In my last post I shared about accepting who I am now, today, as enough; and how that was a bit of a breakthrough for me. Today I want to build on that idea. When we accept the fact of our “enough-ness” we are taking a big step in the direction of self love. But speaking the words “self love”, and having an intellectual idea of self love, are SO drastically different from FEELING truly loved.
I would like to share with you an exercise I have been practicing. I’m sure others have done this/taught this or some similar version. It’s like a visualization.
Take a few deep breaths and become calm and centered. When you are ready, take your awareness up and behind you. Pretend that you are a guide or an angel or any higher level spiritual being. And you are watching your human self from this third party perspective, like watching a movie of yourself.
This higher being sees your human self move throughout the day, and also knows your feelings, thoughts and intentions. And the higher being sees that you try so hard, you think so much of everyone else, you are always striving and pushing to be better. The higher being even sees how critical you are of yourself, but he/she knows that even this is driven from high intentions. Your mistakes are simply misunderstandings. The higher being see all of your life from this outside, higher perspective and can’t help but completely love this thoughtful, courageous, hard working, loving, yet sometimes scared, person.
Think about that for a second. What if we look at our lives from the outside? It’s like how we give our friends so much credit, we are so proud of them, we think they are so beautiful and funny. We don’t think twice when they do something that we would never forgive ourselves for. We cut our dear friends and loved ones so much slack, but we can’t do the same for ourselves. Well, look at yourself from the outside. See yourself as dear and brave and thoughtful and trying, always trying so hard to do the right thing. Always thinking of others. Always struggling but getting up again each day, looking at the world optimistically, and working harder to be the best version of yourself possible.
Ok. Now. Second part of the visualization. Again, take an outside perspective, but now it’s from the viewpoint of someone who looks up to you. Your dog, your niece, a younger sibling, or someone that looks to you as a mentor. See yourself from their perspective. See your talents, your generosity, see the special light that you bring into the world that makes this person (or animal) so drawn to you. Look at yourself with the wonder and admiration that this being has for you.
Doesn’t that feel so good?!
Hang in there though, because it gets even better. There’s a Part 3!
The above exercise is the “giving” love part. I’m looking at myself from the outside and seeing that I’m deserving of so much love. I’m wrapping myself in a beautiful pink bubble of love from the outside.
But what I realized is that I also need to receive that love.
I need to open the door from the inside and let it in.
Imagine the person from whom you are going to receive love. Imagine all this love being sent to you. Now open the door. Either think of your entire body as a door, or place a few doors on your body, like your heart and upper back, forehead, ears, throat and back of neck. Feel yourself receiving it! Feel it coming in the door and entering your body. Feel it like a happy hum, or purr, settling into your body. Bask in it!!
I realize none of this is easy or automatic. As I started practicing accepting love, from myself, my parents, my loved ones…I realized that I hadn’t been able to accept it for so long. I had built walls that said I couldn’t accept it. Perhaps I thought that love came with requirements, or that I wasn’t good enough to deserve it. In any case, letting the love in now is not that easy! I have to sit down and consciously allow it in. But when I do….it feels so good!! It’s life affirming, nourishing, peace-bringing and soul-soothing. Literally what we live for. Love!
Please take the time to give yourself love, respect, and understanding; but also to consciously allow the energizing life force of love to be received within your body, whether it’s from yourself or another. You are so deeply loved. Please let it in.