The primary goal of a Selfist is to know and love all of self. This is not as easy a task as it might first seem, since there are many aspects of self that are hidden and also the untrained ego will be tempted to persuade the novice that the self is already loved.
The first step to loving self, is knowing self and this reveals the first question: How does one get to know the unknown aspects of self that have become hidden?
The first thing to realise is that nothing is ever truly hidden; there are clues spread throughout our psyche that to the mindful person become signposts to self-knowledge. Let’s take a look at some of those clues.
Often once a person has started down the path of mindfulness they become aware of behavioural peculiarities of self that seem to come from nowhere. The unmindful person will end up accepting these aspects as “just me” and pay no further notice, they will accept these as simply part of their unique personality build. However the mindful person will find themselves intrigued by these seeming personality quirks, they will know that they did not ask for these things and they will want to investigate further.
Often, these idiosyncrasies, such as angers, fears or anxieties are caused by suppressed aspects of self. For example, if at some point in our past we chose to reject an aspect of self, which we later forgot about, then we might well find ourselves becoming irrationally upset by other people exhibiting these behaviours. So to a mindful person these triggers are very interesting pointers to self-knowledge.
I tend to understand the mechanism for these behaviours coming about in the following way: At some point in our past we suffered trauma due to our expression of some aspect of self, for example, we may have been told off for having freedom of thought and this may have upset us so much, that ego chose to hide this aspect of self from us and ego is so good at doing this, especially during childhood that we forget we ever behaved like that or in the least it becomes a very distant memory.
However, covering over these bits of self means that aspects of our true self become repressed and this creates reactive behavioural traits that tend to become stronger over time. Thus people who have “issues” tend to see these become more and more dominant as they get older.
What this means is that the need to heal these issues is becoming stronger, and those issues will become so pronounced that even the unmindful person can no longer write them off as simply being “me” and they will recognise that somehow they need to be dealt with.
It is also worth noting that so long as we continue to suppress the rendition of true self, opportunities for us to express that truth will keep cropping up. These are often misinterpreted – People see these things repeating on themselves and will choose to blame the outside world for being so bad, rather than understanding that it is their own failure to express their authentic self that means the universe will keep providing opportunities for that perfect rendition until that truth statement is obtained.
For example, a person who is continually getting angry will repeatedly be provided with opportunities to get angry until they eventually find a way to express their feelings about that situation authentically. At which point these opportunities will fade and they will find themselves more at peace with self and the outside world as they become more and more comfortable with expressing their truth.
The important thing to realise is that there is a process taking place, one that is drawing the individual towards their own rendition of truth. It is up to each person to recognise these recurring patterns and to realise that this is a message from self – true self demands its expression and it will work with the universe to provide you with the necessary triggers until you get the message.
For a great many people, the anger comes from an inability to express ones true feelings, and these lessons from self, if followed properly will allow the individual to intuitively find the voicing of self that means the anger becomes redundant.
So, a mindful person will watch out for repeating patterns in their life, they are usually easy to see because they are uncomfortable – drama’s that the individual will try to avoid. Instead of avoiding them, the task is to recognise their presence and to analyse the message that they contain – which aspect of self is in need of expression? The further task is to tune into this aspect and feel how that expression should occur and finally to deliver that expression when the opportunity next arrives.
This may take some practice, often it takes bravery on the part of the individual concerned because the feelings that caused them to reject that truth in the first place will resurface, so a great deal of control and connectedness with self are required, but trust that the universe will provide you with the right moment and listen to your intuition and you will get there.
So how does this lead to self-love, if there are all these negative aspects of self needing expressing?
The key to developing any truly loving relationship with self is knowing and understanding the thing to be loved and so this self-introspection process is the first step towards loving those aspects.
What most people find is that these aspects are only negative so long as they remain repressed, once the individual starts to open up to an authentic expression of them, they usually invert themselves, transmuting the negative into the positive in a logical manner, depending upon what they are and how they became suppressed.
It is the repression of true self that leads to the inversion of previously positive self aspects, leading to negative intrusive thought forms, behaviours and attachments. Expressing the authentic self that had been suppressed leads to the re-inversion, which adds to the wealth of loved aspects of self that an individual is aware of.
Thus by inward investigation and by allowing the expression of what is found the individual will begin to obtain a clearer knowledge of a self with many more positive aspects than were first understood, which leads to a greater love of self.