Like the word “love,” the word “spirituality” is a term that is often subjectively defined, and one that seems to be constantly evolving. For example, when some of us think of love, we think of it in terms of being an acquisition; something that we either acquire in life or that we don’t, and in that way it is subjective depending on our experiences. In addition, when some of us think of love, we think of it as something that we have to fight for competitively, as in winning the love (or keeping the love) of another. While these subjective definitions are valid and worthy, the point is that when we think of love in these terms, it limits the concept of love to an outward expression, and acquisition (possession) of personal pleasure and gain.
But, what about the inward expression of love, how is that expressed and defined? And furthermore, why do we often hear others lamenting that this is a “love-starved world”?
I will reveal my age now by asking if you remember the song, “What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love”?
You see where I’m going.
OK. Yes, the world needs love. I need love. You need love, we agree on that, but what we need to agree on is how to experience it in the way that the heart truly desires. The heart is not out for gain or pleasure, that’s the ego. The heart wants expansion of its potential, and spirituality is the tool for unleashing that potential.
Though spirituality has become a term that contains different viewpoints and perhaps religious concepts, for the purposes of this blog entry, I will define spirituality as an expression of self-love.
Don’t’ go scratching your head just yet!
Spirituality is an expression of self-love because it is a way of life that keeps us in constant contact with the essence of ourselves, why we are here, and the awareness of the divine light within. Spirituality is in an investment in the heart; it is an expression of self- love, just as it is an investment in self-love.
Ah! That word “awareness”! Yes, awareness is a necessary ingredient for being able to recognize who we are and where our love comes from—the heart—which is the seat of the soul and the source of intelligence in the human spirit.
So, how do we develop awareness, you might be asking? Yes, you are right. We develop awareness through spirituality, which means we actively participate in cultivating and expressing self-love. We develop habits of the heart where love radiates from within, where it resides.
Now, I recognize that this world is full of distractions, and it’s so tempting to get caught up in analyzing the behaviors and lifestyles of others, but the practice of awareness and developing habits of the heart means that we have to be reflective and willing to study ourselves.
We all want love, right? Well, here’s how to open ourselves to experiencing it in its most authentic and rewarding form.
- Study your thoughts. Keep a log of your thoughts on a daily basis. Record and document what you think about the most each day in a journal. Thoughts are how we manifest our experiences. If our thoughts are anchored in fear and pain, we will continue to manifest more of those things in our lives. In contrast, if we think about loving ourselves, and loving life, we will attract more love and loving souls into our lives. Mental and spiritual hygiene are just as important as physical hygiene. Keep your thoughts and your spirit clean.
- Practice the mental art of detachment. By this I mean letting go. Let go of attachment to desire, which only creates agony and obsessive thinking. There is no way to experience love if we are in agony and obsessed with our desires. And remember, most of the things that we have in this country, the majority of the world is praying for. Express gratitude every day!
- Prioritize your thoughts and develop thought habits that are healthy and life-enhancing. Sure, we all experience letdowns and disappointments. But remember, that life is not about what happens to us, it’s about how we react to it. Record your reactions to life circumstances in your journal. There you will be able to see yourself more objectively and most importantly, you will be transparent with yourself, which is necessary for growth and expansion of the heart.
- Take a hiatus from social media! Social media is a playground for narcissistic behavior, and narcissism is not self-love, it is self-obsession at the expense of others. Social media is the arena where illusion and confusion take precedence; it is the place where we are tempted to compare ourselves to others. Comparison is lethal to the human spirit. Only compare yourself to yourself, based on your growth alone.
- Create beautiful spaces in your home that nurture and nourish your heart. Don’t be stingy with yourself! Purchase those things that light your senses and bring you a sense of peace and tranquility. Aromas and sounds (music) are known to have beneficial health effects to the heart and nervous system. Use them! Create! Create! Create! Cook for yourself and your loved ones; fill your home with pleasant aromas and your spirit with nourishing foods.
- Delve into the world of imagination and allow it to take you higher! Remember when you were a child and lived in your imagination, and not the confines of your mind? Yes, you want to go back to that time. The imagination connects us to the heavens. The mind imprisons us in the distractions and desires of this physical world where there is fear and longing. Get in touch with your imagination by envisioning a temple space within your mind where you meet with your angels and higher guides; where you meet with the essence of who you are. This temple is your space alone, so be careful not to pollute or contaminate it with negative or pessimistic thought-forms. Be patient, though. It takes time and commitment to develop mental focus. Just know that this is YOUR space. No one else can touch it or enter without your permission. Decorate it as you wish, be creative! Make a daily habit of entering into your temple, where the God in you resides. Open the door to your own self-becoming, your own voice, and your own higher spirit. Record your experiences in your journal.
- Lastly, because seven is a spiritual number, record your dreams in your journal. Dreams are the voice of the soul, and if we are diligent, we can access and hone that voice so that dreams are not merely machinations of our minds, but instead prophetic teachers that help direct us to our destinies and reveal that which is to come. Dreams open us to the spirit realm and awaken our psychic faculties. Don’t take them or this power lightly!
- Mine is the path of uprightness, self-mastery, and self-love. I am not energized by the downfall of others.
- I am not a stepchild of the Universe. I am not a woman without a man. I am not a man without a woman. I am a much loved child of the Creator.
- I invest in those who invest in me because I love myself. I do not chase others because I trust that what is best for me, will stay.
- I am not a slave to fear and longing. I have all that I need to create a happy life.
- I am grateful for this life and all of the lessons it has brought me. Through my painful lessons, I have been brought closer to myself. My pain contains knowledge for my growth, self-correction and healing.
- I select my friends, lovers and mates based on the love I have for myself.
- I am not a victim.
- I am not an orphan.
- I am not alone without family and community.
- I am connected to the Creator and I honor the work of my ancestors. Without them, I would not be here.
- I am not a beggar or a thief of energy, love or light.
- I attract the highest good for myself, my children, my loved ones and friends.
- I am not ungrateful for my health and existence. My body and mind are sacred and I do not give them away recklessly to others.
- I have standards.
- I am here to Become one with my Being.
Thank you for reading and engaging. I welcome and ask for feedback and comments! If you would like learn more on spirituality as an act of self-love, please feel free to contact me for a consultation. I would love to hear from you!
Offered with love,
- Rudolf Steiner, “Intuitive Thinking as a Spiritual Path”
- Rudolf Steiner, “Theosophy”
- Isha Schwaller DeLubicz, “The Opening of the Way”