At some point I stumbled across the idea of ‘Love Mode vs Power Mode’. It made a big impact on me. I could quickly see how I operate from each mode in relationships with others. At work. As a parent. In close relationships.
I noticed that when I’m in power mode, that’s about trying to control someone else (usually in the service of making myself feel comfortable).
Love mode, on the other hand, is free of any such motive. I’m fully present to the other person as a being in their own right, and often I’m in service rather than in control.
And then there is the relationship we have with ourselves. The practice of self-kindness has helped me to shift from the power mode of self-improvement to the love mode of self-acceptance.
I first came across the poem below via Tara Brach (it’s credited as the words of Bapuji). To me, it’s an invitation to move more deeply into this space of self-love, whatever obstacles get thrown up along the journey.
“My beloved child, break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself you break your own heart.
You stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality.
The time has come, your time to live, and to trust the goodness that you are.
There is no wrong in you.
Your true essence is pure awareness, aliveness, love.
Let no one, no thing, no idea or ideal obscure this truth.
If one comes, even in the name of ‘Truth’, forgive it for its unknowing.
Do not fight. Let go. And breathe – into the goodness that you are.”
You can find various self-kindness practices on my meditations page.