According to Buddhist Monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, also known as the ‘world’s calmest man’, love is an extremely powerful energy that has the capacity to transform the self and the other. And all love starts with self love, cause it’s only by loving oneself, does one become capable of loving the other.
So what does self love mean? How does one start to love oneself? And how is loving yourself different from being selfish or self centered?
The collection of deeply insightful quotes contained in this article will clarify all these questions and help you understand the concept of self love better so you can apply it in your own life.
Thich Nhat Hanh (or Thay as he is popularly referred to), believes that understanding is the beginning of all wisdom. Understanding leads to self love. In-fact, according to Thay, understanding of the self is equivalent to loving of the self. There is no separation between the two.
Thay also believes that self love is not something restricted on a mind level. It involves deeply connecting with your body, nourishing your body with joy and helping your body release tension and suffering.
Quotes on self love by Thich Nhat Hanh
The following quotes on self love by Thich Nhat Hanh will help you understand self love from a deeper perspective and through this understanding you will be able to apply it in your own life. These self love quotes have been divided into different categories for easy understanding.
Some of these quotes have been taken from Thay’s books whereas others from his various talks given at his Plum village mindfulness practice center.
1. Understanding is the beginning of self love
Understanding is love. If you can’t understand, you cannot love. When you understand yourself, your suffering, you love yourself.
When we learn to calm our minds in order to look deeply at the true nature of things, we can arrive at full understanding, which dissolves every sorrow and anxiety and gives rise to acceptance and love.
When I understand my suffering, I love myself, and I know how not to keep nourishing the suffering, how to transform the suffering. I get lighter, I become more compassionate, and with that kind of freedom and compassion, I feel liberated.
The more you understand , the more you love ; the more you love , the more you understand. They are two sides of one reality . The mind of love and the mind of understanding are the same.
2. Self love involves connecting with your body
First act of love is to breathe in and go home to your body. To be aware of your body is the beginning of self love. When mind goes home to the body, the mind and body are established in the here and the now.
Focus your attention on a part of your body, such as your heart. As you breathe in, you become aware of your heart, and as you breathe out, you smile towards it. You send it your love, your tenderness.
3. Self love is about realizing the wonder that your body is
You have to rediscover that your body is a wonder, it’s a masterpiece of the cosmos. Your body is the seat of consciousness. Consciousness of the cosmos.
Your body contains all the information of the history of the cosmos. In every cell of your body, you can recognize the presence of your ancestors. Not only human ancestors, but animal, vegetation, mineral ancestors. And if you can get in touch with your body, you can get in touch with the whole cosmos – with all your ancestors and all the future generations that are already inside of your body.
Mother earth is in you and father sun is also in you. You are made of sunshine, air, water, trees and mineral. And to be aware of that wonder and value that wonder can already bring you a lot of happiness.
The body contains all information concerning the cosmos. And that kind of awareness can be healing, can be nourishing.
4. Self love is about releasing tension and nourishing your body with joy
Breathing in, be aware of you body; breathing out, release all the tension in your body. That is an act of love directed to your body.
To love yourself is to recognize your body and to release tension in your body. To allow yourself to be nourished by feelings of joy, feelings of happiness.
One, two or three minutes of mindful breathing, embracing your pain and sorrow can help you, to suffer less. That is an act of self love.
5. Self love is about understanding and releasing your suffering
If you have enough awareness, if you are curious enough, to look at your own suffering, you have already enough strength to love yourself. And to love yourself is to love the world. There is no difference.
When you recognize the suffering in yourself, you can calm it down, and you can go further.
By recognizing and embracing your suffering, listening to it, looking deeply into its nature, you may discover the roots of that suffering. You begin to understand your suffering and you find out that you suffering carries in itself, the suffering of your father, your mother, your ancestors. And understanding suffering always brings compassion that has the power to heal and you suffer less. That is an act of self love.
Also Read: 9 Simple Ways to Boost Self-Love
6. Self love is about connecting with your inner child
The inner child in us is still alive, and this child in us may still have wounds within.
Breathing in see yourself as a 5 year old child. Breathing out, smile to the 5 year old child in you with compassion.
Everyday find a few minutes to sit down and talk to the five year old child in you. That can be very healing, very comforting. Talk to your inner child and you will feel the child responding to you and feeling better. And if he/she feels better, you feel better also.
7. Self love is transformative
Love is a tremendous kind of energy that can transform the self and others.
Happiness and true power lie in understanding yourself, accepting yourself, having confidence in yourself.
8. Through self love your offer gratitude to the cosmos
The whole cosmos has come together to produce us, we carry the whole world inside us. That is why, to accept yourself and love yourself is an expression of gratitude.
9. Self love is to realize that you don’t need anyone’s approval
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
10. Mindfulness deepens self love
When we are mindful, deeply in touch with the present moment, our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace and love.
11. Self love is healing
When you touch deep understanding and love, you are healed.
12. Self love enables you to love the other
What is love? Love is treating your heart with a great deal of tenderness, with understanding, love, and compassion. If you cannot treat your own heart this way, how can you treat your partner with understanding and love?
Self-love is the foundation for your capacity to love the other person. If you don’t take good care of yourself, if you are not happy, if you are not peaceful, you cannot make the other person happy. You cannot help the other person; you cannot love. Your capacity for loving another person depends entirely on your capacity for loving yourself, for taking care of yourself.
The object of your practice should first of all be yourself. Your love for the other, your ability to love another person, depends on your ability to love yourself.
Be a friend to yourself. If you are a true friend to yourself, you can be a true friend to a loved one. A romantic crush is short-lived, but friendship and loving kindness can last very long and continue to grow.