“Happiness is a combination of inner peace, economic viability, and above all, world peace.” – Dalai Lama
Look at the person next you. What do you see? Do you see someone beautiful? Do you see someone that looks down on their luck? However, what you see isn’t necessarily who they are. The same thing can be said about you out in the world. We all have this ideal image that we continuously strive for, but we encounter unhappiness when that image doesn’t become our reality.
I recently picked up a book by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who is someone I deeply respect for his pursuit of peace, called How to See Yourself As You Really Are. According to His Holiness the Dalai Lama, we each possess the ability to achieve happiness and a meaningful life, but the key to realizing that goal is self-knowledge. It shows readers how to recognize and dispel misguided notions of themselves and embrace the world from a more realistic — and loving — perspective. He does this by illuminating explanations and step-by-step exercises, His Holiness helps readers to see the world as it actually exists, and explains how, through the interconnection of meditative concentration and love, true altruistic enlightenment is attained. Enlivened by personal anecdotes and intimate accounts of the Dalai Lama’s own life experiences, How to See Yourself As You Really Are is an inspirational and empowering guide that can be read and enjoyed by anyone seeking spiritual fulfillment.
I personally loved How to See Yourself As You Really Are because I often struggle with my self esteem and confidence especially with the media pushing these toothpick like images of models. I feel like I pick myself apart in the mirror whenever I see myself staring back, and constantly wish for results that are unrealistic or unhealthy. I think everyone goes through a point in our life where we wish what we saw in the mirror was different than what was there. I talked to several friends and they all said mentioned pieces of themselves they wish they could change vs. focusing on being loving towards themselves. My view of my body was so bad that I stopped caring for myself for awhile before seeking help from professional guidance. What I went through was not loving to myself or others. It made me unhappy. So, I can easily see the point that His Holiness is trying to make and change with these practices.
The mediation helps you recalibrate your mind to see what is right in front of you in a positive light and to help wipe away all the pretenses that we surround ourselves with. His life stories helps you connect with what he is saying on a personal level as if he is in the room talking to you personally. You can find words of wisdom waiting to be discovered for those who need it or want to understand better. It is more than just a book on self-love. It is a book on how to find some piece of inner happiness and peace.
I can’t express enough how much I think everyone should read this book at least once in their life or pass it onto anyone struggling with their image or strength. It is important to promote self-love. For if we don’t love ourselves, how can we love anyone else in our lives.
How do you practice self-love? Has there ever been a time in your life that you struggled with self-love?