Most people think they love themselves.
The truth is, it’s all relative to the awareness you have about how much you don’t, because chances are, there’s at least one thing you’re not being so nice to yourself about. The point isn’t to be sad about it or beat yourself about it…the point is to love yourself about it! Often, the question so many have about this is, ‘how?’.
There’s one self-love ritual I’ve recently come to learn about that I’m so excited to try tonight, and I really hope you’ll join me. It’s called the puja ritual.
Don Miguel Ruiz in his Mastery of Love suggests a self-love ritual that honours our bodies for what they do for us, not for how they appear as beautiful or ugly according to our limited perspectives. He explains the origins of the puja and how we can use it as a way of appreciating our divinity.
“You can begin by doing a puja for your body every day. In India, people perform pujas, or rituals, for the different Gods and Goddesses. In the puja, they bow to the idol, they put flowers near the idol, and they feed the idol with all their love, because these statues represent God. Every day, you can offer a devotional love to your own body. When you take a shower, when you take a bath, treat your body with all your love, treat your body with honour, with gratitude, with respect. When you eat, take a bite, close your eyes, and enjoy the food. That food is an offering to your own body, to the temple where God lives. Do this every day, and you will feel your love for your body growing stronger each day, and you will never again reject yourself.”
If you’re familiar with my past, you know I’ve had my fair struggle with body issues (you can read all about it here), so this self-love ritual sounds like a beautiful way to show my appreciation for all that my body does for me.
Tonight, before I lay my head to sleep I will appreciate each part of my body by gently caressing it and thanking it for how it supported me through the day. For example, thanking my feet for keeping me grounded, and my fingers for helping me type these words to you. Even if I don’t always get specific, I can at least give my body some much-deserved praise.
See, as you and I can get to a place where loving ourselves is what comes most naturally then we will know more clearly what real serenity, acceptance and unconditional joy look like. Until then, we have rituals like these to rewire our thinking and shift our words – so that love becomes our native tongue.
Peace, love and self-love rituals,