Do you love yourself enough? Let the mirror tell you
Author: Ophelia Wang
When I ask a simple question, “Do you love yourself?” Most people would answer, “Yes sure”.
Then when I ask, “Do you love yourself, that when you say I LOVE YOU to yourself, you feel the same energy, compassion and affection, like YOU MEAN IT when you say the same thing to your loved ones?” A lot of people would hesitate and answer “Oh I’m not so sure.”
Here’s one thing to do to check on your love for yourself, what it’s like, and how you truly feel about yourself.
Stay in front of any mirror and stare at the reflection of yourself from the mirror. As you stare at that reflection for a while, check out the self-talk that arises: is it critical, judgmental, or encouraging, love?
Look into how that self-talk makes you feel? Do you feel stressed, worried, anxious or content, confident, empowered?
Most people don’t love themselves enough and that stems from much earlier years in life. A typical self-talk throughout lifetime goes like this example—
Little self: “If I’m not good enough then I will not get love, importance, and value from others.”
Young self: “I cannot end this unhealthy relationship because I’m afraid to be alone. I need attention!”
Grown-up: “I feel void inside me. I don’t know what I’m worth. I’m afraid to lose respect and recognition.”
So you seek attention and recognition, push yourself to look tough and strong, try hard to prove yourself, feel bad when you are not “good enough”, criticize yourself a lot, think you’re a failing loser when things don’t work out in the “perfect” way, undervalue yourself, fill the void with too-much behavior, etc.
The truth is, underneath the feeling of “I don’t love myself” and criticism of “I’m not at the best of myself” is the inner YOU saying, “I NEED love, care, respect, support, appreciation!”
You don’t see your self-worth and self-value because you don’t feel the appreciation to yourself. When you are not proud of yourself you are disconnected with self-love. BUT do you realize, that you have all these negative feelings towards yourself because deep down inside you DO care about yourself very much?
The present you feels guilty for letting the younger you go through a rough path. That guilt comes from love.
The younger you blamed him/herself for making wrong decisions, which came from the intention of just trying to help you to make things better. The self-blame was a result of love.
The little you made mistakes, but he/she really meant to protect you from worse situations. That protective action taking was because of love.
All these phases of you in life, one by one, are symbolic of LOVE: they’re YOUR helper, protector, guard, cheer leader, etc. They just didn’t know better to always do what was best for you but that does not mean they didn’t love you. How they wish they would have known back then what they know now!
So how do you reconnect with that self-love to nurture a great relationship with yourself, so you can find that anchor of love from within, which can then strengthen your inner power to make you more brave, grounded, stable, composed, independent, confident, secure, and relaxed?
Let’s go back to the reflection of yourself in the mirror.
Stare at that reflection, cross your arms to hold your shoulders, give yourself a hug, rub your arms, and say to that reflection (the one that’s hugged by you):
“I’m sorry if I’ve done anything in the past to disappoint you. I didn’t mean to let you down. I just wanted to help but I didn’t know any better. I’m sorry for hurting you but I really care for you.
Please forgive me. Forgive me that I didn’t understand you enough, so I made some wrong decisions. Please allow us to release the blame and guilt through forgiveness.
Thank you for always being there with me. No matter what we went through thank you for having those experiences together with me. Thank you for letting me know how you truly feel because I really need to hear from you.
I love you because all out intention for each other is for our goodness. I love you and I’ve always hoped for the best for you. Now that we understand each other better, can we agree to support each other in the way that works the best for us?”
Continue with whatever important message that you need to deliver to your reflection in the mirror, while rubbing your arms with crossed hands. Give yourself a big tight hug to allow these messages to soak in, as if they all melt together and become ONE INSIDE.
Observe how if feels mentally, physically, emotionally. And turn that warm feeling up with another big self-hug. And another one. Repeat this process at least once a day, or as many times a day as needed. I wonder how many times deeper can you allow yourself to love YOU, each day in every way?