“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”– Lucille Ball
One of the questions I usually ask my clients is ‘What thoughts do you have about yourself when you look in the mirror?’ I have yet to come across anyone who says that they love themselves when they see the reflection looking back. Usually there is a lot of criticism. There are thoughts about the weight they need to lose, the wrinkles that are getting deeper, the grey hairs that are emerging or thoughts of guilt and shame regarding things they did or didn’t do. To even start to ask clients to look in the mirror and talk compassionately let alone, lovingly to themselves is often difficult territory. We have been programed with many messages about self-love that are not serving us. Many people believe that it would be selfish to love themselves. They use as examples people who are narcissistic and flaunt their wealth, status or physical attributes. Actually, I believe that the more obsessed someone is with their image the less they love themselves. Anita Moorjani states, “The less you love yourself, the more you need other people to prove that you’re lovable. That becomes your agenda. When we do love ourselves, we know we’re lovable. We don’t need to prove it.” Self-love has nothing to do with the material things we have or the shape of our bodies. It has everything to do with knowing the truth about who we are.
There is a difference between a relative truth and an absolute truth. Relative truths can change over time, but when we hear an absolute truth it touches on something deep inside and resonates. We instinctively know that it is true. When an absolute truth is stumbled across, it makes us take pause and we feel its power. A few absolute truths that I have found are: Anything is possible, Everything is energy, We are all one, I am worthy of love and I am the creator of my own destiny. As I work with clients I have found that helping them come up with their own statement of truth is not as easy as it sounds. One client came up with a statement of, “I deserve to be happy for me and my children.” But, actually saying it aloud was extremely difficult for her. There were so many voices of doubt and self-hated that came up along with the prior programing which said it was wrong to love herself, that actually speaking her truth was excruciating. Re-writing our default programing of doubt and laying down new programing of power takes work. Overcoming the doubts and fears is not a simple task. There is no other task that is more important in life though. When we love ourselves we see the world differently. We realize that our own self-love is the biggest gift we can ever give to ourselves and to those around us.