One day as I was browsing the book store, a book by Marianne Williamson titled “A Return to Love” caught my eye.
I really enjoy the work of Marianne Williamson. I have read a few of her books, and listened to her audios many times. Surprisingly, I didn’t pick up and read this book. I don’t know exactly what it’s about but I can guess from the title.
I passed it by because I was thinking it probably had something to do with loving myself. How uncomfortable the thought of that made me.
I wondered Why? Why is it easy to love others but so difficult to love the one person we spend every minute of everyday with? Ourselves.
The title “A Return to Love” got me thinking. Are we born loving ourselves and then life somehow life robs us of this God given birth right. I asked myself, is self love a natural tendency?
My question was answered the other day during a Mommy and me personal training session I had with my client and her daughter. I observed this adorable 14 month old little girl look at her own reflection in the mirror with sheer delight.
She wasn’t scrutinizing her body if she was too fat or too short. She didn’t worry that her hair was messed up. Were her teeth white enough? I don’t think she cared about the few she had. She wasn’t comparing herself to all the images we are bombarded with in magazines, films, and billboards? No, she had no idea what society would eventually tell her what she “should” look like.
I watched as this beautiful little girl enjoyed in blissful confidence the site of her own reflection in the mirror. (by the way, I also noticed being a toddler is the only time being a narcissist is acceptable and actually cute.)
That confirmed it for me. Yes, we are born loving ourselves and that is what we need to return to if we are going to enjoy living this one life we have.
Now, I’m not sure if you remember looking in the mirror and loving your own image from head to toe. Nor am I going to suggest staring at your reflection and singing “you are so beautiful to me”. (an exercise that one of my coaches made me do in hopes of getting me to love myself more). Did it help? Not really. Mostly it reminded me that I should have taken more singing lessons as a kid.
Is this an exercise I am going to suggest to you? No way.
What I want you to do is to grab your journal and write down two qualities you like about yourself. Just two.
Now they can be as simple as being punctual, or that you can make a perfect plate of Fettuccini Alfredo. Maybe you can juggle. Are you a great listener?
How about your typing skills? There is nothing too small. Acknowledge your talents and qualities. They are what make you beautifully unique.
For two minutes out of the day stop criticizing and start complimenting. You deserve it. Have fun with it. You will see that there is more and more to love about yourself.
Hopefully, just like the title of Marianne Williamson’s book suggests, you will “return to love.” (Yourself!)