“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”
~ Buddhist teaching
How often do you give your love and affection away, and somehow forget that you deserve love, too?
It is so vitally important to realize that your love and affection is a gift that you give, and it is one that you deserve to receive not just from others, but from yourself as well.
In fact, no one is more deserving of your love and affection than you, yourself.
Stop and breathe for a moment, and let that message flow through you. Close your eyes, inhale slowly, hold the breath gently and say to yourself, “I am the person who most deserves my love and affection.” Keep holding that breath softly for several seconds as you feel the two words “most deserves” in your body. Then slowly let the breath out, as you picture what it would be like to be showered by the same love and affection you so generously give to others.
How easy was that for you? Was it a welcome moment of peace and restorative self-care? Or did you find your mind wandering, to things you need to do, or maybe to skepticism about whether or not you really deserve your own love and affection?
Whatever your experience was, your answer to that question is valuable information for you. If you readily embrace the idea that you deserve self-care and self-love, but you know you’re not getting enough of those, that tells you where you need to start in ratcheting up the amount and frequency of self-care you provide to yourself.
If your life is filled with too much “doing,” and too little resting and rejuvenating, that information will form the foundation on which you can now begin to build a profound new practice of regular, deeply impactful self-care. Stay tuned for some great suggestions along those lines.
On the other hand, if like many people you actually question whether you deserve your own love and affection in abundance, that just tells you that your particular starting point will be a different one. You can still get where you need to be, I promise…and you’re in exactly the right place to learn next steps.
Practice Makes Perfect in Giving AND Receiving
How do you feel when you share your love (emotional, physical, spiritual) with someone? Think of a time when you gave your love and affection to someone and they received it – remember how delicious that felt? As wonderful as it feels to be loved by someone else, having your love received and appreciated by another feels at least as good. You’re making a real difference for someone, and your intention to give that gift of yourself has been fulfilled. Sit with this feeling for a moment.
Well, that is the same feeling I want you to practice allowing yourself to feel when you give those same gifts to yourself. When you get really good at this, you can add in the blissful feeling of receiving the gift as well. Just start with a memory of when someone else gave you the gift of their love, and acknowledge to yourself that the gift of your own love is every bit as precious and powerful.
If you find it challenging to make time for a regular practice of reminding yourself of this, start by committing to spend five minutes before you go to bed repeating the above sentence to yourself. Then repeat it in the morning – before you get out of bed is great – with another five minutes of breathing, internalizing the message of that sentence, and feeling the warm hug of love that you so richly deserve!