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Who truly deserves your love?

"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.” – Buddha

We live in challenging times. Perhaps the challenges are greater for some than for others -- or so it might seem -- but the challenges are there, no matter who we are.

As the pace of life intensifies and the demands and challenges that we all face rush towards us like waves on a beach, the words of the Buddha are more relevant than ever.

But how do we do it? How do I show love and affection for myself? I suppose there are many answers that could be given to this question, but for me, the most important aspect of all would read something like this:

No matter what is going on in the world or in my own life, it is up to me to stay true to a place of calm and assurance within myself so that my mind and body have a "refuge" upon which they can depend.

This does not mean that fear will not arise in me. It doesn't mean that I will not become impatient or resentful at times. It means that when such currents do come up I will remember what it is that is most important -- and be true to that.

It's a mundane example, I suppose. But I have to admit that as I begin preparing for the move JoAnn and I will be making to Denver this spring, feelings of anxiety and stress have definitely been coming up. For example, both of us have accumulated a lot of stuff over the years. Since one of the reasons for this move is to downsize, there's the question of what to keep -- and what not to keep.

Then again, there is the tricky little balancing act that will be required to sell our house successfully within a certain time frame while at the same time finding a suitable townhome that we can afford.

There’s also the fact that with all the will in the world, we are not getting any younger. We run out of steam, as JoAnn puts it, a bit sooner than we once did. So in this new cycle we have to watch we don’t make unreasonable demands upon ourselves -- but as the Buddha said, show love and affection for ourselves.

I am thankful for the Buddha’s timeless words. But most of all, I am thankful for the timeless truth within us all that in the midst of a changing, violent world, is forever unchanged, untroubled, and at peace -- a source of love that never fails.

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Colleen January 18, 2010 at 10:18 am

Dear Christopher,
Thank you for your post. I always smile when I read your writing because more often than not I have just wrote about the same subject as you or I’m just about to! Great hearts think alike! Thanks for having such a great heart and sharing with the world so freely.
Oceans of Love,
Colleen

Reply

Christopher Foster January 18, 2010 at 3:29 pm

Hi Colleen. Such a pleasure to hear from you again. Thanks for your kind thoughts. Back at you, as Obama would say. Oceans of love to you too.

Reply

Dan @ Anxiety Support Network January 20, 2010 at 7:35 pm

Hi Christopher,
This was another nice post and you can count on it being included in the next ASN blog carnival! While I am a Christian, Buddha’s words ring very true and Christianity supports the same message –
you are to love yourself and everyone equally. This is great advice for anxiety sufferers, who tend to be very hard on themselves (and this includes me). Self-love, but not the kind that makes us feel more important than others, is indeed a great gift to have!

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Christopher Foster July 16, 2013 at 12:46 pm

Thank you for your comment and your encouragement and I wish you all the very best.

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Christopher Foster August 12, 2014 at 3:22 pm

Hi, I appreciate your comment very much. One of your remarks in particular was very helpful to me and I’ve taken the opportunity to respond and tidy things up a little. Having done so, I took the liberty of deleting your remark as being just between you and me.

I’m afraid I’m not as active on the social media as I should be, but I do have a Twitter account and also Facebook page at Christopher Foster and The Happy Seeker. I just have to give them the time they deserve. I’m happy to connect with you and send you blessings across the miles. Where do you live by the way?

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Thanks for your comment. Good luck and God bless.

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