People tend to treat their loved ones and pets about a thousand times better than they treat themselves. You don’t think things like, “Once my baby is walking…. THEN I will love them” or, “When my pet is trained… THEN I will be happy they are in my life.” Thankfully there is a general sense of kindness and patience with loved ones and this IS important. But it truly is JUST as, if not MORE, important to begin with an unconditional love relationship with yourself.
I know personally from being chronically ill for 7 years that the messages to myself were not healing during that time I was ill. I have seen my clients repeat horrendous messages to themselves that I, and I’m sure others in their life, DO NOT believe – yet they continually repeat those messages. We NEED to be kind to ourselves and offer support to ourselves on an unconditional basis in order to thrive. Please know that It is a learning process and not another thing to beat yourself up about if you are NOT there yet!
I did an exercise recently that was a wake up call to me and had me exclaiming, “Boy with all this self-love work I have done, there is STILL a ton left to do.” The exercise asked the question, “On a scale from 1-10, how much do you love yourself?” Think about that a second and truly take in that answer. My immediate response was a “7” and I know back when I was sick it probably would have been a “2” – if that! People need love to thrive and we always have access to it when we connect truly within instead of to those past stories. It is my pleasure to give you five ways to begin to tap into that unconditional love relationship with yourself!
- Bring in the love of a loved one. – Close your eyes, put your hand on your heart, take some deep breaths and truly remember what it feels like or felt like to have a loved one show you love. This can be a pet or someone that has passed. When I say bring IN, I mean it – how they felt, how you felt when you were with them, how you knew they loved you and how much love you felt for them, what they looked like, how it felt when they were next to you. Breathe in that experience with your eyes closed and know you were and are worthy of that love!!
- Have gratitude for your experiences. – Whatever the past has held, you have made it to this moment. You woke up today, and most people are trying their best from whatever state of awareness they are in. Give yourself credit for all you have experienced in your life to get to this very moment. I bet you made it through some tough times. I bet you have experienced loss and sadness, but you are STILL HERE and I bet the wiser for it. There is a tendency to beat oneself up about what was NOT done, what someone else did, what we feel badly about… it is all a part of this learning experience on this planet and some of our greatest gifts come in pretty ugly wrapping. Love yourself for all you have been through and for waking up and showing up for yourself today.
- Think of a way you have helped another. – Everyone has helped someone, an animal or plant in this lifetime in some way. Yet again, the tendency is to focus on how we might have screwed something up. Energy flows where attention goes and if you begin to give one-fifth of the attention to all the GOOD things you’ve done rather than on the negative – your life would begin to shift. Maybe you have helped a friend, adopted an animal, taken care of plants, made dinner or a meal for loved ones, told someone you cared… there are countless ways I bet you have helped multiple beings in your lifetime. It is time to take a breath, close your eyes and bring some of these memories in. Thanking yourself for the kindness you have shown! Allow yourself to imagine just HOW much goodness you have shared in your lifetime!
- Remember a compliment or think of a quality you like about yourself. – I bet you have received at least one compliment in your lifetime. Maybe you are a good friend, good dancer, singer, writer, cook, or good at your job, are a good gardener, good at whatever exercise you do or you have a way with animals. There are countless good qualities you have and again, the focus is usually on what you perceive as the negative. Close your eyes, hand on your heart and bring to mind at least one positive quality you like about yourself. Maybe you received an award sometime in your life. Perhaps you have had many pets throughout your life who all loved you dearly. You know something that you feel proud of and it is time you give yourself tons of credit!! You deserve it!
- Know you are more than your mind! – Your mind is the one that does not hesitate to throw insults at you. You are more than that. You are the essence inside your body and connected to this world at large by your soul. Close your eyes, take some slow breaths and put your hand on your heart. Imagine feeling a ball of energy in your heart. YOU are connected to everything in this beautiful world, the grass, the trees, the animals, the sky, the sun, the moon, the stars and all the planets and every single person in this amazing world. Thank your heart for its connection to everything as you think of each. Think of something you love and that connection to it for example nature; a walk in nature you had and loved; your favorite place in nature; bring your favorite animal or pet to mind, etc. Feel your energy connecting out and also feel that love that each offers. Energy flows where attention goes – when we recognize we are more than our limited mind, and are connected to so much more, we tap into the magic of the Universe, our soul and unconditional love.
I hope you enjoy these exercises and use them to bring in unconditional love for yourself! You deserve it!! You can do these exercises in the shower, when you wake or when you go to sleep. You can do them while driving or on a commute (but please don’t close your eyes while driving!) Find the windows of time you have to bring in this love, and when you begin to on a regular basis ,you WILL see your life shift. I am wishing you a wonderful journey into unconditional love of yourself. Please share how these exercises feel for you. Know if you meet resistance in the beginning, that is just the old ego resisting – power through – you are worth it and the results are priceless!!