Loving The One (Sequel to “Finding The One”!)

“When does one know one truly accepts n love [sic] ourselves as we are? Self love? When do we know we come to that stage?”

Shashi, in Mysuru, India

(Shashi posed this question to me after reading “Finding The One”)**

I was so intrigued with digging further into this query, that I decided to create this sequel post that same day using the answer I gave to Shashi, plus a few additional thoughts.

Some interesting timing to mention…

I posted “Finding The One” on Sunday.

I answered Shashi’s query on Monday…and also completed most of “Loving The One” on Monday.

Then this quote appeared in my inbox this morning (Tuesday) as I was wrapping up this blog to send out!

“Falling in love is a small awakening, and the further we follow our Imagination, the more we fall in love with all things.”

Martha Beck

Interesting how everything works, yes?

So away we go…


Hello Shashi,

I am truly grateful for your question, the time you took to acknowledge it within you and the curiosity that encouraged you to ask it. I am hoping that many others may add their insights here to respond to your query, but for now, I will humbly offer my perspective frim my own experience.

The process of learning to truly love who I am has been one of slowly uncovering layers of accumulated beliefs about myself…rather like peeling an onion little by little. It is more recently an ongoing practice for me, as I am coming around to being more consistently aware of, and thus better understanding, my “internal talk” about myself…and how it affects my views and interactions.

Whether I approve or disapprove…

Whether I am content or agitated…

Whether I am grasping or pushing away…

The beginning of self love always involves a simple noticing when self-judgement (“good” or “bad”) occurs, at any time at all. Having a regular practice of meditation has been one important key in helping strengthen this habit of “noticing.”

Observation of my inner reactions to past and present thoughts, actions and feelings…

Reflections on what I COULD then think, do and feel…

This “art of loving myself” is what I am now trying to make more and more consistent. With patience and practice, Who I Am and how to love ALL of me, is slowly being revealed.

So COULD we ever “arrive” at perfect self love?

My feeling (again said here with great humility from a beginner’s mind) is that it seems at first glance to be an ongoing growth of noticing, accepting…noticing, accepting…with NO judgement allowed.

And oh yes, it’s often not easy to leave judgement out of the picture…it hovers constantly!

The key, though, lies in the Present, the “moment by moment” pieces of our lives that we ALL possess: we can all do anything we wish IF we look at the moments one by one…the single steps we must take.

I remind myself perfection is not needed…only just a simple pause to “see myself” in any moment… to discover the beliefs behind my “seeing”…and to decide, from that “mental step away”, how I would like to proceed with any future actions.

Pausing to observe – to take a literal or figurative breath – gives me the time and spacing to observe, away from the action. As a result, I find my decisions begin to have less “harmful” results.

When I choose to love Me in that very Now moment, I suddenly realize I could only ever BE as I am in THAT moment…

How could I be otherwise?

It is exactly where I have landed…

As a result of past circumstances…

And so I AM only exactly where I CAN be.

There is only ever this Me Now, to face and to love.

For this I can choose to be grateful…

As gratitude IS love and acceptance of everything about ANY moment I choose to notice.

There is only ever this Me Now to face and to love.

For this I can choose to forgive (myself, others)…

As forgiveness is the act of freeing myself from past weights, events, pain…

And is therefore an act of love as well.


The only way I could be different NOW is for something to have been altered beforehand.

And it wasn’t.

I cannot be any more or less than I am right Now…so this is the only point in time where I CAN accept and therefore love ME.

This is where I practice.


The Me I see


Is the only Me available

To love

In this single moment.

(Note how this holds true for how we see others as well).

Since the past has passed, Now is all I have…

And its power is infinite, should I choose to Pause and consider even ONE of the possibilities available for my next thought, act or feeling.

That would then create

The Next Me

For me to love.

How would I wish this Me to think, act and feel?


This is how we grow our love for ourselves…

Little by little

Moment by moment.

What if I don’t like what I am seeing?

If I struggle to love the Me I see, I could bravely say instead,

“I am willing to CONSIDER loving You.”

This at least allows a door to remain open for exploration…

I am promising myself:

“I will not shut you out.”

(See here also how we can transfer this concept to others as well?!)

Then, in the next moment, I am already changed.

Because I shifted…

I am no longer exactly the previous Me.

So then I choose again to love (or consider loving) that Present Me as well.


In keeping a repeated moment by moment love of Self going, a continuous chain of awareness is forged….helping me begin to peel back again the how and why of my thoughts, actions or feelings. And this helps me to be able to change and grow in all areas, if I am willing.

With all that said, there is one more thing emerging as I write this:

Yes, practicing self-love does appear at first to be an ongoing process….

