‘And I realised, all I was searching for, was me.’ Ben Howard – Keep Your Head Up – Every Kingdom
You cannot truly love another person until you know who you really are. Until you have looked beneath the fragile outer shell to the core of your being beneath, you cannot fully love another. Being sure of yourself is the only way to be certain of loving with your heart and head. To love with your soul is to see beneath someone’s skin to the individual they truly are and help them to become that beautiful person, and as you have found the beauty inside of you, so too will you see it in others. Then you can embrace everyone as a friend. For the core of every self, every soul is beautiful; a star which shines within the depths of layers of skin, muscle and tissue. There you will find the true self. The human being that longs for happiness, for love and to be the best person they can. Strip away all pretences. Remove fear, ambition and pride, and you are left with love; a pure, loving being who could be your friend. A unique blessing upon the earth, that shines, but only for a short time.
‘Self-love and self-acceptance grow with practice. Learning to love yourself happens slowly, over time.’ Yoga for Depression by Amy Weintraub
Sutra 1.33, often referred to as the Buddhist sutra, encourages us to develop compassion and love for others and ourselves, without judgement, as T. K. V. Desikachar illustrates in his wonderful book ‘The Heart of Yoga.’
‘In daily life we see people around us who are happier than we are, people who are less happy. Some people may be doing praiseworthy things and others causing problems. Whatever may be our usual attitude toward such people and their actions, if we can be pleased with others who are happier than ourselves, compassionate toward those who are unhappy, joyful with those doing praiseworthy things, and remain undisturbed by the errors of others, our mind will be very tranquil.’ (Page 159)
For a more detailed analysis of this sutra, check out three articles by Frank Jude Boccio entitled ‘Love in full bloom’at www.yogajournal.com/wisdom/2601
(The photo was taken a few years ago at the Guinness factory in Dublin. I don’t actually like Guinness. I just wanted to see the view from the 360 degree bar at the top of the building.)