How To Love Ourselves (v2.2)
By David Sunfellow
Near-death experiences strongly champion the idea that we need to love ourselves. If we could see and love ourselves as God does our lives would be completely transformed. So would our relationships with everyone and everything else.
You would think that loving ourselves would be easy, especially for people who’ve had a direct experience of God’s love. But that’s not the case. Personally experiencing God’s unconditional love makes loving ourselves easier, but we still slip in and out of loving states of consciousness. That’s because we can’t sustain higher states of consciousness until we have built leak-proof containers for The Divine.
“Without the love of God, it is impossible to love ourselves because every human being is aware of their flawed nature and sinfulness.”
Near-death experiencer Anita Moorjani adds another important insight. In a talk she gave in Sedona, Anita suggested that our ability to love ourselves as God does may require a direct encounter with the Divine:
“The most important lesson I learned about life, or what I learned that I believed saved my life, is that… it is extremely important to love yourself. Very, very important! And I cannot stress this enough. It was the love I felt coming for me that saved my life. I never knew before that, before my near-death experience, that I was supposed to love myself unconditionally. The love I felt in the other realm… The love was so unconditional. And that love… told me that I was deserving and I was worthy of being loved. And It made me realize that it’s OK to love myself.“
In other words, our vision as human beings is clouded and incomplete. We don’t love ourselves like God does because we don’t see our Divine or human natures in their totality. We only see pieces. And the vision we do have is inconsistent. Moments of illumination and understanding come and go; days of loving ourselves are followed by days of disgust and despair.
So what’s a spiritual seeker to do? How can we connect with the deeper parts of ourselves — and maintain that connection? How can we love ourselves as God does, all the time, especially when we feel beaten down by the human side of our nature? How can we love ourselves in healthy ways without slipping into destructive, self-centered, self-lavishing and ego-catering behaviors?
Near-death experiences offer us many helpful ideas and practices. Here are a few…
Ideas & Practices That Lift Us Into The Presence Of God
And Help Us Stay There
1. Imagine God loves you wholeheartedly and unconditionally (and treat yourself accordingly).
2. Form a personal relationship with The Divine and ask It (in whatever form appeals to you) to surround and protect, guide and inspire, penetrate and transform your human nature.
3. Remember and work with your dreams. They provide access to The Divine and help you see, heal, and transform all the areas of your life that require attention.
4. Be yourself and follow your unique path (don’t try to be like others).
6. Remember you are an eternal, indestructible being and live your life accordingly.
7. Understand, accept, and celebrate your human weaknesses and shortcomings (learn what NDEs say about the purpose of life so you can appreciate why you chose to be a human being).
8. The immature, undeveloped aspects of yourself need to be purified and developed. Our souls accomplish this like master blacksmiths. Again and again, from one angle and then another, we are thrust us into the furnace of life and then pulled out, hammered into shape, allowed to cool and regroup, and then thrust back in again. While the process tends to get less intense as we become more refined, even major breakthroughs and leaps in consciousness don’t perfect us overnight. There are always new things to learn, new issues to deal with, new heights to reach and explore. Knowing this helps us surrender to the rhythms and wisdom of the universe. Both the highs and lows of life serve The Light. They are both needed to transform us into the dazzling beings we came here to become.
9. Since your thoughts and feelings create your experiences in this world and the next, monitor and purify your thoughts and feelings.
10. Work on shadow issues (stop blaming others for your problems; while others can help, they can’t fix, heal, or save you – that’s your job).
11. Tell the truth (to yourself and to others). Telling the truth is easier when we remember all lies are eventually exposed. Truth is also a major attribute of God, so the more we live truthful lives, the more we are drawn into God’s presence.
12. Question everything (don’t be satisfied with pat, status quo, superficial answers).
13. Pray (talk to God) and meditate (listen to God).
14. Love and serve others, including animals and plants (remember the little things are the big things).
15. Feel and express gratitude.
16. Lighten up, don’t take things so seriously, see the humor in life.
17. Learn to think intuitively, in non-linear, non-time-based, non-rational ways.
18. Spend quality time in nature.
19. Take care of your body (breathe fresh air, drink clean water, eat healthy food, get enough sleep and exercise – a healthy body helps us think more clearly, live life more fully, and stay connected with ourselves, others, and The Divine).
20. Spend time with others who have experienced The Light.
21. Embrace threshold experiences (birth, death, and other portal-opening events).
22. Study near-death experiences (and related phenomena).
You Mustn’t Take Things So Seriously
“It seemed impossible that I could be loved and accepted just as I was in that moment. Released from the burden of self-punishment, embraced in the wholeness of this forgiving presence, I was enveloped in joy. I seemed to become transparent, the light of divine love flowing through me. Then I heard the sound of soft, benevolent laughter, which felt like the wise and gentle smile of the Buddha. Again I was surprised and perplexed; I had not expected to hear laughter from a divine force. It rained over me like soft petals. Then it said: ‘My child, you mustn’t take things so seriously. You are just part of an evolutionary chain, in which all life evolves at different stages of development. You are only human. You need not judge yourself so harshly. Be gentle with yourself.’ I had gotten only the slightest glimpse of the limitless realms beyond the finite boundaries of the world we inhabit. I was eager to learn more.”