So it would seem we never would truly ever “arrive” at fully loving ourselves, right?

In a sense, we would never feel complete…we would never finish…

Always in process

Never done.

How frustrating!

But consider this:

If we do not love ourself NOW, when could we ever do so?

This moment by moment practice of awareness…like a “river” hidden beneath…is helping us to to become adept at continuously loving ourselves.

And therefore this moment by moment flow of single “drops” of love means we ARE “arriving” at self love with every moment!

Since each moment of self-love IS its own “arrival”…

We are actually always complete…

Even as we move along.

Quite the oxymoron:

Arrival = Moving On.

Moving on = Arrival.

Our moment by moment “arriving” enables us to love ourselves continuously….

And completely…

And then to carry this practice outwardly into our world.

Our “river” seems to be a whole never-ending entity…

Until we realize it is simultaneously made of many single drops as well 💧 💦 🌊



When do we come to the stage of truly and completely loving ourselves?

It happens

In every moment

We choose to say to ourselves

“I love you now…”


“…just as you are.”


“I love you now too.”


“And Now as well.”







Many best wishes for your continuing exploration and discovery, Shashi. Your question has helped me so much on my journey as well…and I am grateful for your presence here. Thank you so much for “stopping by” to Pause at this post!

Finding The “One”

“Be weird. Be random. Be who you are. Because you never know who would love the person you hide.”

C. S. Lewis

If we decide, just for today, to turn to a new belief that there is the possibility of finding just ONE person “who would love the person [we] hide”, I imagine we would become…

So curious

So hopeful

So excited

So energized…

That we would run right out to start looking for this “one” that could somehow love everything about us…

who would even love the quirky parts, the damaged parts, the shameful parts…all the parts of us that we seek to shove into the dark corners.

I also am imagining that we might just find ourselves seeking this “one”

Not just today…

But as each new day arrives.

We might find ourselves establishing a habit…

Maybe even an addiction….

Because we so hunger for love

And acceptance

Just as we are in this moment.

But wait just a minute or so.

Before I go running out that door

Looking all around…?

Each time, I will set an intention to Pause, to acknowledge that I MYSELF must be the FIRST ONE to love “the person I hide”.

I promise not to say to myself,

“I love you EVEN THOUGH

You look like this

Act like that

Said this

Thought that.”

No I say,

“I love you as you present yourself now.

Bring all your looks, your acts, your speech, your thoughts.

Just lay them here.

And after we thank them for what we can learn,

We leave them behind…

To start again



And no matter what…I will STILL LOVE YOU.”

For every time I can accept some neglected part of myself…

My world brightens

My power grows

And I can see so much more love out beyond my own heart.

I can see possibilities.

Pausing first “to love the person I hide” is the key…

To finding all that I need.


Look within.

Cherish yourselves first, my friends.

Be deeply grateful for ALL that you are…

Because you ARE that “one”….

The “one” always so near

But yet so close it was hard to see.

Yes, this beautiful “one” must be found within us…


Before any other searching begins,

Hard as that may be at times.

But as we learn to truly see and accept more and more of our “inner one”…?

All else will fall gently into place.

And we will find ourselves transforming into that “one”…who loves all that others hide.

We become the answers…

For each other.

Thriving In Our Solitude

“Almost always the creative dedicated minority has made the world better.”

Martin Luther King

You know those times when you feel so different, and so alone, because you’re not like everyone else?

Because you feel misunderstood?

Put in a box?


Those times we feel our thoughts or feelings are in the minority…especially when we’re still oh so vulnerable and learning how to honor them and show up as ourselves?

In such solitude, our view may have convinced us that it’s okay to rely on a habit of giving up a “piece” of ourselves in order to keep the “peace”?

And then the isolation just increases?


What if

In our very aloneness

Is hidden the power

To make the difference…

Within us?

And then later, “outside” us?

What if


Is the NORM…

And NOT the uncomfortable

Odd place that it might first present to us?

But as we share this stance with so many of our fellow human beings…

We see that the odd minority IS actually the norm because of its very ubiquitousness!

What if

We Pause and shift our view

To see our place instead…



The most freeing

UNLIMITED position

For me to be…

BECAUSE I am in this unique minority all my own?


It’s actually SPECIAL…

Uniquely created for your own special miracle working right where you are.


What happens next?

How would I




Standing right here…

If I believed

I am not really ever alone…


By virtue of where I am positioned

Right now

Just as I am…

That I hold the power

To change the world I am gifted with…?

