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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Practice Appreciation and Validation.

"Violence never ceases by violence, but by love," said the Buddha. Our hurts have caused us to direct huge amounts of internal violence towards ourselves in the form of self-criticisms, low expectations, lack of self-worth, and so on. Such internal negative chatter cannot withstand a steady dose of self-appreciation. Repeatedly telling yourself things like, "I forgive myself," or "You are fine just the way you are," or "I'll never give up on you," done with mindfulness and persistance, can bring healing tears of release and joy. Loving kindness, or metta meditation points us to our inherent well-being: may I be filled with love and compassion; may my body be peaceful and at ease; may I be safe from fear and harm; may I be happy; may I be healthy. Directed towards oneself, metta is a form of self-appreciation that serves to counter the sometimes constant drone of negative self-talk.

-John Bell "Cultivating Our Blue Sky Nature: Skillful Means for Emotional Healing," in The Mindfulness Bell Journal of the Art of Mindful living. Summer 2004, Issue 36, page 39.

James: As some of you may know, I have schizoaffective disorder (but the disorder is not me) and depression is a big aspect of the illlness. This is an excellent post to help me know what to do when I feel heavy self-criticism and inappropriate guilt. I especially relate to the two affirmations, "I forgive myself" and "I'll never give up on you." I am way too hard on myself so these are great mantras for me to remember. I am going to write them down and put them up on my mirror to see everyday so that I'll remember them. I hope that you may find some comfort in these words as well.

~Peace to all beings~

PHOTO: Lotus pond, Japanese Garden. Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

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Angela Ferreira said...

James I do, thank you!

VW said...

Thanks for the post. I tend to beat myself up way too much.

theycallmemac said...

Thank you, James! This is great to read right now. Sometimes I lose site of these simple things. I also let the beauty, compassion, love and perfection within my heart become clouded by negativity and these words help to wash that away.

Dukkha Earl said...

"I forgive myself" and "I'll never give up on you."

I wish I had those with me during my last sesshin; the time might have passed more happily.

alison koh said...

ahh... good timing for me too! :) thanks!

"James" said...

I'm glad that you all are finding comfort in these beautiful words as I am. :)

Peace be with you.

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