Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. Rumi
We hear of loving kindness as a route to healing and for bringing more peace to ourselves and others. Dating back to the Greek storyteller Aesop, there is a saying, “No act of kindness – however small – is ever wasted.” Yes, it is hard to offer such a gift when we feel strife and confusion. In the 12-step program, there is a saying, Fake it ‘til you make it.” And, yet, some of us have been faking it, but nothing has shifted. One reason nothing shifts for us to feel more open is that there is some hurt, pain or resentment that is standing in the way of us being able to feel into our hearts and to come from an authentic place. Below is a Loving Kindness Self-Spotting exercise that may help get you started with clearing your hurt, pain or resentment. If you need more, feel free to reach out to a therapist who can support your journey.
Loving Kindness Self-Spotting Audio
- Releases oxytocin, our feel-good hormone, which can increase our outlook on life.
- Reduce stress and increase self-esteem. It can also contribute to reducing stress, lowering cortisol and blood pressure.
- Receive a gift when you give. endorphins in the body that llight up our brain’s pleasure center. The effect is a feel-good feeling. So, by giving we receive in many ways even physically. (Baraz & Alexander, 2010)
- Reinforces positive social connection.
Start this loving-kindness meditation by wishing something for yourself which is broad enough that you could wish it for all beings. Repeat the phrases then speak them for a loved one, good friend, or someone who inspires you. Imagine them and speak their name as you say it or replace I for you. Say next for someone you don’t know as well but wish good for. Could be a person down the block, a check-out clerk and then repeat with replacing the I for you. Can also do with someone that has caused you strife. Last, do it with, “May all beings be….
May I be happy,
May I be healthy,
May I be safe,
May I live with ease.
Happier and Healthier With the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness, Kelli Harding, MD, MPH
Kindness interventions for early-stage breast cancer survivors: An online, pilot randomized controlled trial, Marcy D. Haydon