To give a smile to the cashier who has trouble pulling her own full smile out…

To send a prayer of peace to the gentleman who leans on his car horn when I don’t pull out of my parking space quickly enough for him…

To truly listen with compassion and openness to the friend whose expectations turn out to be different from my own…

To speak up bravely when my own feelings and motives have been pushed away habitually for many years…

These are the exact points in time where our “minority” thoughts and feelings can jump in to sabotage our day, our relationships, our energy…

But their very discomfort, even their pain, is truly a call for gratitude, for these darker shadows awaken us, allowing us to see we have the choice to reject the old pattern…

And choose another.


Every time

If we so desire.

What if I AM brave enough

To select a fresh progressive thought?

One that nurtures the tiny seed of a newfound belief…

One that says “I care about myself…and I can care for another at the same time…Just watch!”

One that says “YES I CAN!” to the action it softly yet firmly asks of me?


How will I respond to

THIS query:

“So NOW what?”

What if I say,

“I choose to trust myself today to THRIVE in my very special uniquely creative ‘minority’…?

I pledge to remain continuously grateful for it throughout my day…

Just as it is?”

What if I believe…

“I am always ready…




When solitude abounds?”

The Message In Our Heartbeat

“For me happiness occurs arbitrarily: a moment of eye contact on a bus, where all at once you fall in love; or a frozen second in a park where it’s enough that there are trees in the world.”

Russell Brand

We are actually much happier than we believe….

But in our frantic busyness…

Our steely beliefs…

Our deep pain…

We have forgotten.

We have forgotten to Pause to look for what delights our Mind, our Body, our Soul.

It’s actually all right there before us.

Waiting for us to notice.

“Look! Here I am…inside the sunset!”

“No wait! That delicious smell…what is that?!”

“How about ME?! This gentle breeze on your skin? The sun? Or the sharp clean air of a freezing wind? Rain on your skin?”

“Oh my but there’s the trees whispering comfort in their swaying branches and leaves!”

“But how delicious is this precious bite of food that crunches…or melts…or sends a burst of tanginess in my mouth?!?!”

Or even…

“Oh that feeling

Of joy

Of grief

Of silliness

Of anxiety

Of tranquility…

My heart is filled.

My heart is hardened.

My heart aches…

My heart can empty

So my heart can hold it all…


Each one gets a turn.

If I notice then let go.


Let go.



A rhythm in my heart.

Reminding me

To follow my heart’s beat.

This is living out happiness.





“Yes I feel you there. I can keep you for just a moment…

The happy

The not so happy…

Then I can allow you to pass by.

So I may feel the next heart visitor, and the next…and the next.”



Pause just three times today.

Can you find delight when at first there seems to be none?

Note which of your senses is now receiving happiness, however small or large.

Believe that happiness IS there.

Practice KNOWING this.

This is Gratitude…

Your beating heart will tell you so.



Share these moments.

By passing a smile to a stranger

Writing in a journal

Sending a note of thankfulness via mail (Yes, handwritten with a stamp!)

Creating a piece of “art” (no need to be Michaelangelo, just YOU!!)

Encouraging a friend via text or call

Reaching out to someone who may be at a distance from you.


Happiness is surrounding us constantly.



Stop. Be still.

Notice what is there.

Immerse your very soul.

Now go forth and share.


Balancing Act

“I no longer wait to be perfect in order to love myself.” 
Louise Hay

[Ask yourself] “Who am I when I am not judging myself?” 
Robert Holden

“Who would you be without that thought?”

Question 4 from The Work by Byron Katie


Three inspirations from three great souls!

Which one feels like it is yours today?

Give this a try:

Pause to note any self-critical thought…. 
And choose to say within, 
“I give you permission to pass by.” 

Sit still… 

See them float away.
And do not grace such thoughts with the least further attention. 

Know instead that each and every one of them is truly gifting us with yet another chance to say in our heart: 

“I no longer wait to be perfect in order to love myself.” 

Take a moment to practice:

Balance one self-judgement with a single self-loving affirmation.

Notice: what happens inside, in your mind, your heart, your soul?

Perhaps saying such strong words of self-love is still too tender a place to go? 
Ease in with these phrases instead: 

“I am WILLING to wait to be perfect…I am WILLING to learn to love myself.

I am WILLING to look for the Joy of Being Me.” 

As the critical voice loses power, the loving voice strengthens…

You will find that very soon you are growing unconditional love for yourself.

Allow curiosity to win over.

Wonder to yourself,

“Just how many times might I do this today?”

Then tonight, answer yourself:

“It happened ______ times!”

Lovingly ask those same questions…


And tomorrow.

And tomorrow!

Even to have it happen only once…

Marks the beginning of a new path.

Walk there.

In our own mind… 
Then tricking down to connect to our own heart….
We find we can return to Wholeness and Healing. 

