Coffee House Readings #14: Love Yourself – Like Your Life Depends On It

This month I want to share a book with you that is very special to me. It’s a book I often go back to when nothing seems to work out, when life seems to be hard, people seem to be mean and the universe just doesn’t seem to give a fuck about what I want and wish for myself.

I guess you know what I mean. We all have these days. Maybe you have this kind of “everything-is-crap“ day or time in your life right now, too. Often when that happens, we find ourselves stuck in negative emotions like worry, fear, sadness, anger or discontent and it becomes hard to see through these emotions and find our way back to peace and positivity again. Well, that’s when I know: It’s time for this one book.

This is a book that holds the basic and most essential message of all times. It’s a message we all seem to forget far too often because we are too busy working, trying to be good enough to satisfy all the requirements of our surroundings. I don’t know you and I don’t know what’s going on in your life right now. But if you are a little bit sad, angry, anxious, nervous, bored or just discontent right now and you are desperately looking for some peaceful, loving lines to calm you down and cheer you up a little bit, read this book. It’s called Love Yourself – Like Your Life Depends On It and is written by Kamal Ravikant.

„To think I was so close to never publishing it. That the fears of what others would think almost held me back. But because I loved myself, I put the book out to the world. And, well…wow.“

“I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF”

In summer 2010 Kamal Ravikant has a very, very tough time. The company he started nearly three years ago is struggling, he has just gone through a breakup, and a friend he loved suddenly died. “To say I was depressed“, he writes in his book, “would have been a good day.“ The feeling of desperation and sadness grows so big that Ravikant decides to make a vow to himself. He climbs out of bed, opens his notebook and writes: “This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply – in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have. In each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF.“ 

From that day on “I love myself“ becomes the mantra of Ravikant’s everyday life. It’s the mantra he tells himself while brushing his teeth, while talking to other people, while lying in bed, while showering. I love myself. I love myself. I love myself. For many of us that may seem crazy or strange but what Ravikant finds out after making this life-changing vow to himself is: “How to love myself, I did not know. In all honesty, in the beginning I didn’t believe that I loved myself. But it didn’t matter what I believed. All that mattered was doing it and I did it the simplest way I could think, by focusing on one thought again and again and again until it was more on my mind than not.“

Three ways to turn to self-love

Within one month, Ravikant notices first changes. He starts feeling better – physically and emotionally. His state of mind starts to grow light and “it was as if life said, “Finally you idiot! Let me show you that you made the right decision.“ Ravikant realizes the truth of something we all read over and over again but somehow have our struggle believing in: “As you love yourself, life loves you back”. 

The question most people ask themselves right now is: How? How do we love ourselves although everything around us seems so disapproving? For Ravikant, loving himself is a practice that he breaks down into three ways that worked for him:

1. mental loop

2. meditation

3. one question

For this book review I just want to introduce two of Ravikant’s ways to self-love to you.

Mental loop

Most of the time, we are recreating negative experiences from the past through thinking about them and experiencing them over and over again. Ravikant calls this “a pathway in our mind laid down by constant use – a mental loop.“ We have to pay close attention to what we are telling ourselves day in and day out. Then it’s our job to find out which one of these thoughts serve us and which ones bring us down. The goal is to create positive thoughts instead of disempowering ones and to consciously repeat them so often that they become a natural state of mind.

“It takes time, sure. But you will notice changes, shifts in your feelings, beautiful happenings in your life.“

One question

As you start trying to love yourself, you will notice that it’s not easy at all. We are all very judgmental and critical, especially when it comes to us. Many of us would never talk to their friends in the way we talk to ourselves on a daily basis. That is the reason why Ravikant started to ask himself this one question, as soon as he got caught up in a negative feeling or mind pattern: “If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this? The answer, always, was a no“, he writes. It’s a simple but so powerful question as it immediately shifts your mindset to a more loving perspective.

Expressing the importance of this book and this message is actually quite difficult. All I know is how it always helps me to feel a bit better when everything seems to suck. It actually shows how we can do everything when we love ourselves but can’t do anything if we don’t. And no, it’s not easy. It’s a practice. This book helps you find easy ways to remember the most important message of life: Love Yourself.

The best Viennese Coffee House to read this book in

Café Blaustern is a must-see if you’re into good coffee, delicious food and friendly waiters. It’s a perfect place to get things done and in summer they have a wonderful outdoor area to soak up the sun. If you visit Café Blaustern order one of their cakes – they will knock your socks off!

Café Blaustern

Pictures by the author

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About Marija Barisic

Marija studies German and History at the University of Vienna and loves reading and writing about psychological and spiritual theories of human mind. She likes late-night-talks with open-minded people and getting to know different point of views.

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