Nearly every yoga class you will ever take closes with the Hindu greeting “Namaste.” This is most often translated as “I see and honor the divine in you.” This recognition of the divine is extended not only to the person you are acknowledging, but to oneself. It is an inward greeting as much as an outward one, as all beings in creation are Divine.
When I truly contemplate the notion of being part of Divinity, recognizing it within myself—I feel a little pompous, arrogant, and presumptuous. Me, divine? What? I find it easier to see the Divine spark in another than in myself, but I also know that our first duty is to love and honor ourselves. I think much of my hesitation stems from a Judeo-Christian conception of God, which is in the process of change for me.
In order to see the Divine within myself, I had to let go of the idea that God is an omnipotent “being in the sky” and instead embrace a God, which theologian Paul Tillich refers to as “The Ground of our Being.” Although Tillich is a Christian Theologian, this way of understanding God need not be confined to Christian thought, as it is applicable to all people pursuing a more expansive way of viewing themselves and others as spiritual beings. Tillich mean that God is the basis for the existence of all things, and that God is the ground upon which all being is based and from which it proceeds. Namaste, right?
Since I acknowledge that I am a being, and the ground of my being is from God—I can start to recognize that I am not separate from God (or The Divine, if capital “G” God is a difficult word for you. I get that too.)
This may seem like “heady” spiritual speculation, but stick with me here! If we want to recognize our spiritual nature, must honor God both in others and ourselves. And I think the best place to start is with the words we say to and about ourselves, both inwardly and outwardly. Or to put it another way, we must eliminate negative self-talk if we want to find God.
Would we not consider it unkind, unloving, perhaps unforgivable, to talk to others the way we sometimes talk to ourselves? I often catch myself blaming, accusing, or criticizing myself, not just for tiny mistakes I’ve made, but for even being less than perfect! (Anyone ever been there?) Or for not being able to solve problems over which I have no control. I call myself weak, lazy, incompetent, plain not good enough.
My challenge—to all of you who can relate—and to myself of course, is to consider the elimination of negative self-talk as an act of surrender to God/ The Divine. We are the authors of our own stories, and we can choose to speak stories of truth, gratitude, self-love and honor, or we can tell stories that deny the very existence of the Divine in us.
I believe we are all spiritual beings, but to be a spiritual person, we must become our True Self. And our true self, the Ground of our Being is Divine. Our first task in becoming who we truly are is to love God, and in so doing, love ourselves.
Wild, right? I hope this didn’t set you off on a tailspin–I hope these words can serve to remind you that in loving and honoring yourself, you are loving and honoring Gd.
Each time we replace a negative thought with a positive one, we are speaking a prayer of peace into the universe. This is an act of spiritual progress and a manifestation of love.
What will your prayer be? Please share and help another choose Self Love as their constant prayer. Namaste.