Dear souls, you are exactly, perfectly Who You Are… 


Right Now. 

For this is 

And you need never be any more or less 


The Eternal Student

“Learn to live without self concern. For this you must know your own true being as indomitable, fearless, ever victorious. Once you know with absolute certainty that nothing can trouble you but your own imagination, you come to disregard your desires and fears, concepts and ideas, and live by truth alone”.

“Just realise you are dreaming a dream you call the world and stop looking for ways out. The dream is not your problem. Your problem is that you like one part of your dream and not another. Love all or none of it, and stop complaining. When you have seen the dream as a dream, you have done all that needs to be done”.

Nisargadatta Maharaj

I am struck by the first word in this quote:


If I allow myself to be consumed with worry, despondency or dread that I cannot possibly accomplish such a total relinquishment of this “dream” I am constantly creating, then I have missed the point contained in the first word that Nisargadatta Maharaj presents to us.


To LEARN is to apply myself to something by moving forward, one small step at a time. The distance does not matter.

Only the act of movement.

Only my willingness to Pause…

Only my willingness to shift and make a change.

My ineptitude?

My lack of experience?

My fears and excuses?

These actually do not factor in at all…

And I will do well to remember this is so.

If I am LEARNING, then I am never required to be instantaneously the Master.

I am a Student.

One who seeks.

One who is beginning…

Over and over again…

And content to be doing so,

Adding layer upon layer to find only more layers.

I am ever the Student…

And I find contentment in the seeking.

I am therefore freed from the pressure to be Perfect…

To be the Best…

To “find a way out”.

The “way out” is to choose not to resist.

I can take any action I wish, of course. But my best choices are those that I can only perceive AFTER I have stepped away a moment from my constant grasping, or pushing away of, what I do or do not like.

If I can LEARN to take note of those moments when I find I am clinging or resisting, those are the flashes of light in my heart that enable me to see more of the whole…

Not just my limited “dreams”. These moments are when my visual field can expand…

Because only there, can my perspective alter.

Learning to see “the dream as a dream” is, for me, like a slow awakening…

A coming to the surface after being long submerged in a very deep sleep.

The act of coming to the surface is the LEARNING process.

And it is okay for me to be where I am…

During that swim towards the top.

I am beginning to understand only lately just how much of a Beginner I am.

My “dreaming” ~ my personal “take” on reality ~ often hinders me:

It keeps me from allowing my curiosity to explore…

“What else might be hidden within this situation?

This person?

This line of thinking: mine or another’s?”



Present tense.


Learning implies movement, not stasis…

A process.

This give me tremendous relief to know I do not have to…

KNOW it all.

DO it all.

HAVE it all.

I am simply here to LEARN…

Above all…

That I am

…”indomitable, fearless, ever victorious”…

As I learn.

And so, in seeking the Truth, I MUST always put LEARNING as my primary focus…

For learning requires




And only with these…

Will I “learn to live”

With Peace.

Within me…

And in our world.


“The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life, and that in turn another until who knows where the trembling stops or in what far place my touch will be felt.”

Frederick Buechner

Welcome to 2019, Everyone!!

Newsflash for our Beautiful New Year:

“You ARE important…

So VERY important.”


Each of us has a “touch”…

Our own “Fingerprints on the world”, if you will.

And like fingerprints, we leave them behind for others to see.

They’re everywhere we’ve ever been.


Your completed thoughts

Your words

Your actions

Are already



And acting

In places unseen and unheard by you.

We ~ our spiritual presence in this world ~ continue to



And act

AFTER we are “done doing so” in this physical moment.

We leave our fingerprints

Everywhere we go.

This is how we can each be




You and I?

We ARE important.





Our “touch”, as Buechner so eloquently puts it, goes out…and continues to do so.

The idea that I am “alive”…present…in this way elsewhere…?

That there are actions to come that are “rippling” from the “touch” of my thoughts and speech when I am no longer there to be involved in them…?


That’s truly a colossal mind shift.

How does this realization change what I…

Will think

Will say

Will do?

Right now?


Take a few moments to Pause…

And Ponder…

Where could we each go with this idea?


“How do I see myself…

Moving in the parts of my world

When I am no longer physically there

To “see” what I am doing?”


What fingerprints

Do you truly


To leave



All over the world





What Is Your “Superpower”?

“When we imagine suffering, we suffer. When we imagine joy, we rejoice. Imagination is the superpower of the human species. Use your powers for good.”

Martha Beck

What are you thinking right now?


How about now?


And now?


To imagine, we must choose to Pause long enough to do so.

What we imagine, we bring into existence.

