Step #3: I realized I needed to return to Love, in which I connect with in my Wise Self and, thereby, connect with my true nature, with others, and with the Divine (if I believe in the Divine).
One we have realized that we are stuck in patterns of self-hate, and we remember Love, we need to return to Love.
This can seem really intimidating when we have been stuck in patterns of self-hate, but it is important to realize that almost all of us have experienced Love many times in our life.
We have the best contact with Love when we are operating out of our Wise Self, and most of us have had frequent contact with the Wise Self throughout our life, although we may not have realized it.
The Wise Self is most present in moments like this:
When we feel rested, nourished, loved, and safe.
When we are deeply in love and want to nourish and support our beloved, while also feeling nourished and supported ourselves.
When we are in a flow state and are absorbed in a project we find meaningful and challenging but also possible to achieve.
When we are in nature and feel peaceful and connected to something that is beautiful, larger than us, and also loving and welcoming.
When we are touched by a beautiful piece of art, music, or literature and feel both called beyond ourselves and also peaceful with who we are in life (we are invited and not judged).
This Wise Self is actually a place of Love that exists in everyone.
Learning to return to and connect with your Wise Self is an important part of healing from self-hate. When we connect with the Wise Self, we connect with Love, and we better understand that we are always in the process of becoming who we are. We realize that the goal is never perfection: it is growth in wisdom, compassion, and love, and any time we are willing to grow in these things, we are exactly where we need to be.
This is what it means to return to Love. We can return to Love every day and even every minute of the day. The more we practice doing this, the easier it becomes.
The question is, “How do we connect with the Wise Self?” Here are a few ways that I (and others) have found effective.
One: Take some time each day or regularly to be quiet and think about the Wise Self. It can be thirty seconds, one minute, or however long or short you like.
Spending time in silence is one of the best ways we become aware of the Wise Self, and this is why silence, meditation, or prayer has been such an important part of all religious traditions.
Two: Be willing to connect with the Wise Self, even if you do not understand what it is or are not sure if it exists. It is totally okay if you are not sure if the Wise Self exists or even if you hold a deep skepticism about it.
The Wise Self is never offended by your doubts and skepticism. The Wise Self is always reaching out to you, wanting to connect with you, so if you are even willing, this can help you find it. Here is a prayer you can use, if it helps you:
I am willing to rest in you.
Take all that is dark, diseased and wounded in me and restore it with your love.
Help me in my doubts.
Help me connect with the wisdom, love, compassion, and creativity in me.
Help me to see My Wise Self and the light in myself and everyone else.
If you do not believe in God or prayer is difficult for you, you can use this as an intention:
I am willing to rest in Love.
I am willing for Love to restore all that is dark, diseased and wounded in me.
I am willing to be honest about my doubts.
I am willing to connect with the wisdom, Love, compassion and creativity in me.
I am willing to see my Wise Self and the light in myself and everyone else.
Consider using this prayer/intention every day for a week or two to open yourself up to Your Wise Self and a Higher Love.
Three: If it is helpful to you, use the following meditation or image to help you think about the Wise Self.
I invite you to consider that the Wise Self and the Higher Love in it is like the most loving, nurturing mother possible. Love does not hate you or criticize you. Love loves you and desires for you to thrive and become fully yourself.
Love does not want to terrify you; to hurt you; to confuse you; to abuse you to; to dominate you; to shame you.
Love longs to hold you in her vast, loving arms; to answer all of your questions; to soothe your pain and fear; to help you solve your problems; to listen to why you are angry at her; to feed you; to give you beautiful gifts; to let you rest comforted and safe; to allow you to return to the world nurtured and empowered to love yourself and others.
Four: Consider using contemplative practices to help you connect with your Wise Self. You can read more about contemplative practices here.
As we learn to connect with the Wise Self and return to Love, we inevitably realize we also need to deal with our Wounded Self. That is what I will address in the next post
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If you would like help connecting with the Wise Self, below is a series of intentions or prayers you can use to do this.
You might also like these little booklets which help us develop feelings of safety, hope, and confidence: