Being Reborn to Your True Self-Worth by Baba Shuddhaanandaa Brahmachari Love thyself first, for true love begins there. But you might ask, “Isn’t it selfish and limiting to think of myself first?” When you feel that way, it is because you were groomed to think like that after you crossed the threshold of babyhood. As a baby you loved yourself the most, you were the center of the Universe, you were perfect, and would die without love being given to you. But gradually, as an adult, your contaminated mind started belittling you for every little thing. Your judgmental mind keeps a running litany that you don’t look as good, that you are not as successful, that you are not loved enough, cared for; and so on … you can go on adding to this list. This happened because your mind is nothing more than a child’s mind. It resists any restrictions, any imposition from outside, all because it loves freedom. It has been given freedom. A sudden withdrawal of freedom is never accepted or appreciated. The less judgmental you are to your mind, the less condemning you are, the less resistance you have, the better your mind will perform, and the more cooperative and harmonious it will be. Most people battle with the mind in meditation and in their daily lives. They think about what is wrong with them, and how many mistakes they have made. They keep a running list! Then the pattern extends to others, often finding fault in others where none exist. Anything that brings about self-condemnation is not a spiritual path. While it is good and helpful to recognize mistakes, repeating “I have made this or that mistake” doesn’t erase our mistakes. Those who repeat a mantra of “sin, sin, and more sin” get caught in the morass of sin. Be more watchful, more vigilant, of your mind at play. What kinds of thoughts are coming to your mind? Be compassionate. Be understanding toward yourself. If you don’t love yourself, you can’t love God. You certainly can’t love others. Remember, your sorrows in life are not gifts from God, from a Supreme Being outside of yourself. Nor do you have sorrows because God chooses not to recognize your existence. This could not be further from the Truth! Your existence, your being, is the Divine. What is wanted of you is for you to stop crying and begging, and instead recognizes your self-worth first. Reclaim your lost heritage. Look into the mirror and affirm that YOU approve of yourself! Do not think that you are a failure that you are not looked after by God, which you are neglected, or that any other negative interpretation fits. Stop that blah, blah of your polluted child’s mind, and reprogram your mind. Stand before the mirror, happy to be who YOU are FIRST. Most of the time we are not happy to be who we are. With that wrong mindset you will find nothing coming to you, other than more tears and a begging attitude. Give up this fallacy of negativity and self-ridicule. Stand on your feet and look into your eyes and tell yourself that God loves you as you are, and that immense good is happening to you. Tell yourself that because now you approve of yourself, God approves you and offers you what you rightfully deserve. Boost your self-esteem first by understanding this basic law of Nature; by begging, you reach nowhere. By realizing yourself worth, you can attract God to you, and God’s infinite Wealth to you. You will be amazed that you cannot have as much as He can give, and He will give beyond your capacity to hold His gifts in your tiny container!!! So, first say, “Nothing is wrong with me, I am in great shape. Now I am ready for a new life on this planet, I am ready to be reborn to my true Self Worth.” It is not ego. It is appreciation. It is love for God’s infinite gifts that are your Body and you’re potentially infinite Mind. Try this new awakening and see what happens to you. Put forth every effort to reclaim your lost identity. What I am sharing is that you need to learn to respect, adore and appreciate yourself! Sing and dance in appreciation of the gift of your body and your mind. You will be without any fear or jealousy or envy when you compare yourself to others. Then you will realize that YOU are incomparable; you are one human being in the world who has come to prove that God loves you as you are. This can happen only, and only when, YOU approve of yourself, when you appreciate yourself, and when you love yourself. Then you will not go heady and egocentric; you will do nothing that hurts you, your body, or your mind. You will only do that which adds to your moment-to-moment celebration by accepting yourself as you are and then MOVE ON!!!