We all have our excuses as to why we have never pursued our dreams. Not just our dreams. We have reasons and excuses that hold us back in all areas of our lives. I listed mine on Day #3 I think. At the time of writing that post, I hadn’t realised that quite simply, it all boils down to ‘I’m not good enough’. The reasons don’t really matter. Keep asking yourself ‘Why?’ and you’ll always get to that answer. It’s like a magic trick. Our reasons are just what are in the way of the truth. The truth is we don’t believe we are good enough. We are overly self critical. We do not love ourselves.
Do you love yourself? How do you feel when I ask that? Think about it. Does it make you feel uncomfortable? A bit uneasy? A bit awkward? Or is it an easy question? Of course you love yourself. You’re amazing. Both of those extremes indicate a sense of insecurity.
We are taught from such a young age to love everybody else. Love your neighbour. Your brother, your sister, your mother. Your grandparents. Did anybody ever teach you to love yourself? The importance of that? I was never taught that. So we get older and become more and more critical of ourselves and others. We normalise this behaviour. We lose our inner child and replace it with something else, quite vile. If you have children, please teach them this. Always, always love yourself.
Think of yourself as a child. How do we treat children? We encourage them right? We praise them, even when what they’ve produced is pretty average, or downright crap. We encourage them so they are brave enough to try again and practice and get better. If they’re having a bad day, we might comfort them. Tell them it will be ok. We nurture them. What do you do to YOUR inner child? Your creative core. Your imagination. Do you let it explore and fly? Or are you busy telling them they’re stupid?
My Louise Hay book recommends that whenever you walk past a mirror, to look at your reflection and tell yourself that you love you. It’s a bit weird. I felt uncomfortable with this. Mainly because I’ve always thought that looking in mirrors is a bad thing. I don’t like looking at myself. Note talking to myself in the mirror didn’t strike me as odd behaviour… I check (sometimes) that I haven’t got pasta sauce around my mouth before I go outside, I vaguely look when I’m putting some make up on, but I never look at MYSELF. It scares me.
The first time I did it, I followed it up with a ‘You don’t mean that’ comment. Because I didn’t. If someone was standing opposite me and said I love you like that, I’d tell them to jog swiftly on. It took what 2, maybe 3, seconds and I learnt that I was like most people. I’m not at ease with myself. I’m happy to be alive, I’m surrounded by some amazing people. I have a beautiful family, there are things and places that I love. I think about all of that and I feel great. Yet I can’t look at my self in the mirror and tell myself that I love me. And mean it. I tried ‘I should love you’. That didn’t work. ‘Should’ and ‘love’ aren’t compatible. ‘You deserve for me to love you’, I tried that. My reflection liked that one. Gave me a little nod of encouragement. ‘I want to love you’. That was her favourite. And that’s going to be my starting point. I’m going to make this girl feel special.
Just do it. Look at yourself in the mirror every day and say I love you. Every time you catch your reflection. I don’t mean stand there and study yourself and turn into a vain, reflection lover. Get used to your face. Get used to your eyes. Embrace them. Be kind. Be gentle. Look at yourself fondly. Forgive yourself. Tell yourself that it will all be ok. That you’re good enough. There’s no point hating what stares back at you. It’s all you’ve got in this life. Other people come and go. You are the only constant to yourself. Be a friend. Look after your inner child.
Off you go.
Do this. Decide to change. X