“Live your questions now,
and perhaps even without knowing it,
you will live along some distant day into your answers.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke
We’ve been told to love others as ourselves and yet somewhere that got translated into love and take care of others first and whatever is left is for us. The main problem with that is that we can’t give what we don’t have. As we try to love others first we often find ourselves feeling like victims and martyrs if they don’t refill our empty hearts with praise and gratitude. We greedily reward or compensate ourselves with food, television or purchases we don’t need and then wonder why we still feel empty.
We stand in judgment over those who do put themselves first, who say “no” when they don’t choose to do something, who stand their ground, who take care of themselves. Our judgment is a silent testimony to our belief that it’s just not fair because its something we don’t believe we can have, don’t have the courage to do, are unwilling to face the consequences of.
This year let’s have an adventure together, an adventure in loving ourselves. Let’s look at it from all aspects. Are you willing?
First step is to carve out some time for yourself. It may be a couple hours a week, it may be as little as a half hour a week. What’s important is that it becomes sacred time, a time you commit to EVERY week, a time just for you. Time when you request that no one interrupt you, you turn off the phone, the TV and email, pour yourself a cup of tea, put on your favorite music, light a candle and begin.
Keep your notes on your computer, in a pretty journal, in a 3 ring binder. The important part about your notes is that you can find them when you want them!
Here’s the first exercise. Write the questions below on an index card or piece of paper that you see often or carry with you. As you ask the questions release all judgment about what you’ve done up to now, about how things have worked out. This isn’t about how you’ll love yourself when you’re 10 lbs lighter or have $1,000’s more in the bank, it’s not about when you stop gossiping or start flossing. This is about loving yourself right NOW, just the way you are. No judgment, no excuses. Also release all striving for things to be different. Just observe. This isn’t about goal setting. Simple answers are best. It’s a beautiful way to end the old year and greet the new.
- What is different in my life when I love and cherish myself just as I am?
- When I love and cherish myself I:
- Loving and cherishing myself, the qualities I bring into my life are:
- Some things I add to my life when I truly love and accept myself just as I am:
- Some things I subtract from my life when I love and accept myself just as I am:
Keep your notes handy, think of the questions often, Write whatever answers come up for you. Write them when they come up, you won’t remember later! Go to this blog or the Conscious Living Facebook group to share yours.
You could find this to be the most important thing you do in the coming year. Feel free to invite others to share the adventure!