, stomach, intestine, the nervous system, endocrine glands, excretory system, reproductive system and so on. In order to understand one need not try to become a doctor. Such an understanding, which is at a superficial level, must be possible to get even by a common man. Then comes the understanding of the basic process involved by each system such as the input, processing and output. Then we may have to look at the impact of the nature of inputs and how the processing may possibly get affected due to improper inputs, how the malfunction in various organs arises due to improper inputs and how it is manifested either in the outputs produced or in some other forms that may be visible easily.
When it comes to the mind, we need to closely follow the movement of our thoughts, which includes various feelings, emotions, desires, anxieties, fear, jealousy, hatred and so on and understand how they might arise and then either end or continue. Once again, there must be inputs, which we may call the ‘food for thoughts’, how they are analysed and how the thoughts may create actions. Similar to bad inputs resulting in the malfunctioning of some of our physical organs there must be bad inputs that may spoil our mind and result in bad feelings, emotions and actions.
So, the understanding of one’s ‘Self’ will involve the understanding of both the body and the mind not deeply from technical point of view but superficially without the need to consult any specialists for information.
Can we not try to understand this much at least, if not becoming a doctor ourselves, when we love ourselves truly? But this may seem to be somewhat strange to imagine but it is a fact. Why shouldn’t we learn about our own body and mind and love them? Some wise persons have told that one who loves himself will love all others. This is probably true since we are all same physiologically and psychologically. Based on the nature of past conditioning of the mind we may individually defer from all others in terms of some of the feelings & emotions. So, when we have developed a greater understanding about ourselves then we naturally tend to love ourselves. In that love may lie the same set of operations such as caring, protecting, nourishing, feeling the loss, enjoying the wellbeing and so on. We will understand what inputs we should give to both the body and mind in order to be happy and how to react positively when there is a trouble naturally. There is a proverb that says “One who knows the right food will not get the diseases and one who knows how to talk will not cause quarrels”.
As we understand more and more about ourselves we start understanding more about the whole creation and the Beauty in that Creation. When we reach a stage where we understand and appreciate this Beauty we will realize that we are all One and hence we will love everyone.