phase 1, day 16

I'm feeling very positive about life.

I realise that it's not about "tallying up" positives vs. negatives about myself in order to feel good. Rather, nothing I have done or will ever do should impinge upon "taking it easy" on myself, being my own friend, being compassionate, understanding, forgiving, and encouraging. The Buddhist doctrine of emptiness has helped me to understand my Selflessness (on a rudimentary level), and I can suddenly see how I cling to everything I do as though it were 100% my own, isolated doing, rather than dependent on the fabric of reality itself, the vast majority of which has never been and will never be under my control.

I took a walk today and smiled at passers-by, understanding deeply that the short hop from self-loathing to self-love feels like a chasm for those who have never traversed it, but once you're on the other side, you can much more easily see the error in one's thinking.

Self-love is not about pride, or about being an inherently good person. It's about being uninherent to begin with. It's about being constantly in flux, about being on a journey where all things are opportunities to learn and grow. The tone we take with ourselves on this journey leads us to good, healthy actions and beliefs, or negative, destructive thought loops and interactions with others.

Nothing should ever make me question my friendship with myself. Anything I do wrong, or any judgment I imagine others have of me (which many times is paranoia to begin with) should never actually make me hate myself and want to escape myself. This is real ignorance about the nature of myself and others. The one thing in this life that should be truly permanent is the loving affection I have for myself, and my status as my own friend.

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