Our minds, or our egos, will continually tell us that self love is a fantasy to our well-being, or that the construction of a positive self image is not possible. Our heart space, on the other hand, will always try to compel us to treat ourselves as we would treat our lover, or best friend. It is with our thoughts that our inner conversation either affirms us or tears us down. For example, all of us have experienced regret in something we have said which caused hurt to another person, or that embarrassed us, or that caused a bad reaction in the other person. Our egoic mind is very quick to judge us and criticize us for the mistake. We have all felt the sting of thinking “I have ruined my relationship with her by what I said,” or....”I know that my words hurt him, and I am sure he will tell others how stupid and cruel that I am”. This causes us to worry, to be in fear, or to be miserable until the problem is resolved. Often times we even make the problem worse by taking some action to try to get ourselves off the hook. We are suffering because we did not love ourselves into a solution to the problem.
The beginning of learning to love ourselves is to be AWARE of our inner feelings toward ourselves and Love ourselves with those feelings. In the example above, when we realize we are suffering because of our worry over what we said, we allow ourselves to break the cycle of suffering by accepting and loving ourselves with all of those feelings.
Instead of sliding down the slope to self anger, panic, fear of losing the friend, and wishing that you had a time machine,
STOP right where you are and think about what you wished you had said instead......
“Now imagine just stopping, taking a breath, and experiencing the discomfort of these thoughts, but without any desire to mentally punish yourself. Feel the distress and the fear, OK, but leave off the thoughts that YOU are bad, and awful, etc. Now consider that it was not in your heart to intentionally hurt your friend. You made a mistake. If those who you love and love you make a mistake, will you stop loving them? No, you may talk to them or take some action but your love will continue.
Why not give yourself the same break you give those you love?
(Your desire to punish yourself by self-judgment, is born of longstanding habits of believing that if you judge yourself harshly it will change you for the better. In reality the opposite is true. As you love yourself with your imperfections and mistakes it releases your values for respect, kindness, consideration, compassion , and trust. As you recognize these values in yourself, you start to see them in others. As these values pervade your consciousness, you will begin to make life decisions based upon those values, and not by other charged emotions like fear, anger, and dissatisfaction.)
So instead of spending days worrying about what you said, get a plan. Your plan might include an apology. It might include doing something nice for your friend to get close again. When you get your plan set a timetable for it and implement it.
After it is over sit down by yourself and praise and love yourself for doing this in love for yourself, for your friend, and for the world.
Next: A right brain meditation to wholeness