The Universe is looking for your permission, approval, acceptance, recognition and awareness! From the furthest galaxies to the blades of grass under your feet, or to the sparkling eyes of the birds looking at you, all want something from you. It is the Divine who is looking through all of these for your approval and acceptance, for your consciousness and awareness of Who You Are!
The mind has a natural tendency to search outside of you for things that could bring you happiness. Though on some level you understand that happiness is not out there, your mind still frequently searches. You try to repair every relationship at home or work or social sphere by trying to enter into others’ minds to fix the issue, forgetting that the problem is not out there, it is right here, in your own mind. You have been trying to fix every problem in the world and for every problem fixed, you have two more mocking you! Every such fix starts with a kind of resistance to the natural law of change and consciousness. You don’t accept and approve of certain things in the world around you, which in turn triggers fear and stress. Your resist, and then put in your efforts taking care of the external. Frustrations follow.
In your home, you have lights switches. When you want, you can switch on the light or switch it off. When you live your life unmindfully, unconsciously, without knowing, you start depending upon others for your happiness and security. This dependence becomes deep with time. The person on whom you are most dependent is the one to whom you have given the switch of your life. That person can turn the switch on and you are all happiness. At any moment, that person can also turn the switch off if he or she so desires. Then your contentment is switched off. All the material happiness in life is just handing over your switch to people and pets, philosophies and concepts, ideas and ideals. This is the bondage. All stress in life is because of living life unmindfully.
How do you get out of it? First, you can get out of the clutches of your own grumbling, negatively brooding mind. You cannot change any external situation by force. It does not help in the long run.
We give up our power and fuel our thoughts with our acceptance and approval. As such thoughts can come and go, it does not make a much difference. But any thought that you accept and participate with starts to occupy your mind, and if it is a negative thought, it is wild and spreads faster. You are gripped by it, and most importantly, start believing those thoughts though they gradually rob the peace of your mind.
Basically you empower your thoughts with your acceptance and approval. But you can transform your life provided you first appreciate and approve of yourself as you are! In this pristine creation, no two snowflakes, no two rain drops, no two leaves of the same tree, no two tiny particles of sand on the long beach are alike! You are unique. You have no parallel, no second in this world. Hence, you cannot be like any other. For sure, if uniqueness is the essence of God's "thought" of creation, then He/She wants to see you as you are, growing in your own way. Most people create a hell for themselves for they appreciate many others, but never so much their own self. Self-love, Self-approval, Self-appreciation, leads to Self Realization, not the other way around.
So, the most important exercise that you have to do is affirm in your mind your uniqueness and the gifts that you are born with and have developed. Just do an impartial heart searching, you will find that you are unhappy not only because things are wrong outside, but also that there are many things you don't like about yourself. You wished you were something else; maybe in a better place, maybe in a better relationship, maybe with a better looking body, maybe a better job, a better home, a higher spiritual state, and more peaceful and happy life. But in all of these there is a denial. Denial of who you are today, this moment! Your non-approval of who you are today! This is where you go wrong!
Your self-approval, your self-love is the gateway to the infinite possibilities that mind can create for you. The consciousness can generate anything and everything provided you give it a chance. Your self-denial is the block. In order to open the channel of divine grace to flow in every cell of your body, just smile to yourself, laugh out loud, and ask: “What am I doing believing all this negative garbage about myself? Belittling myself and pretending to be happy?” Your self-acceptance is the seed of your flowing into the Buddha that you are.
It is not just practice of self-love and positive affirmation, but more importantly it is the application that is very important too. When faced with a situation where your self-worth is challenged, you must be able to apply your self-approval first and then instead of reacting, respond with calm and confidence.
You may practice and rehearse a public presentation, but when you actually present, and see the audience sitting with a grim face staring at you, then what you apply, how you apply and how you confirm after the presentation is what is important. This is where self-approval and acceptance in most important, no matter what you think the audience felt. Being able to reaffirm yourself is what builds the inner you, in tune with the Universal process of making you Who You truly Are!!
Let every day begin with mirror work of infinite self-appreciation; look into the mirror and affirm your innate good and inborn talents. Believe that you are beautiful and radiate love, and that love flows to you naturally. Affirm and reaffirm your uniqueness and assure yourself that the higher intelligence is working out that which is best for you.
Let the day flow with this dance of self-approval, self-appreciation and self-love. Let your dependence on the external give way to a joyful life of pure independence and spiritual freedom.
Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari (Kolkata, India):
Globally acclaimed motivational and inspirational teacher, (specializing in mindfulness meditation and stress reduction), author, and peacemaker (Man of Peace Award 2012).
Visionary social advocate; founded Lokenath Divine Life Mission, 1985. Programs serve thousands of poverty-stricken individuals in slums of Kolkata, India and remote villages of West Bengal.