How can we love even our bad parts?
Why would we want to?
Because in rejecting our own warts, we reject the warts “out there” in the world. This creates fistfights and wars. When we accept our warts, we naturally accept everybody. This is the birth of peace and lovingkindness. First within us, and then in the world.
But how to do it? I’m a screwball, how can I love me like that?
How can I love the messy me, the bossy me, the aggressive me, the angry me, the snotty me, the arrogant me, the weak, whiney, weasel me, the worthless me?
People could write books on this. Whole libraries. I have a sneaking suspicion they could pop up under the click of the mouse. But –
Here’s a tiny little practice, an investment of 3 to 6 seconds a day.
This quickie brought huge results for me, earth-shattering results. Not immediately, but after 18 months. Your length of time may be different. Who knows.
What I do know is, this tiny little practice is like water dripping on a rock. You know how soft water is? You know how hard rock is? And yet water breaks through rock. The rock of all our pent up resistance toward our self.
What is this tiny little practice?
Stand in front of your mirror.
Look directly into your own beautiful eyes.
Say out loud, “I love you.”
That is all. Three seconds. Once or twice a day. Every single day.
It might feel stupid. Might look like narcissism, but it’s not. Everything your mom and dad, aunts and uncles, teachers, preachers, told you about not inflating yourself – all of this is bound to make us feel embarrassed when we say ‘I love you.’ We weren’t trained that way. And we’ve been criticizing ourselves forever. But we’re not going to unpack all that.
All we’re going to do is look into our eyes and say ‘I love you.’
When I began, I could barely spit out the words, followed by “p’shaw” as I turned away.
That’s no problem. Be embarrassed. Just take it as a little game. A private little game just for you. But do it anyhow. It works on you.
Little glimmers will talk in the back of your mind. Your head will work with this love notion. Your heart will to open to it. Things that occur during your day will slowly align with it. Inner acceptance, inner encouragement will rise to the surface. Someday you’ll feel: I’m okay anyway – I love myself.
I did not invent this practice, can’t remember where I heard it. I only know it works.
For me, after a few months it grew easier. It still didn’t feel true. After more months, I was able to appreciate connecting with myself in the mirror. The brain chatter still told me what was or was not lovable about this person in the mirror. Eventually it became just chatter. And the practice continued, rain or shine.
Then one evening 18 months later, Someone much larger than me looked out through my eyes and truly saw me. I felt it was my Soul, giving me a big wink, once and for all. I love you.
No, I had not been drinking.
Ever since then it feels good to say I love you. Just as you are. With all your foibles.
By extension, everybody “out there” looks more loveable to me.
Greater comfort and ease percolated into every department of my life. It worked organically. Like water. In persisting with love for myself, this love spread into all areas, healing things I couldn’t hardly name.
So may it be for you.