It's about self-love and healing. First wish to clarify, although the topic came up while talking to some youngins ha, it has nothing to do with them and no offense intended ... at all. Everyone has a right to their personal understandings, which may be tied in with their personal life experiences. Them theirs, and me - mine. And factually speaking, I noticed this becoming the "in thing" ha, long ago. So here is my two cents. :)
It has become popular to put a lot of psychology into physical healing literatures, especially New Age healing books. Many years back I wished this would happen, my own younger years having been in the dearth of impersonal coldness and close mindedness when it came to physicians, or most anyone in the medical field. Thus I understand the initial attraction, especially if those reading them have not heard it before.
However, I feel it has gone too far when there's reverse psychology in the form of blame, when a book on physical healing tells the reader they became ill because they did not love themselves. While it often starts out positive, or what appears positive: "Love yourself and you will heal." It easily gets turned into: "Because you did not love yourself in the past - that is why you are sick now."
A point they seldom bring to the forefront, but I wish to clarify it: This is not really about a lack of self-love, this is about BLOCKING or REJECTING self-love even when it is available. With that said...
Sure, not loving oneself has it's role in illness, but a simple role is not what I'm referencing. In their effort to help others overcome a psychological block toward healing - too often they created blocks that were not there for everyone: Fear and especially blame. The blame that they did this (sickness) to themselves - when in very many cases it did not apply. Yet many began to wonder, to question and doubt themselves.
A long time back when googling something else, I bumped into many posts complaining about this same issue. Phew. At a time when it's vox populi, guess it helped me not feel so alone in it. Not saying this problem can't exist....am saying it's not usually the predominant, or even powerful reason. To lump everyone together without taking personal medical history, is not a good idea.
Oh, I have indeed run into a few who claimed: "But it DID work for me." ....Here's the thing. "They" needed that type of therapy but feel bad if everyone else didn't need it too. However, everyone does not require that in order to mend their physical body. IMHO many types of therapy can be helpful, simply not to "insist" on merging the two categories for everyone, or even for most. If they do insist, and since it is they who are so into psychology, maybe they need look into Codependency, or OCD.
For the younger adults that's different, and they are simply maturing, noticing the world around them is no longer what it was and is now getting too demanding. Anyway, if someone truly feels confident they needed it and it worked for them, than it should not irritate nor hurt their feelings that others did not have the exact same medical need. After all, they're better now, right? [Rhetorical.]
l've no problem with those who need therapy, or counseling, or etc. Even recommend it sometimes. I've a problem with authors in the physical field - various authorities who others are inclined to trust and believe - dabbling in speculations of psychological causes coupled with clever, powerful wording to convince. I've seldom seen any as qualified as Dr. Phil advocate lack of self-love as a predominate cause of physical illness.
Forgive me but I must briefly add: I also feel this acceptance by devotee that they or others lack enough self-love, plus seeking more info in that field, has a connection to the vast changes in the Movement, thus seeking to fill in the gaps that previously were not gaps. Won't get into it, but can't emphasize this strongly enough.
Next and IMHO, if forced to pick...I'd be inclined to believe a cause of inability toward self-love would be more from external bullying...including on the net...than internal bullying. Some of the nasty things I've seen said online, can make one feel bad about oneself. Unless one is a ray of Vishnu :) it's generally difficult to feel good when others are slandering you. Choose association wisely, in the world, and online.
I also began to suspect poor relationship skills may have something to do with not treating oneself nicely either. [Tho a few simple, qualified, self-help books can resolve that.] Plus chronic illness can cause one to feel down a lot, next feeling that is the norm. That can be taken care of thru the right type of therapy. .....And surrounding oneself with truly positive people.
As for personal history playing it's role, I came from an era of peace and love. My parents loved me too, tho that's complicated, ha. I went from those, to the ashrama where I heard so much about the beauty and love of Krishna. My daily life was absorbed in japa, morning program, sankirtana, and more - sandwiched by the evening program, hot milk before bed, and Krishna Book. :) Spiritually quite busy, and happily. Thus self-love was not a major issue for the devotee.
