Question: I do not really know how to love myself, and yet I feel I need to love the Supreme.

Sri Chinmoy: For the time being, forget about the Supreme. Only feel that you have entered into a garden with many, many flowers. Choose one flower that you like, appreciate its beauty and smell its fragrance. Then just say a few times, "How I wish I could be as pure and as beautiful as this flower!" Gradually try to feel that all the good qualities you are seeing in the flower — its beauty, its purity, its fragrance — have entered into you.

Now remember how much you loved that flower and how much joy it gave you. At first it had a separate existence. But little by little you brought its beauty and reality inside your own body and inside your own heart. Now try to feel that you do not have a body, you do not have a mind, you do not have anything. Think of yourself only as that most beautiful flower. Because you have become that beautiful flower, you are bound to appreciate yourself and love yourself the way that you loved the flower.

When the real, the highest, the most illumined part in us comes to the fore, at that time we really love ourselves. We love ourselves because we know who we are.

Once you start loving yourself, you have to feel that God loves you infinitely more. If you are suffering from a physical ailment, you may feel that nobody is there to love you or sympathise with you. But there is Someone inside you. If you are suffering, then He is suffering infinitely more. If you are happy, then He is infinitely happier. Try to cultivate the feeling that the Supreme, who is your highest part, is always feeling what you are feeling, only infinitely more. And if you love yourself, then He loves you infinitely more.

Sri Chinmoy, Love, Agni Press, 2006