I criticized myself mercilessly, in an attempt to try harder to do all the "right things" to take me towards happiness. But while I learned a lot, the happiness always remained outside my grasp. I couldn't understand why someone like me, who was basically quite a "good" person - as far as I could see - would have such a hard time learning the first lessons of personal development, to be happy and enjoy life.
And so I started asking questions and looking for solutions. And what I slowly discovered has radically changed things for me and many other people.
Jesus said "Love your neighbor as you love yourself." Honestly, if we followed this advice right now, I believe our neighbor would hear a constant barrage of criticism, complaints and dissatisfaction that would quickly bring him to his knees in despair. How could he ever be good enough to overcome the flood of negativity?
So how about turning it around and loving ourselves as we love others. Let's be clear here. I'm not trying to get one up on Jesus! Of course, he was making a very profound point. But it gradually dawned on me that if we really are all one, and we really are all connected, then disrespecting myself was no better than disrespecting someone else.
The vibration that emanates from me if I am being negative about myself is remarkably similar to the vibration that emanates if I am being negative about someone else. The thoughts and feelings are almost identical. The blame is the same. And therefore the effect must also be remarkably similar too.
I gradually followed this logic to its inevitable conclusion and realized that if I was to be kind and loving to other people, in order to be a conscious, responsible human being, then I must also be kind and loving to myself...