Some may think: "Well, you had it good, that's why you don't have a problem with lack of self-love." Sorry to disappoint, but that's not true. More importantly, what I had was strong confidence, and was not going to let anyone take that away. [Which is kind of what I feel they are doing, insisting nearly everyone who became sick did it to themselves.] I also had strong belief Krishna would get me through everything.
So it is not about "having it good" that keeps one from rejecting self-love. That issue arises from other causes.
Anyhow, maybe my flower-power days ha and the various positivity that followed, are why I just "don't get" this idea regarding lack of self- love. Yet, I'm not so sure if its all about personal history, because I feel self-love comes naturally, plus believe anyone who finds a way to absorb themselves in Krishna, will not have such problems.
It is also important that the healing books devotees read are in sync with Prabhupada's teachings, or take the time to weed thru other books. I was surprised how many initiated or serious devotees nevertheless, read these other books without doing that!
Ayurvedically Prabhupada refers to three causes of illness:
Adiboudika, adidaivaka, and adiatmika.
Sure, within there is the inclusion of lack of self love and physical health, but it is the lesser of all the rest.
And Vedically he refers to specifics. A senior godsister reminded that Prabhupada said illness was caused by: our lack of cleanliness, over-eating, and anxiety. ... IMHO it's best to put more attention on tweaking these within our lives to achieve good healing results.
Elsewhere I regularly post motivational or inspirational quotes, so I'm all for encouraging positive feelings within.
Imho, previously we had friends we vented (and laughed with) over the back fence a couple generations back, and men had the barbershop etc. In our so-called modern times, a significant degree of that has been made impractical in our lives, so we can get that from therapists when needed.
Some point toward stress, saying that by "allowing" this, it is the same as a lack of self-love. However, it's not that simple. Stress can come from over-endeavor (may mean you initially felt good about yourself to want to do so much ...tho with time or age could need adjusting, but not automatically from problematic thinking).... Or stress can result from ones job, or having a bunch of albeit wonderful children to raise tho a lot of work, or from how others treat you that you've no control over (like your landlord, boss, authority), and much more in this kali-yuga.
Will conscious relaxation, de-stressing, and self-pampering when ill assist one to get better? Of course they will, but the idea that we cause our own illnesses due to lack of self love as a major role is not always a fact. Unless of course you have some form of AdHd / hyperactivity, or are a type A personality, etc - thus the tendency to push yourself into an ulcer or heart attack. Yet even that has to do with taking individual medical history and omitting a presumption nearly all have that problem.
And maybe it has something to do with living a lifestyle too connected to the rat-race. Even some who may have satvic jobs may be stuck in such a situation. I know I once had a lovely job, in the mode of goodness, yet it turned out to be stressful. Eventually I found a way out. One may need to reevaluate their way of life, toward one of simple living, high thinking. Throw things away that you really don't need, delegate chores, change your schedule to one that offers more peace and time for yourself, add whatever else will help you achieve that.
Moving on, can healing occur during relaxation etc? Sure, but it's like a magic game. There is more than what meets the eye. :-) NOTICE:
A person is simultaneously receiving other medicine - even if it's in the form of Reiki / Energy Healing where prana's is being poured into you.
Mellow and/ or binaural music realigns the brain.
This applies to "ISOCHRNOIC" beats too, which do not even require headphones for the benefical effects AND :) I strongly suspect the mrganga automatically puts out isochronotic beats.
Made a decision to add more info on drums. ....."Recent scientific research on the healing effects of drum circles points to amazing possibilities. Specifically it has been proven that participating in drum circles increases the number of beneficial macrophage cells or “killer cells” in the body. These cells are those responsible for seeking out and destroying specific disease organisms." Details here. Get a mrdanga and if you don't know how to play, learn. OR if you don't have time or patience for learning, just use any type drum and chant along. Or simply pull up a piece of the furniture :-) in 'your' house and start strumming along to a kirtana you sing.
