A New Way to Think of Lovingkindness

February 14, 2012

By Tanmeet Sethi MD

This post originally appeared in the author’s blog Mindful Mothering on December 7, 2011.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

I still have thoughts swimming from David Whyte‘s workshop and one was on this idea of lovingkindness. That is not how he described it but he speaks of the essence of how we nurture ourselves. He suggests that we are the only part of creation that is allowed to deny itself, ie a tree or flower do not get to deny their essence but we as humans, constantly deny or reject parts of ourselves that we are dissatisfied with. And so this idea of how to nurture ourselves is cast aside by our self-criticism. He suggests treating yourself as you would a dear friend or loved one. Speak gently, with respect, use thoughts that are nurturing, not destructive. We would not allow ourselves to speak as harshly to others as we do ourselves when we doubt, criticize, or limit ourselves. Give yourself loving words, loving thoughts, and I would go as far as to say Loving Food. So that all we ingest is nurturing, nourishing, and feed us in a way that sustains us. I am keeping this in my heart and when I catch myself using “shoulds” or limits with myself, I am gently redirecting to say that I can be more loving with myself. Try it and see how it goes for you. It is so simple but so powerful…