So even in our darkest times, we can always envision “Light”…just like the small spotlight shining on the flower in the picture above:

Darkness surrounds the flower…yet it glows with the light before it.

Imagination is the “light” before our eyes.


How will you use your “superpower” for good today?


Today’s challenge:

Search your heart for just one single compassionate “superpower move” you could enact.

Envision how you could bring this “move” to life, somewhere, sometime, into your activities today.

See yourself going through this action and completing it, step by step. It’s important to see yourself doing it; just thinking about it – or hoping it – is not enough.

See your vision happening.


Sometime today…

Act upon it.

Say to yourself:

“I am brave. My heart has chosen. I am now empowered.”

Repeat these phrases as needed.

Observe your thoughts, feelings and needs surrounding this action: before, during after the action.

What comes up?

Continue to observe what is happening within your mind, your body, your spirit…before, during, after…

but always carefully refrain from judgement during this adventure.

(Yes! It really is an adventure!)

Notice what roles Fear might be playing.


Do not back off from following through with your action.

A Superhero/Superheroine never backs away…

Because they have already “seen” it happening.

Will yourself – steel yourself – to go through with this action that your heart has chosen.

And then notice what is shifting in your life because you have taken this action.


Repeat this imagination process

With another action…

And another.


And again.

And see your strength improve as you do.

You are getting stronger every moment you use your Powers.

We are all practicing…


So we are never alone.


We are ALL




Find yours.

Acknowledge it.

Love it.

And then share it today.

And each day that follows.


Oh…And by the way…


You have more than one Superpower.

So get ready to



The Hidden Child

“Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of the chance to be extraordinary.”

Uta Hagen

Pause a moment to consider:

What extraordinary parts of myself do I still keep tucked away?

Dare I ask…


Let us take a few moments to select one of these “tucked away” yet extraordinary parts within ourselves to cradle with love and acceptance…

A smile

A kind word

A gesture of assistance…

This time TO YOURSELF.

Breathe deeply

Just stay still a moment longer

While you hold this “newborn child”…

This child



This miracle is




With no reservation.

This is


No longer feared

And hidden away.

Finally, notice what happenis as when we choose to “own” the following affirmation

For this beautiful child we hold:



I give myself permission

To be Me”🦋


See the miracle child that is you

Being gently rocked

Gently rocked…

In the arms of your heart.





“This body is a guesthouse each morning someone new arrives.

Welcome them all for they may be messengers from the invisible.

Each time a thought enters your heart treat it as an honored guest…

Be grateful for all you receive, good and bad alike, for it may be a gift from the treasury of Spirit that will bring fulfillment of your most secret desire.”

Excerpts from Rumi’s Little Book of Life: The Garden of the Soul, The Heart, and the Spirit p.16 (trans: Mafi/Kolin)


Who is that, knocking at our own door right now?

Oh what to do? What to do?!?!

So hard to decide:

Stay or Go?!


What if we choose “No”?

Refusing to answer

Because our heart rides river rapids filled with dread

Buoyed by belligerent resentment

Maybe afloat on the ballast of invincible assurance of our “rightness”, another’s “wrong”.

Or perhaps instead we are submerged by waves of fear, watching as our confidence…

Water in a desert…

Trickles away to nothing?

With “No” I will risk

Never knowing:

…Who took the time

To stop by.

…Who would explain the “Why?” of their presence

At this exact moment.

…What unlikely Visitor would deliver a message carried miles for me alone?

“No” says:

“I elect to live with a Lesser Stream of water

One less turbulent…

Tho it leave me



What was mine in that moment…

Now gone.”

So then I muse,

“Just how long could one truly and fully sustain a life with such choices?”

Time would surely float past

The water closing ever so slowly overhead

Barely perceptible but…







…we chose instead “Yes”…?

No matter how our Visitor may frighten us?

Anger us?

Sadden us?

No matter how ill-timed their arrival may be?


The new possibility gifted to us

At the sound of every knock.

Imagine instead choosing a “Yes” called Curiosity.

Trembling hand on the door knob

Poised in stillness

For a mere single droplet of a moment



Lean away just a degree or two from our

Hammering heart hesitations

Only long enough

To peer out…


Just a fraction



What we thought surely must be there.

Slowly now



Finding in the act of opening

Of looking…

We are gifted instead

With a sharp knife of




Slicing the shadows cleanly away.

We now see

On our doorstep

One small lost piece of our True Self






To hear “Yes! You belong. Your respite is here.”


“Yes” promises

We need never live

In doubt

Or fear




We will Seek

And Find


Our own Miracle Visitor…

With every knock.


Oh say “Yes”,


Vow never again

To close that door.