While drumming is good, hearing the drum also works. Both are beneficial. ....Simply notice, Krishna Consciousness automatically resolves so many problems, material and spiritual - knowingly and often unknowingly.
Massage removes toxins, promotes natural relaxation.
Chlorophyll and prana from time spent in nature,both from trees as well as soil - even the sun - heals. If it's winter or you live somewhere that has little sun, buy a Light-box or full spectrum light-bulbs and take note if it changes you. THAT could have been the problem. And get out into nature.
There's so much more we often forget that is medical. Smudging or burning of high quality incense, essential oils, getting away from abuse, the list goes on.
An inability or difficulty to accept self-love is sometimes related to depression. I'm only speaking of nonclinical, and that's when speaking about it at all. .... So depression is now discovered to have more to do with inflammation than what doctors believed previously.
Therefore, go take a hike. LOL Eat some wild blueberries while out there. [Bring them with you. The wild ones are especially anti-inflammatory!] Maybe grow a garden somewhere too.
I'm not assuming everyone who thinks they, or most others, became ill due to lack of self-love, are depressed. Some are, some are not. There are many reasons that can attract one to accept this idea on such an absolute level.
Some who are desperate for a solution to mend this annoying health issue are vulnerable, therefore more easy to accept they must not love themselves, out of desperation to find a solution they've not yet tried. When its not the reason it can bring them down when they were not down. Especially after trying many self-love exercises and at first feeling good but over time realized, it didn't have all that much of an effect and they still suffer from their illness. So it can cause them to waste time in self-love exercises when they could be spending time taking exotoxins out of their life, for example, or the burning of plastics, and other issues that needed the attention first and foremost.
Another reason some accept this belief that lack of self-loved causes illness.... because for some, it's believed in like a religion. Thus, this post. To point out the many other, often hidden, or at least unrecognized, causes and unrecognized solutions.
For example, insomnia is a current problem that's growing. Have we ever considered it does not have its roots in emotions but due to living surrounded by cement and electric lines?
Nevertheless, is it still possible you do not heal physically due to a lack of self-love? Sure, anything's possible. Simply, don't live in that space - do the needful - then move on, let it go.
Interestingly, when there was successful healing thru deep relaxation alone, it usually had to be "taught." Most likely a form of meditation. Not always, so I wish to add here, something called "Progressive Relaxation." In the West it was discovered by Doctor Herbert Benson. It's now found on many medical sites. However, something extremely similar with the same name, as well as other names like "conscious relaxation," etc, has been practiced by a certain Kriya Yoga group for a very long time. So whether or not it's meditation - you decide. My purpose here is to show how significant relaxation or meditation is what's doing a lot of healing, whether we knew it, or did not know it:
Meditation increases prana, can even increase endorphin's which heal powerfully. Some take LDN /low-dose-naltrexon tho the same benefits are there by elevating endorphin's thru satvic fun, and meditative fun! :-) [I'm not against any medication, especially in kali-yuga; just adding a often unrecognized point.]
What to speak of the God-Connection meditation offers. :)
Some devotee need to remove old tapes of authorities or others in their head. I had to, many had to. BUT it has an ending. I feel great! ha Long ago. And ready to embrace bliss. If you still need to do that work, get er done :) cuz it is a waste of time if guilt or shame or manipulation or etc still has a hold over you. They no longer need to say it to you, you say it to yourself. So kick that out, replace with right thinking / positive quotes from Prabhupada. Again, these things do not take rocket science to fix, just a willingness to get involved and take the action required.
Once letting go of our own hangups we can experience the joy of mantra meditation even more. Sound vibration is powerful. The Maha Mantra is the most powerful. Need proof? This is interesting! Opraha Magazine:
"In a small study, one group repeated the 16-word Hare Krishna mantra, while another repeated a fake mantra with the same rhythm. The group with the spiritual mantra experienced a greater decrease in stress and depression."
