Loving Yourself the Greatest Love of All
Do you know the story of Narcissus the son of the blue Nymph Leiriope of Thespia? Narcissus was a beautiful child who grew into a very handsome man. Leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake, he wanted nothing to do with falling in love and rebuffed all attempts to show him the joy of it.
Broken hearted, a rejected admirer beseeched the gods to punish vain Narcissus. Hearing the plea Artemis, goddess of the hunt, doomed Narcissus to fall in love with a love that could never be fulfilled.
Coming upon his reflection in a clear pool of water, Narcissus became enchanted with his own beauty and finally fell in love – without knowing it was himself.
Trying to reach the person he saw in the pool, he dipped his arms into the water only to discover that the person was gone. No matter how many times he tried, the reflection disappeared with the disturbed, rippling water, Narcissus never managed to connect with himself, the person he loved.
Eventually Narcissus pined away and died. His body was never found, but in the spot where he had languished, a beautiful flower bloomed. Named Narcissus, its beauty is still enjoyed in gardens worldwide.
Reading the book ‘You can create an exceptional life’ (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.co NULL.uk/You-Create-Exceptional-Life-Conversations/dp/184850585X) I was struck by the similarities that occur when you don’t know how to love yourself, the person who you are being at any given moment.
So many people find themselves unlovable, choosing instead to inflict themselves with the pain of self judgement, self criticism, self loathing, unworthiness and many other negative traits that often come from others views and opinions over their life time.
Narcissus looked in the mirror of the pool, but he didn’t see himself. Instead he saw a person he perceived as being worthy of being loved.
How often do you look in a mirror and see the beauty of your soul shining out from your eyes. It takes courage to face yourself in this way and not look for imagined flaws.
It’s easier to tell your loved ones ‘I love you’ than face the truth of who you see in that mirror. Try looking into your own eyes and say ‘I love you. I really love you, just as you are’.
Maybe you’re squirming with embarrassment with thoughts of ‘no way’. Your image distorts and disappears, leaving the self judgemental and the critical to rear their ugly images instead.
Here’s the good news. Those images and thoughts of who you think you are, they’re not real. They only exist in your mind because you brought them into being.
The real you is the one hiding behind those beautiful eyes, waiting for the opportunity to shine it’s light in the world. If you’re willing to practice looking for the real you every day, something magical happens.
You learn to love yourself, warts and all, in the knowledge that the inner you is the real person. The one who waits in the stillness, ready to open your mind to the Inner Wisdom that is the essence of who you really are.
Narcissus never found his inner beauty or wisdom. But what a legacy he left for us to learn from.
photo credit Narcissus: timtak (http://www NULL.flickr NULL.com/photos/nihonbunka/5495749435/) via photopin (http://photopin NULL.com) cc (http://creativecommons NULL.org/licenses/by-nc/2 NULL.0/)
photo credit Beauty: zeze57 (http://www NULL.flickr NULL.com/photos/zeze57/3392027689/) via photopin (http://photopin NULL.com) cc (http://creativecommons NULL.org/licenses/by-nd/2 NULL.0/)