Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It

I just finished Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It by Kamal Ravikat.  

It’s a must read for anyone looking to refuel or renew the mind to happiness.  But like anything in life, there are no shortcuts to achieve it.  It takes work.  

“I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”  x100 

Kamal makes it clear that repeating “I love myself” takes dedicated daily practice.  It takes time to feel the world change in your favor.  He makes a strong point to continue practicing inner love to prevent a return of old frustrations.  

His habit reminds us that the brain is elastic, our neurology can change if we want it to.  It’s just a matter of keeping our mind’s attention on the right things.  

If your life is in the dump, give this book a read.  The meditation tips alone are worth the 99 cents.  It only takes a 45 minute train ride home to finish.     

Here’s a list of some my favorite quotes:  

Loving yourself, perhaps the most important of all, is a practice. 

The truth is to love yourself with the same intensity you would use to pull yourself up if you were hanging off a cliff with your fingers. 

each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF.

In all honesty, in the beginning, I didn’t believe that I loved myself.  How many of us do?  But it didn’t matter what I believed.  All that mattered was doing it and I did it the simplest way I could think, by focusing on one thought again and again and again and again until it was more on my mind than not.

As you love yourself, life loves you back.  I don’t think it has a choice either.  I can’t explain how it works, but I know it to be true. 

When you find yourself using the word “magical” to describe your life, you’ll know what I’m talking about.

If you have to build up to it, that’s ok.  The practice works in a way the mind is designed to function.  The mind has no choice but to adapt and respond.  Just remain open to the possibility of loving yourself.  The rest is easy.

Inhale: I love myself.   Exhale: Breathe out what comes up.

Just like love, the subconscious has a positive association with light.  Plants grow towards the light.  As human beings, we crave light.  We find sunrises and sunsets and a bright moon beautiful and calming.  

All I have to do is give it the image – in this case, light; give it the thought – in this case, loving myself.  It does the rest.

(When your attention wanders, notice it and smile.  Smile at it as if it’s a child doing what a child does.  And with that smile, return to your breath.  Step 4, step 5.  Mind wanders, notice, smile kindly, return to step 4, step 5).

It gently shifts your focus from wherever you are – whether it’s anger or pain or fear, any form of darkness – to where you want to be.  And that is love.  You mind and life have no choice but to follow.

Side note, maybe Richard Simmons had a point when he said, “love yourself and win.”

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.