So stop telling yourself that you do not love yourself, your subconscious hears that. And so does the consciousness. Start positive self talk, including singing or chanting the maha mantra to yourself. :)
And I agree with these authors or alternative healers regarding the aspect that we should control stressful situations that arise in our life. Sense control is an important aspect of Bhakti. And the devotee is all ready doing that. Yet we sometimes still get sick.
We employ self-control, but are not the Supreme Controller. Hmmm Actually we need to recognize that some satvic alternative healers often don't understand this point. So they may put pressure on you: "Why are you allowing this or that problem/stress -- such allowance means you don't love yourself." When in fact, there is only so much we can control.
And we should, I'm certainly not saying to go the other extreme. Simply there are many contributing factors that come into play. Look to (Vedic) astrology if you want to see a map of your karma and how controlled we are. Look to Krishna if you want to escape that.
Additionally, many who healed at seminars or even elsewhere for less time, still got away from the demanding, stressful material world.
That coupled with karma....we'll it is Krishna who will stand in the way of our karma. We may then only get a little slap on the hand when our karma dictated to have our arm cut off.
Krishna Consciousness has less to do with worrying about if we love our-self "enough," nor is it about denying or minimizing it either. Quite the opposite. How can one look at a beautiful picture of Krishna without having at least a small flutter of love enter their heart? (Rhetorical.)
Of course daily life may draw in its set of negativity. Tho that is not automatically a lack of self-love, just the real world around us. We need to learn the best ways to deal with it, if or when necessary. However, that can become too complex to resolve here. Short answer? Find what works for you as an individual.
And recognize as fact - that the more time spent in active, blissful service - the more issues about lack of self-love, resolve. Often if we are not having enough love inside ourselves it has more to do with a lack of spiritual involvement and less to do with self-loathing.
Today I read from a devotee, how hey had stomach pains but after he went into his kitchen to prepare food to offer to Krishna, his pains disappeared! For good. Last week I read of a devotee who liked to go to the temple but became so ill with much pain & serious health condition, he had to stop. [He'd all ready had 3 spinal surgeries.] After he had a [vivid, powerful] spiritual dream - it left him! He hardly needs his cane to walk either. This list can go on. Of course we should still seek medical help, simply there are these unique examples to show us that absorption in Krishna can also heal. Our goal is not to focus on the body of course, but not to neglect it either. Anyway, some may even try to psychoanalyze these, so all I can do is give the examples that God can and does intervene at times. Its up to others how they choose to view them.
As a parent I know I'd never leave my kid lacking self love. Similarly I feel the more one connects with our Divine Father / Divine Mother, They will not let that go on with you. Thru such connecting (yoga means to unite), They will give everyone self and divine love....both.
I have seen unhappy people become happy the minute they engaged themselves in Krishna C. It works when we do.
It's blissful work.
There are also stories I've heard, such as Lord Jagannatha to have turned toward the door, why his food was late? There was no other door or access for someone to have turned him. Or of Krishna kicking off his covers at night. This is a nectarian and very real process.
And singing. How many offer to deliver people thru mere singing?! Embrace your kirtanas! Can do it at home too. Don't need a crowd. Get "into" it even if alone. Often. [Of course can invite folks if you like, just saying, do it anytime, with or without others. Let the happiness enter; feel it.]
In case it has become forgotten, or lost in the post, I am not talking of clinical depression, am not talking of anything that requires medication - separate topic. Moving on....
Once I received an email depicting what various religions believed in...a pic of Christ for Christians, Buddha for Buddhists, etc. Interestingly they included New Age. And for that, their belief was love. Which is nice, but ours is the "source' of love. When putting a light-bulb into its socket, the light-bulb will start to glow. Neither the bulb nor the socket are the real source tho, that would be the electric company and all their machinery. Similarly, love alone may bring some small help, but when we go to the source that emanates all love that exists, we too will feel love, and become bright via that connection.
