Image by Amitza. Used under a creative commons licence.
How many times a day does a person in your life tell you they love you?
3 or 4 times?
Whether the answer is zero or 100, it makes absolutely NO difference.
The only thing that matters is how many times a day YOU tell yourself:
" I love you.” (And yes, I mean, actually say it to yourself).
Because if you say it and mean it, it will change things.
Because if you love and approve of yourself and believe it, it doesn't matter what anyone else is saying or doing - you are not dependent on them.
This is what Louise Hay calls mirror work. If you’ve never said ‘I love you’ in front of a mirror, please, please do it. It might bring tears but it’s the start of the process of learning to fall deeply in love with yourself.
This makes change a WHOLE lot easier.
Who you are at this moment in time; this is who you must choose to love.
Whatever you feel like whilst reading this, however bad your hair looks or however crappy you feel.
However much you’ve 'achieved’ today, this week or in the last 5 years.
In fact, the more you feel a bit of a mess, that you haven't 'got there' yet, you haven't 'achieved' what you want to in life, the more crucial it is to do this.
Not when you've been promoted, or when you’ve got your own house or got married, or whatever else you think your aunts, uncles, parents - whoever - think you need to have achieved, not then.
Today. For brunch. As you’re reading this. That person that you are.
It's not about buying yourself things to make you feel better. It's about saying, before I look amazing in this dress or those shoes, I love myself. I choose to love and accept myself, in this state. In this way of being.
When I arrived back in Vicenza, I was so tired. I had planned a 'to do' list a mile long, I was planning to go to Venice and Padova, maybe even go back to the seaside.
I had little to ‘show’ for myself at the end of the first week. I had basically ‘done’ nothing. I slept a lot. Unpacked. Eaten a lot of melon and pasta.
I could have berated myself for it.
I could have even done the disappointed thing. You know ‘Oh well, at least you’ve had a good rest. Now you can do the things you need to do’ - true enough but with a hint of ‘You could have been better’.
Because I’m used to achieving a lot. I can power through tasks and get things done and all whilst managing washing and tidying and blogging and...
You know, high achiever type.
But instead I chose to say to myself, 'Claire, I love and accept you as you are right now. With your to do list still intact. With no cultural visits and photographs. With nothing to show for this week. With you just being.'
I said it and I said it and I said it and I wrestled with it and thought about it until I meant it and I believed it.
Why is it so crucial?
It is crucial, crucial.
It increases our own self-worth. We are affirming that which we already know - that we are worthy as we are. Not for what we’ve done or how much we match up to society’s version of 'perfect'.
It puts us in a place of non-judgement of ourselves. This is a much easier place to start from. A place where it’s ok to make mistakes. The pressure is off.
It’s not dependent on some outcome. We just are. We are ok with ourselves. So even if we try, fail and lose everything, even if we hit a place of rock bottom, we know we have someone on our side.
Find one thing you love about yourself and start with that.
Find your magic and celebrate it this Sunday Brunch.