Editor’s Note: Andrew Weil, M.D. is a world-renowned leader, best-selling author, and...
As we have explored in the first week of the 21-Day Meditation Challenge™―Miraculous Relationships, our essential nature is pure, unbounded spirit. We are born as radiant beings of love, and we are here to be the presence of love in the world. Early in our lives, however, many of us had experiences that led us to forget that we are completely loved and completely lovable. When as children we exuberantly expressed our joy, confidence, and desires, we may have been told not to get “too big for our britches.” Little by little, we may have begun to hold back, hiding our true feelings and gifts rather than risking disapproval, failure, or shame.
If we struggled to win the approval of a critical parent, we may have internalized the message that no matter what we accomplish, it will never be enough. Even worse, we may have developed the belief that we are not enough – not smart enough, not attractive enough, not talented enough, not patient enough, and not good enough. Ultimately, we may come to believe that we are unworthy of love.
Yet the truth is that love isn’t something you have to earn, win, or deserve. Love is who you are. Your true self is pure love, infinite awareness, and unbounded joy. Through meditation and other mindfulness practices, you can recover your awareness of your essential nature. Even if you have suffered from feelings of low self-worth most of your life, your radiant nature is always there, shining beneath the surface of conditioned beliefs and thought patterns that will begin to dissolve as you spend time in the space of inner quiet, opening to expanded states of awareness.
As you realize that real love has nothing to do with anything outside yourself, you will feel a small light in your heart. At first it will be the size of a spark, then a candle flame, and finally a raging bonfire. Then you will wake up and the flame will devour the sun, moon, and stars. At that moment there will be nothing but love in the cosmos, yet all of it will still be inside your own heart.
Activity: The Shine in Your Eyes
In addition to meditation, conscious inner dialogue is a powerful tool for connecting to your true self. Throughout the day, whenever you look in the mirror, even if just for a few seconds, make eye contact with yourself and silently repeat these three affirmations:
Look into your eyes to see these attitudes reflected back at you. Look just in your eyes, not at your facial expression. Look for the shine in your eyes that reflects the fire in your soul. If you do this exercise a few minutes every day, it will create profound shifts in your life.