I also feel much of what's being labeled as a lack of self love is really about the ability to grow, to change. To recognize while we previously could do yada yada, it's no longer a good fit. We may need accept that, then create modification. To slow down and smell the roses. To delegate. To reschedule. To put ourselves in that schedule. It's just a part of life as our body or situation etc changes, we simply need to make the mental adjustment. Let's learn from such life lessons. That's why they are there. Start dancing and chanting more. :) Read stories from Krishna Book more, and / or to your children or grandchildren. Maybe try to add a bit of a creative narrator voice when reading to kids to make the stories fun in language they relate to. Krishna consciousness IS fun. :)
Life is filled with movement and change. That's normal. How you deal with it, that part is up to you - what you choose to believe about this topic, and how you apply it.
While New Age books on healing the body have many unique tips, do not read them in the absolute mood we read Prabhupada's books.
Especially, we as Vaisnava's should remember that in its own way it is a religion. Doubt it? Just try to tell some it has mistakes. Watch them defend to the end! [Been trying to avoid saying the following since many of them are so nice, but maybe some ego is also involved. We all have ego.] So for the devotee, please find time to separate gold - from place. Take the best....leave the rest. :-)
Dear prabhu's, Prabhupada does NOT tell us lack of self-love is a major cause of illness, or that we need to love ourselves more. That is automatically taken care of in true Krishna consciousness. Let's not add more jobs onto our plate ha. We already have solutions.
Make sure healing literature is in sync with Prabhupada, since in addition to being a pure devotee, he was a pharmacist. :) Even made some of his own, natural products. Some can still be found online thru various devotees.
Actually by differentiating between psychological blocks and physical issues, it will make it easier to bring to the forefront whether one needs therapy, or does not...rather than merge the two via unqualified tho well intended authors into a "one size fits all" psychology.
Some may point out that mind and body are connected. No argument there. However, we can not speculate exactly where the mind goes - assuming it will go toward lack of self-love. The mind can go in countless directions ha. Let's not program it to get stuck in feeling sorry for ourselves that we lack self-love, or that it significantly contributes to our illness. If we break our arm, our mind also goes into various places, but wouldn't we rather the doctor set it , instead of getting us onto the mental platform.
As for the mind/body/ SPIRIT connection...that's where Krishna CONSCIOUSNESS comes in, to become more and more conscious of Krishna. And more involved in serving Him too. If we say we are not able to feel much self-love, or we feel bad within, yet don't want to increase time in Krishna activities - well we should at least stop complaining. We now know a significant reason why. :)
Additionally, with so many pollutants in the air, the hole in our ozone layer, greenhouse effects, even a neighbor's burning of garbage where they have no problem including plastics (imbalances the endocrine system , etc,), hot drinks out of toxic styrofoam cups, use of paint or nail polish remover [again, disrupts the endocrine system], and a lot more.... let's not be too quick to blame ourselves for lack of love as the cause of an illness when the govt and others are creating many known and unknown pollutants all around us.
It may surprise the reader that I an not against self-love. By all means, love yourself .... but it should be easy to achieve. Is it really that difficult? I am feeling the need to reiterate, it is natural to do so. And that there is no harm reading quotes that remind you to do so on a bad day, or on any type of day.
But let's not confuse a bad day, with a lack of self-love. We all have bad days. Also, we receive bad feelings if we it did something wrong. Which is not to assume that is the focal point mentioned here. No. Simply when we mess up, as is one of the "4 human propensities," it is actually a good thing to feel bad. That is what helps us apologize, and move forward. However, if one feels bad for unfounded reasons, that is a separate topic.
After considering all the above, if you continue having trouble loving yourself, please see a professional, because God did not create us to be empty vessels or loveless beings. Your self-love is in there somewhere and it is natural, because He wants you to function as a full and complete loving being.
