by Marvin Cotton
The Hardest Person in the World to Love
There is one practice of meditation where the object of focus is on your breath. During this meditation if your mind starts to wonder you’re instructed to acknowledge the distraction and bring your focus back to your breath. Now most people think that bringing their attention back and sustaining a long period of focus on the breath is the pivotal instruction. It’s not. What’s important is how you bring your awareness back to your breath. This is done with loving kindness towards yourself.
Just as a mother would to a baby that is crawling towards danger, go over and gently pick yourself up, and bring your focus back to the place where you want to be.
Anyone who is going through any type of spiritual or emotional journey will tell you that the hardest person to love is the person we spend the most time with – ourselves. We can find it in our hearts to forgive the most evil warlord on the planet. Forgive oneself? No sir! Not that monster!! So how do we do it? How do we nurture that most vile of villains who stares at us every time we look in the mirror? The answer is simple. Take a moment and bring to mind a great mom you know of and the answer is there. It can be your mom or a woman you know who is a fantastic mom.
Our Mother Nature
Let’s take a look at mom. She carries the baby for nine months (I wish there was a better adjective than carry). During those months mom is in pain, she can’t sleep properly, many of the activities she enjoyed before her body simply won’t let her do now. Then comes the birth which can be the most excruciating of all physical pains felt on this planet. However, it doesn’t stop after the baby is born. Until her last breath mom does nothing but worry about the welfare of her child.
Even if her ‘baby’ is 50 years old, a mother still worries about him, wants to know if he’s eating right. From the moment she lays her eyes on that child, she will gladly sacrifice her life for the well-being of her child. What does she owe this creature that came out of her and reeked havoc on her body? Nothing.
Why does mom do this? Why does she help this poor defenseless incompetent little baby? The answer is because it’s in her nature. There is nothing that tells her she has to do it, she just simply does it. My Precious Lama says that this innate nature that mom feels to care after her child is a glimpse into the enlightened mind. This mommy nature is in all of us. It’s time to start using it on ourselves.
Create Peace in the World by Making Peace with Yourself
We are placed in difficult situations. Sometimes it’s our fault, and sometimes it’s purely situational. Maybe you are someone who’s refraining from abusing substances, but the inclination arises to use or maybe you have that feeling that you just don’t want to get out of bed today. Whatever the case may be, don’t beat yourself up. How many times have you called yourself hopeless, helpless, and worthless in the past? Where did that get you? Acknowledge the fact that you recognized the situation you’re in.
Here’s the crucial instruction. Just as a mother would to a baby that is crawling towards danger, go over and gently pick yourself up, and bring your focus back to the place where you want to be.
“everything you need is already inside of you”
We often hear about people who say they want to make a difference. These people want to bring peace and harmony into the world. I commend the people who have this mindset and want to take on that task. The ones who are going to be the most effective at truly making a difference are those who are already at peace within themselves. Individuals who already have love for themselves. If you don’t feel like you are there yet, here’s the good news, everything you need is already inside of you.
The love that’s needed to change the world is already apart of you. When you nurture yourself you can effectively nurture others. The time has come to discover the mom inside of you.
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