Organized, patriarchal religion would have you believe that from the day you were born something was wrong. Something was off. Something was... sinful. Born a sin. Original sin is the basis for many religions because it tells you that there is something inherently wrong with you and they are the solution. Tantra doesn't believe this at all! The opposite of original sin is radical self-love.
Radical self-love isn't about sunshine and rainbows all the time either. It's not love and light and ignoring what's difficult. It's loving those difficult parts anyway. We say that the core of all beings is pure love. The great jokester is the universe who made us desire love above all things and hid it in other people, yet it is most easily accessible in ourselves. There is a well of pure love underneath all your conditioning. If only we could access it...
Well, the key here is to find what you're running from. What are you afraid of? What makes you go the other way? This is built up conditioning. We all learn these reactions through the natural cycle of life. So, it would stand to reason, that we can unlearn them, too. This starts in the nervous system. First, you must feel the stuck things that are blocking your connection to this love. Psychology is finally catching up to what the Tantric gurus already knew: that these unfelt feelings remain in the body and must be felt in order to pass on. When feelings get stuck this can cause havoc on the body in the form of inflammation, illness, pain, injury, depression, etc. Liberate yourself with radical self-love!
Radical self-love is a tool of the heart. An open heart is one of the main things you can learn through Tantric practice. There are so many paths to the heart in Tantra! One way to start to flow with this energy is to start practicing loving awareness toward your day. In the morning when you wake up spend time in loving awareness of the feelings of your body. What is the felt sense of waking up for you? Some people love it, others despise it. Whichever you are, practice loving awareness! That doesn't mean pretending you love mornings. That means no matter how you feel you love yourself anyway. Maybe it took you an hour to get up and you're late for work, love that part, too!
If we can practice this art of loving ourselves even when things get difficult then we can learn to open our hearts. And we can start to get deeper into that well of love in there. If you start trying and fail... love that part, too! Learning to love your most difficult and destructive parts is part of the whole process of opening to radical self-love! Enjoy it! Because it can liberate you! If just getting out of bed becomes an act of love, then imagine how prepared you'll be when something really destructive comes along.
So, don't fall for the lie that you are broken and must be fixed (original sin). Can you hear the sales pitch of religion now? You have everything you need within you. All the love that you could ever desire is right there. It's about opening up your heart, clearing away the conditioning that is in the way, and remaining open even when it gets tough. These are the secrets of enlightened masters.
INSPIRED ACTION: Challenge! Spend the next couple days practicing this radical self-love! Practice when it's easy first to get the feel for it. Do something you love, then send love and honor and respect to yourself. Go for a run then feel love for your body. Take note of the sensations and feelings that arise when you do this. It might feel awful at first, that's part of the process, too. We all start at different levels. Then when you find something difficult to love (like your body, or the traffic, or work) send love anyway and see how it feels. Remember, you're not tricking yourself into loving the situation (toxic positivity), only loving yourself through any situation. After a few days watch how you respond to new things.