It may simply need some attention. Either by waking up the self / jiv jago - from a stuck place in a mistaken belief system that really did not apply to you after all - or else from a therapist, or a "good, qualified" self-help book.
If such a book starts talking of dis-ease and lack of love, it's usually unqualified. Now, don't get me started on the dis-ease topic. lol Everyone in the material world is feeling dis-ease cuz we are not suppose to be here in the first place. In a sense, it's not surprising so many who do not know Krishna [or tho heard of Him, do not know how to apply the science of such an awakening], ... that they are complaining of a lack of ease. Their real nature is starting to seep thru, that this world is awkward, troublesome, etc. I admit to finding it rather irksome to hear the word dis-ease when it comes from devotees. We all ready know that, or should, and all ready know the cure. But if you insist on going that route, the solution is spiritual. Because a lack of ease has its roots in feeling uncomfortable in the material world.
If someone wants to go into the field as a healer of Emotional Trauma, or even Basic emotional problems - that's fine. Get a certificate, do it properly. My issue is with those who advertise their book for physical ailments than dedicate a part of it, with convincing wording, focusing on emotional problems. Not everyone has them, and even if they do, they are not all the same issues. Sorry if that offend anyone, that's not my intent.
Anyhow, be it the issue of dis-ease or lack of self-love.....if you need to feel good about yourself, take action! :) Go do something fun within the 4 regs. We all need reminders to take out time for ourselves, especially women who serve so many. Not trying to minimize men issues tho, as they must be included. Anyhow, when caring for others for so long, time and years pass, then we look up and realize we need to take care of ourselves too. That is not from lack of self-love, that started from plenty of self-love, and from doing our duty. But next, move the mind out of that space and do something you like, from taking a walk, to arts, to a picnic, to music, and much more.
One of my concerns is that when devotees hear something we feel is good, cool, etc, we take it on as a personal belief system, then add it in to our own [Krishna C]. Thus Prabhupada's teachings shift little by little, until they are not the same original teachings he gave us anymore. No need to change them to heal. Remember, Paramatma is in your heart. We have it all. :) Just need to figure best ways to utilize.
To be honest, I can't imagine the 6 Goswami's preaching lack of self-love as a major cause of illness. And so it is important to understand exactly what is this Krishna Consciousness. It is the rare opportunity to transcend, to genuinely make a connection or unite with God/Krishna, to experience bliss thru chanting, dancing, feasting. And so much more!
As touched on above, the Movement changed and imho folks are trying to fill in the gaps that did not exist in the past. My suggestion is to read letters Prabhupada personally wrote to his disciples, read conversations he personally had, spend time not just going along with the crowd but learning how he wanted the Movement run. I'm not going to tell you what to believe, that's up to you. [Of course, I'm not going to avoid expressing what I believe. But also not attached. You can take or reject.]
Additionally we need to remember that Krishna consciousness is NOT a religion - it's a yoga. The option is there to practice it as religion, or similar, but the results will be lesser. Still, when Krishna is involved in anything, there is benefit, but to whatever degree we do it right, will determine how much negative energy can find its openings to stir issues, like a lack of self love.
Whereas when one practices it as a yoga, that gives vast possibility, including of transcendence, and less effects from the three modes of material nature. While I certainly have not achieved that goal ha, we get to pick which way we want to practice it, and progress from there.
Considering one goal of devotees with health issues is to recover in order to get back in the fire of Krishna consciousness, it seems to me like a waste of time to mentally speculate that lack of love as a significant cause of our illnesses, when in fact we are serving the source of all forms of love. Thus such problems may apply less to the devotee who dives into sublime spiritual life. Tho I have been unable to get this message across to younger or new devotees. Maybe it's something more easily recognized thru experience.
In which case, I invite everyone, old or new, to give this Krishna consciousness a try. The real thing is nonsectarian and open to all. No need to join anything. Just surround yourself with Krishna and take note of how happy and loving you feel. Yes, God is blue and plays a flute. So sweet.
Related Post: "Love Of God - Experience It Now"