I have been teaching alot lately on the "greatest commandment " found in several of the gospels. It basically states that you can do nothing more important than loving God and loving your neighbor as you love yourself. I see so many, myself included at times, striving to love God and act lovingly towards our neighbors and entirely skipping over the important "love yourself" component. Loving yourself must include accepting that deep in our spirits peace and wisdom already reside.
In a conversation about the greatest commandment, Jesus saw that one man really understood loving yourself and Jesus replied to him "You are not far from the kingdom of God". So why was this self loving man closer to Gods kingdom than the man standing right next to him? The man standing next to him was still looking for answers externally. To paraphrase Blaise Pascal , "every human has a God shaped hole inside of them". Every human, not just your minister, rabbi, yoga teacher, therapist or favorite country singer, but every human and that includes you. So this "god shaped hole" the seat of the what yogis call Inner Teacher and Christians call Holy Spirit is where we need to go to grow in faith and wisdom. This "God shaped hole" is partially the kingdom of God and opening up to this wisdom is opening to loving ourselves. It is sadly ironic how far and wide we search for our better selves when everything we need is right here right now. It is as if we traveled the globe searching for our shadow which silently trailed the whole time.
So, why to we wander around so clueless so often? Because we do not allow time and space and silence for our inner wisdom to bloom. But rather we generally look to our minds for answers instead of our spirits. Our minds make wonderful servants but terrible masters and we need to stop letting them lead our lives. Remember your thoughts and emotions are only waves on the surface of the ocean that is you. But let's not think of this as an "all or nothing" situation. As in I will never find inner peace because I can't go on a silent retreat, or take an hours yoga everyday or live at my church or commune with nature daily. No, stillness is cumulative and carving out a mere 5 minutes a day if done with consistency is enough to begin to reveal the wisdom concealed deep inside you. So perhaps today is the day you stop searching and start sitting. God planted a wonderful treasure inside you, but He planted it deep enough that we must cultivate silence and patience and self love to begin to catch a glimpse of this shiny gem. Somedays we sit and are rewarded with growth and some days we sit and it sucks and we don't like what we see at all. But day by day we sit and one day we realize the brightly shining light is emanating from us.
Be still and know...its a directive not just a sweet quote