One of the most important questions I have ever asked myself seriously was this one: “When my mother held me for the first time… how might she have felt?” Please just hold on for a minute and allow your heart to be touched a little bit by this… just a little bit. Try to imagine how your mother might have felt about YOU when she held you for the first time. What might it have done to her? If you are fortunate enough and she’s still alive go and ask her today.
Now remember that your mum felt this complete loving acceptance for you. In this moment she loved you not for what you DO or HAVE but for who you ARE. The door of her heart was wide open for you. We all were (and still are) a fragile little human being in desperate need for warmth and care. Your mum didn’t judge or belittle you – she was just there for you within this timeless moment. Can you feel her love?
Now imagine that this would be the feeling you’d have for yourself most of the time…
Can you see that it would make this world an entirely different place altogether? Imagine you wouldn’t habitually cultivate a harsh and intimidating response towards who you actually are. Imagine you would be kind, warm and accepting towards every aspect of yourself. You would welcome every sensation, every feeling, every thought, every spec of darkness or light with the same softness and openness. There’s no way you’d try to forcefully make yourself different. It would not cross your mind to wonder about what others might think of you. In other words, you’d be at peace with all aspects of your experiencing.
As on the Inside so on the Outside
How can I bring more kindness and softness into my relationships with other people and this world? The answer to this is surprisingly simple. Don’t try to bring anything into the world out there! Instead start by bringing more open acceptance into your internal experience of life. By learning how to welcome emotions, thoughts, feelings, perceptions and sensual experiences into a warm inner space you will soon see how these experiences simply dissolve or melt by themselves. As you are not feeding them with aversion or attachment they arise, change and pass before your inner eyes. In the beginning this is might not be easy so let me explain a bit more.
Friends, Enemies and Strangers
First, there are your inner friends. These are all the nice and pleasant experiences of life. You have to be mindful enough to look at yourself when a favorable situation arises in your life. You will respond with a pleasant mood. An example would be someone telling you “I think you look fantastic today!” Your internal response would probably be pleasant. Now welcome this pleasant feeling and simply watch it. Give it the space to exist and be there for it. If you want you can even smile at it 🙂
It’s perfectly fine to have good feelings – they are part of life and it’s wonderful when they come. You can observe how the feeling is passing after a while. That’s fine too! Welcome the next feeling right away. There might be neutral feelings (neither pleasant nor painful). Welcome them too, see them as they are – see that they don’t last. Smile at them, give them warmth and kindness. And last but not least you want to train yourself to see that the unpleasant sensations are part of life too. They too are caused and conditioned. See that they arise and pass without asking for permission. They are normal experiences of life and we are here to welcome them with warmth and kindness.
Please understand that it’s not about how to get rid of feelings or thoughts – it’s how to see them with a warm smile in your heart.
Suppression, Expression or Kind Awareness?
Some people think that being kind to ones feelings or experiences means that one would enable bad situations. If we simply allow our feelings, doesn’t this mean that we would express our temper in a very unfortunate way? Recognizing does not mean encouraging! Opening up to one’s inner world does not mean expressing or suppressing it. We are not endorsing violence – we see that it exists because people hate themselves so deeply that hate is what they radiate. They are not seeing their own hate – they are being hateful and that’s a big difference! I am not asking you to identify with your inner states. I am asking you to acknowledge them with openness.
Seeing that the world is like this will lead to the end of being at war with the way things are. If all of us would end the war within themselves, war would end.