When was the last time you said “I Love You” . . . to Yourself? Now that’s a question, isn’t it?
And I’m curious about your answer. Would it be OK to ask yourself the question now? See if you can embrace whatever answer comes without judging yourself. Whatever your answer, it’s just information.
An Exercise for You
Here’s an exercise that can help. Sit down in a place where you won’t be disturbed. Breathe in and out three times. Close your eyes and see yourself standing in front of a mirror. Now be there in front of that mirror. Say to yourself, either silently or out loud “Your Name, I Love You.” How does it feel to the part of you who is saying it? Why are you saying it? And for the part of you who is hearing and receiving it, can you let it in? Does it feel good? Or not? What are you feeling in your body? Do you feel worthy of such self-love? Do you deserve? If you feel loved—wonderful.
If you can’t say it or it’s hard or you can’t let the love in then you may want to start saying “I Love you” and see what arises when you say those words while at the same time strengthening your love of yourself. See if you can hold love and not love. That would be a good practice.
What did you discover? When was the last time you said I Love You to yourself: upon wakening this morning? before going to sleep last evening? a month ago? you can’t remember? hardly ever? Are you much more accustomed to hear yourself saying, “I hate this wrinkle or look at that fat roll?”
It was Carl Rogers, the psychologist, who said the hardest thing for people to say to each other are the very positive things. That is true for ourselves with ourselves. As I write to you today I’m remembering I have lived through loving and hating myself. They are two different worlds. I’m remembering one morning just around Halloween, years ago, when I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and felt such hatred for myself and the way I looked . . . even with my make-up on. I was devastated. At the time I had no voice to respond to this hateful voice to say something like “Excuse me, you don’t get to talk to me that way. Ever. For any reason!” Yes, I too know non-loving.
Now after awakening to and transcending my early inner world I know loving and I know hating. Sometimes, many times a day I hear a voice from within say “I so love you.” And I hear another voice say, “I love you too.” Sometimes when I feel sad, sometimes when I feel lonely, sometimes when I’m stretching myself and trying something new, sometimes just because, for no reason. That kind of love for myself is right for all of us. It is our birthright. It reminds me of Derek Walcott’s beautiful poem Love after Love.
You actually don’t have to say the words out loud or even silently, what’s important is you have the feeling of self love.
If your answer is that you say “I Love You” to yourself several times a day or a week then I dance with you. But before we get too celebratory I wonder if you know where you say, “I love you” from. You see there is achievement, accomplishment, what we might call conditional “love”—which perhaps is not love at all—because you love yourself because the number on your scale is low enough today. Or did you just get engaged so you are proving you are OK to yourself? You know what I mean.
My dear friends that is accomplishment or achievement, for how much we succeeded I wouldn’t call that love; it’s achievement. Truly all good things, don’t get me wrong but not love. It is acknowledgment. I would call that “Conditional Something.” If you achieve this, that or the other, then I will love you. That is not real love. I’m sorry to say.
I’ve watched so many clients I work with, over and over again, be gravely disappointed because they finished a degree, had a huge business success and they still don’t feel lovable inside. They had a belief that an outside success would create an inside feeling. No true. They were caught in the Conditional Love hope world.
Then there is Unconditional Love. Unconditional Love is not about worthiness or deserving. It is love without conditions: “I love you because I love you, no reason. I love you because you are. No conditions, no accomplishment. I love you for being you: a total acceptance from your heart.” You still may not like that wrinkle or extra 10 pounds but it doesn’t destroy your love for yourself.
If you feel such a love without conditions for yourself, you are there. Don’t take it for granted. Whether you grew up this way or you’ve worked to come to this place, no matter: let it guide you to the life you were meant to live.
Do you know that the more we love ourselves, the more we can love others and the more we can let in another’s love for us. And if we don’t love ourselves, it does not matter how loving your partner is or family is you won’t be able to receive the love.
Self love then leads to self care.
Then you want to take care of yourself like you would care for anyone your deeply loved. And self love and self care lead to well being and thriving. Kind of interesting because self love and self care lead to creating a life that you love from your whole self.
Are you afraid that if you love yourself then you’ll be all alone? And no one else will love you. Hogwash!
The world of Unconditional Self Love helps us go forward into the unknown, fail and feel loved, experiment, and follow our passion not knowing where that will lead us and be loved. There is a power to Unconditional Self Love that you don’t want to miss. It’s life-changing.
For more articles on self love, self care and thriving, and living the life you love you may want to visit check out my blog post archives, and website articles and Get on our mailing list. Watch for the upcoming webinar the Feminine Power Project.