Love – It Starts with Me by Kirsten Guest

What if it were possible to love yourself?  I mean really love.  That means everything.  Loving your strengths.  Loving your weaknesses.  Loving when things go right.  And loving the mistakes.

iRest gives us the possibility to love ourselves – unconditionally.  All of ourselves.

Radical self-acceptance and self-love was not even a possibility for me when I came to the teachings of iRest.  However, after attending my first retreat with Richard Miller in 1998, I left feeling just a little more ok with myself.  This gave me a sense of hope.

Using the tools of iRest meditation, I have reflected back on all the times in my life when I felt that I had made a mistake, when I criticized myself for my thoughts, actions or words.  The times when I felt that I had abandoned myself.

Bringing each of these times into my meditation, I met each moment with a sense of non-judgemental curiosity – just as we do when sitting with another in an iRest dyad.  Becoming very interested in what was happening in that moment, what beliefs were present, what emotions, and allowing each moment to be truly seen and heard.

In every instance, criticism opened into caring.  Judgement was replaced by acceptance, understanding and deep love of myself.  What I thought of as mistakes and missteps were no longer seen this way. I began to realize that in every moment, given the information I had at the time, I was doing the best I could.  Loving all of me, my entire past included. 

Self-love.  What a radical concept.  How can we not share this possibility with the world?  And what a difference this can make.

Happy February.