— NDEr Lee Thornton
The Seriousness With Which I Viewed Myself Was Amusing
“In one strand I was aware that Light knew me better than I knew myself. Despite any of my foibles, eccentricities, poor decisions and plain old humanness, it loved me to the core. It found the seriousness with which I viewed myself amusing. It seemed to be certain that in the end, all of my problems, hurts, inflicted hurts, and my life in general would be redemptive in the sense that it would ultimately end in love.”
— NDEr Jo B
It’s An Adventure. It’s Amazing. It’s Beautiful.
“We can be over there anytime and infinitely, forever; forever and forever, for a long time and it’s so easy and it’s so beautiful, but this life here is really exciting from the other side. And it’s pretty quick. So dig in and enjoy it… A lot of the spiritual messages seem to be deny the body and deny the — these emotions are bad emotions — and these things are not holy and I don’t think that’s true. From my experience, everything is holy. Here is there. We didn’t come here just to experience all the happy things. We also came here to experience the difficult emotions because we learn from those and they enrich us in ways that really we can’t get when we are out of body, when we are in our whole selves. If we could get those out there, we wouldn’t be here. From that perspective it’s very exciting to participate in any kind of emotions, and any kind of situation. It’s an adventure. It’s amazing. It’s beautiful.”
— NDEr Natalie Sudman
No Matter What You Do Or How You Express Yourself, You Belong And Are Valued
“In this non-physical state of being, there is a profound sense of belonging. Everything about everyone that exists is not only accepted, but admired, respected, recognized and celebrated. There is a cooperative, co-passion for being that permeates everything I experienced. Everything there is effortless. It is just so easy. It’s blissful. And it’s filled with a joy that is so fundamental it’s only really remarkable from outside of that state of being. So image that everything you have ever thought, imagined, experienced, dreamed, or created was recognized to be valuable to you yourself and to everyone else — to all that exists. Imagine that no matter what you do or how you express yourself, you belong and are valued. This is true. What was known to me, what was so basic as to be assumed was just that: that we are each intrinsically valuable and everything we experience matters, not just to ourselves but to each other and to All That Is.”
— NDEr Natalie Sudman
We Are Very Cool
“From the perspective out of body, it was understood that it takes some skill to even exist in the physical body, in the physical world. It takes a skill of focus to maintain consciousness within a physical body and then to participate in a collective, cooperative, creative experience of being in this physical world. So we’re all amazing. We’re all jet pilots flying 50 feet off the deck upside down. We are very cool. Just by showing up here, just by showing up.”
— NDEr Natalie Sudman
We’re Like Super Heroes To The Divine
“One of the feelings I had when I was out of my body in this universal part where I was with my guide was I had this enormous gratitude and love for what all of this was. It was so deep and there was a level of almost like I could feel my own humanness and you do want to bow to It in a way — I didn’t have the feeling that I need to bow — but it’s almost like when something is so amazing you almost just collapse to It because you love It so much. And yes I did have that and yet at the same time what That is — what the Divine, what God is — I felt all of that more than I could ever feel coming back to me and feeling that level of love and gratitude for me and it was for me personally, for exactly who I am, at every level of me, everything I have ever been through beyond even what I know of in this life time. It was so grateful to me and loved me so much. I also felt as if It was bowing to me. So there was this mutual adoration and love.
“That also helps me because coming back into the world I know not only to lighten up, but I know the level of love; this gratitude for us because in a way it’s like when we become embodied in the physical we’re learning through our senses and through suffering and joy and all these different levels. We’re picking up on so much information — learning how to be balanced and evolving in the mind — and as we do this everything that happens to us comes together and what we call the Divine is able to receive that information and our learning and our growth — that’s part of the whole intelligence of why It’s intelligent, why It knows. We think It’s beyond us; It’s so much more intelligent. And yet I understood that It was saying but this is because of those willing to go down into the bottom. I understood that Their feeling to us is almost like ‘you guys are the super heroes who go into the physical body and you experience the suffering’ and We have nothing but gratitude and love and wish for you and hope for you.”
— NDEr Amy Call
Where The Magic Begins
“When we don’t love ourselves deeply, we’re always looking for someone else to do it for us… We’re demanding from others the love we’re not giving to ourselves. When you love and accept yourself deeply and unconditionally for all that you are and aren’t, you attract people who love themselves. That’s where the magic begins — and relationships become partnerships on the path to love.”