Who is talking? ‘Precious me’ or ‘not good enough me’
Take three minutes…..
Notice what happens in your body, notice the feelings and notice the thoughts when you read the following;
‘If you wandered the whole world and looked everywhere, you would still not find any human more worthy of your love than you’.
What did you notice? If you in every cell of your body thought: ‘oh yes of course, gorgeous wonderful me’, then don’t bother reading the article, if you didn’t then read on….
Does it matter if you love and accept yourself? What do you think?
Every perception is imbued by our sense of self and every perception affects the body as the brain changes perceptions into chemicals. Chemicals such as oxitocin are produced when we see someone we like (and we are more likely to see someone we like if we like ourselves…). Cortisol on the other hand is produced when we perceive a threat or see someone we don’t like. These chemicals have huge impact not only on how we feel, but also on our physical being.
What do you think would make you worthy of your love for yourself? Perfection? – that everybody loves you, all the washing done, made a couple of million, always kind to your children and partner, never a negative thought, never making a mistake…
Would we not all say that most people (perhaps even all) irrespective of how we see them in relation to our definition of outward success are precious? Sometimes we might think that we agree with a concept like that but we make a couple of exceptions. In this case it is likely that it is the self who is the exception, it becomes a; ‘yes but’.
We are always comparing our inside with everybody else’s outside. We see someone dressed up looking ‘together’, might even speak well and seem popular. What do we then assume? That her kitchen isn’t messy, her car isn’t overdue for a service, that she doesn’t row with her sister/brother/parents or husband? That she always walks around looking like that, that she is always in the competent mood. Basically that she has her ‘shit’ together.
Well no one does, living is a messy business. Life means that we endlessly change so even when I feel ‘right now I get it’ then next minute I don’t!
So how do we start to accept ourselves in the midst of all this lack of perfection?
We can start by asking:
- Was I not precious when I was just born?
- Was I not precious when I first lost my front tooth?
- Was I not precious when my face was open with the excitement of life, running towards someone I loved?
- Was I not precious when I felt the fear of not being picked for a sporting team?
- Was I not precious when I had my first crush?
- Was I not precious when I was anxious whether I had done my homework or not?
- Was I not precious when I was completely one with a task?
What changed? When did we set the criteria for being loved by ourselves so high?
Why do you now tell yourself that you have to perform, be perfect, do many very important things to be precious?
You are precious because you are a human being, a life.
Remember that you are precious right now even with lots of things on your ‘to do’ list.
Here are a few tips to get you started feeling and knowing that:
- Take a breath and ask to speak to the voice of loving kindness and notice what happens, – actually do this every day a few times – make it a practice.
- Do a Loving Kindness mindfulness walk, while saying to yourself as you are walking: ‘May I be happy, May I be well, May I be at peace’. Finding your own rhythm with it.
Do the self compassion exercise we had in a previous article on Happiness and Compassion from November 2011.