In gratitude towards Self

Publish Date:Dec 31, 2015

It is now time to bid adieu to one another wonder filled year and welcome the new, juicy year. I am sure many of you might be ready with the new list of resolutions for 2016. How big is the list? Did you meet the resolutions you made for 2015 or some of them fell through the cracks? For those you adhered to, start appreciating yourself and for those you didn't, don't beat yourself. The best gift you can give yourself at this time of year is appreciation and gratitude so that you can start new year with fresh hope and best of possibilities. So are you ready for it?

The year 2015 might have left behind many memories in our memory lane. Think back on the year past, what all events left a memory for you? How many of them are happy and how many unhappy memories? If we try recollecting events in our lives, I doubt any of us would remember even 10-15 events in the entire year. Why not take a pencil and a small diary to note down the events in your life in 2015. It is good to be musing over past events, isn't it? As we get into reminisces, we can express our gratitude for each of those happy events and the participants who played their role in the event. But what does you real good is, a big hug and a gleaming thank you for each significant event and a pat in your own back saying 'Buddy, you did a wonderful job, I am so proud of you'. Have you ever hugged yourself and told yourself 'I Love You'? If you never did that, please take a moment now, close your eyes, take a deep breath, hug yourself and tell yourself 'I love you'. You MUST MEAN every word you say. What a wonderful feeling it is, isn’t it.

Now comes the tough part, how can we appreciate self, the event and the participants in the event when the event is not a happy one? What will be there to appreciate in an event which triggered unhappiness? How can we say thank you to the event that had hurt us? It sounds so very ridiculous isn’t it? It is NOT. In fact, any event is an opportunity to appreciate and love yourself a bit more.

Take just one event that had left an unpleasant taste in you. Allow yourself to feel all there is to feel in the situation. Allow all the emotions with love and compassion for yourself. It is you who had been through the situation and only you can appreciate how much you have gone through. You can refer to our last article "How to embrace your emotions" if you need help with this.

Now it is time to give yourself the gift of a deeper appreciation. As you recollect the event, ask yourself "if there is one thing I appreciate in myself, my attitude, my behaviour or feeling or anything at all in that event, what would it be?" What ever comes up for you, pat yourself on your back for it. Say, you felt your mom controls you but you did not shout back at her or may be you did stand up for yourself by being firm, anything is a cause for appreciation. Tell yourself, "I appreciate myself for being considerate or obedient or firm, etc".  Let that be a heartfelt appreciation. If you do not appreciate yourself, who else would? Do it just once and see what a delicious feeling it is to appreciate self.

Are you ready for a bigger gift? Recollect the key person involved in the event, if anyone caused you pain. Again ask, "if I could extend my understanding to this person in this situation, how can I do it?" Let me explain this a bit. Let's say you have a very stingy mother in law who shouts at you for every expense you make on yourself or your family. It is annoying or can be exasperating to you. Once you deal with your own feelings and emotions involved in that situation and identify something to appreciate in yourself, ask this question. You may realise, may be she does that out of insecurity because she had a tough time financially in her life. Here, you are not finding excuses for other's behaviour but you are just willing to be open for possibility, may be there is some reason why she is like that. You are gifting yourself a huge release of stuck up energy. Try this after you complete the first two steps. It is easier to extend understanding to other person  after we have dealt with our own pain with genuine compassion. The situation may not change, but your reaction will definitely change.

Once you do these simple exercises, you will want to keep doing it more because it will give such a spacious, happy feeling within you. You may start appreciating yourself for taking time to try this, for being through such a variety of experiences in life, for being such a beautiful person. In fact, there will be more and more reasons to say, "I love myself, I appreciate myself and I am grateful for being me". Why wait for end of year, do it as often as you can and see the magic. Just take a moment now, close your eyes, allow yourself to relax and allow the situations of year to glide in front of you just like slides in a presentation. Say to yourself, "I thank myself for being with all the situations in life, for creating so many opportunities to love and appreciate myself". Or in any other words you can express heartfelt gratitude for yourself.

Love for Self is so very addictive and contagious. Once you start to love and appreciate yourself more, the world within you and around you would become as beautiful as Manas Sarovar. You don’t require government permissions, passports or visas to visit this one, you will always be there in that calm space of serenity. As we get ready to say welcome to 2016, let us take a moment to Love Self, Appreciate Self and Thank Self. After all, Self is the real hero in all the events in our lives. Your world doesn't exist without yourself, isn't it?

-Ramakrishna Maguluri
Engaging with life

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