The term Love Thyself or love yourself is a highly misused term. It does not mean to act selfishly and only bother about yourself. It doesn’t mean to hate others or not bother about them. It also does not mean that you have to pamper yourself to death or become overindulgent.
Here I will explain the meaning of the words but have some patience with me since I am going to take a very roundabout route to get there. So hang on.
It is believed that God lives within us. But if you were to read any spiritual text, it is mentioned therein that God doesn’t actually live within but an essence of that is somewhere within. Man is supposed to have been made in the image of God. Every human being believes that small kids are godly and some old sages or saints are also divine.
Then the idea that God lives within is very vague. We are humans comprising of elements which can be seen, heard, touched and so on. They are broken down by the spiritual texts as water, earth, wind, fire and air. Now, they need energy or power to make them run or perform some action. They are further broken down as stuff which can be experienced. It’s in the domain of Mother Nature. Everyone is trying to find out the genesis of all that. All of the above is in created domain and we can experience it so it is called manifest. This manifest comes from somewhere vague and this unknown destination is called the unmanifest. It is more like unknown or not logically understood source. This unknown entity or source is called the Purusha. Some call that source as God also. So indirectly we all come from the unmanifest to the manifest and still we are not god!
So if you were to analyze the above, you will know that everything has essence of that unknown entity or substance. Some extrapolate it further and say that there is a Father of all that. Some believe that everything stops there itself and there is no beyond. What we call as unmanifest would be the end of it all. Some say there is nothing there. Whatever the belief might be, common sense will tell you that you really have no idea about where you were before birth or go after death.
Now coming back to the man itself, we have to give it that there is some essence of this divine. We always think that the divine is good, perfect, kind, compassionate, loving, caring and so on. But there is an hint of evil, anger, lust, greed, villainy, hatred and so on too. We only accept the good stuff as divine and the bad as evil. Only the manifest can be affected by anything at all. How can the unmanifest get affected? So we believe this is the basis of everything and since there is an unknown and unheard domain and still it exists at all times so we can say it is the Self. The small self, that is you must be a part of the term Self! This term Self is not understood by almost all. Only a few select can have an idea about it. These knowledgeable folks can tell us about the great stuff called Self. The knowers of the Self are called Self realized beings. All the unknown stuff is known by these great knowers.
Now to get to know all that you have to calm yourself, work hard to know, search, meditate, get knowledgeable, read stuff, get a Master or Guide, et al.
Only after purification of all the external coverings and their removal can a wise man see Himself. So we hear people say “know thyself” and you will know everything.
Now, after I have finished with this merry-go-round, let me bring you back to the term love thyself. How can you know someone if you are in a casual relationship? So only if you are in an intimate relationship can you know the other person better. Right? So when you have to know yourself, you first got to fall in love with yourself. You will know then how your mind works, how you think accordingly, how you react to a certain situation, what you like the most, what you hate the most and so on.
Once you are sure how you do what you do, then it is important to understand why you do that. The choice of saying, “I don’t know why I did that” will not exist in you. You are absolutely sure about your own being. You know all about your own self. So if you were to make a mistake, you will surely apologize. And you will ensure in the future you won’t err. Have you noticed by now that you are getting to be more and more perfect? God never makes mistakes, doesn’t apologize, knows everything and everyone. You are slowly reaching that status of godhood. You will be more compassionate and kind, allow everyone their mistakes, be considerate, help everyone, have answers for everything and so on. Just like God!
God doesn’t have ego and anger. He never says, I did that. He never acknowledges anything but does it without any trace of egotism. Never takes credit for anything at all. So once you have the godliness in you, nothing will affect you. You will do everything without prejudice and with love. And all this wouldn’t happen if you are not loving yourself. So love yourself and be the best just like god.
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