The First Step Toward Self-LoveNone By Sharon Salzberg
In our 5-part series, Sharon Salzberg, world-renowned meditation teacher and author of the new book Real Love, answers your questions about how to truly connect with others.
Question: What is the first step you suggest taking toward self-love?
Self-love is often the hardest kind of love, and there is a biological reason for this. Many evolutionary biologists say that for survival, we were born with a negativity bias, continually looking for threats on the horizon, or danger in our midst. As a result, we may tend to distrust the good things that come our way, and even the good within us. We may have a tough time looking for the good in our lives as well, so much are we oriented toward staying ahead of danger. To disrupt this bias, we start small to gradually convince ourselves that we are deserving of love.
The first step toward self-love is to ask yourself: What is the good within me? We tend to dwell on what we do not like about ourselves rather than notice the many good qualities that we exhibit in our lives every day. We may discount the simple gestures like letting another person go first in the checkout line, or holding open the door for someone whose arms are filled with packages. These may appear like little drops in the well, rather than consistent expressions of decency. But I caution you not to gloss over these actions, as they are significant evidence of a loving and kind heart, as well as a place to begin appreciating how you are worthy of love.
If you cannot find anything good within, or find these small actions too trivia