To read the first post in this series, click here.
I’ve spent a few weeks talking about one of the messages your body is trying to send you via pain: nurture yourself instead of push yourself. Today, I’m going to talk about another request from your body:
Love yourself unconditionally.
Love is the most connective, life-giving energy you can possibly generate within yourself. It is a healing force. When you are disconnected from your body, angry at yourself, derogatory toward yourself, even mean to yourself, you cut yourself off from this powerful force. Pain is the message that lets you know you’ve fallen into this pattern. So is physical tension, and even extra weight. The body experiences physical imbalance when the energy of love is absent.
Most of us learn this strange way of motivating ourselves that is a mixture of browbeating and scaring ourselves silly. We think that if we can just whip ourselves into shape and get things accomplished, whatever we don’t like about ourselves will finally be squelched. We think that then we will succeed, because we’ll be perfect, at last.
I certainly thought that, for many years. In print, it now looks ridiculous. After all those years of pushing, forcing, browbeating, flagellating, and scaring myself, I see that all I wanted was a sense of safety and peace within myself.
Safety and peace within yourself does not come from a “soldier on” state of mind. It comes from repeatedly accessing that powerful energy of love, and turning that source of strength and energy inward. It’s akin to trying to force a plant to stay alive in a dark closet. Imagine yelling at the plant, watering it like mad, giving it fresh soil, fertilizer, and everything else you can think of. Yet, the plant withers more with each passing day. Without sunlight, it simply can’t live.
Love is our sunlight. Without it, we simply can’t live. Our health fails, our bodies wither, our souls slip away.
Sometimes it’s hard to love yourself. I’m not asking you to be perfect at it. I’m just pointing out the importance of leaning in that direction more and more, practicing bit by bit. If you can learn to reward yourself with love even when you make colossal mistakes, even when you aren’t at your best, and even when you are spiraling down in a spectacular, flaming crash, then you will finally know the meaning of loving unconditionally. Don’t mete out love only when you cross off to-do’s, accomplish amazing things, and serve others gracefully. Your inner self knows this is fair-weather friendship, and in loving yourself only because of what you do well, you put a subtle but intense pressure on yourself all the time.
How do you generate love for yourself? Start here: imagine someone you love. Maybe a pet, if there are too many tangled relationships in your life right now. Bring that love into your awareness, and allow it to grow inside you. Feel what it feels like, physically, in your body, to feel this love. Without even knowing all the science, the names of all the “good” hormones that are now flooding your body, you can sense that this is a place of healing. Your body knows it, and it is asking you to purposefully bask in this flood of life force energy.
When you feel the sensation of love grow stronger inside you, direct it mentally toward yourself. Allow yourself to receive your own love. If, right now, this is too hard, then simply enjoy the feeling of loving others, knowing that as you practice, it will become easier and easier to love you.
We don’t often think about practicing love. We expect it to come to us. We expect to just feel it, randomly. Love on purpose today. Decide to feel love, and practice focusing on it each day. Heed this most important request from your body.
Don’t miss the Do Less, Be More telecourse series, in which fellow Master Coach Susan Hyatt and I give you serious self-loving tools to take into regular, everyday life.
Come hang out with me on Facebook! I just finished creating my Healthy Life Facebook page, so you’re invited to stop by and chat!
Posted on November 5, 2009 at 5:19 pm
Categories: Lose Weight and Love your Body, Relieve your Pain & Stress
Tags: Chronic Pain, healing chronic pain, healing power of love, Interstitial Cystitis, love yourself, mind body syndrome, TMS, Vulvodynia, Weight Loss