The blog has been sadly neglected over the past few months. Life has been very busy for one reason or another and in the last two months, while lots have happened that might have merited a few dozen words, the experiences were too intense and personal to share in this space. Things are slowly settling down and I am able to feel grateful for the things I do have in my life. A new lesson in life is slowly revealing itself like a flower opening up petal by petal everyday. And that lesson is about loving myself.
During the three days I locked myself away in my sanctuary on a rugged West Coast beach, I started reading The Power is Within You by Louise Hay. The audiobook is available on YouTube. It is about repeating positive affirmations about yourself looking at your reflection in the mirror. Having tried it for a few weeks, I can tell you it works. When things were at their worst in mid to late April this year, I went for about 3 weeks without looking at myself in the mirror. When I finally did take a good look at myself, I noticed new lines around my mouth that had not existed before and a certain dullness in my complexion. Of course having been through a general anesthetic and surgery was responsible for some of it, but majority of it came from the intense pain and grief experienced in that time. Once truly saw myself as I had come to be and told the person I saw in the mirror that they were loved, loveable and loving, I noticed changes happening. The new lines became less visible and my complexion brightened. It was as if acknowledging the impact of what had happened on my face and body and accepting those changes with love was the catalyst for this brightening.
Since that time I have also learnt that for the self love to be really effective, you have to start feeling it deep inside you in meditation. Examining each and about you and lovingly and compassionately accepting these things that make up the person you are changes everything. The main and most obvious difference I noticed was in how I reacted to things or other people. Things that used to push my buttons previously no longer bothered me. My dad having a go yelling at me left me without visible reaction. Having the Englishman mention something or the other about his past which always used to bother me no longer affected me in the same way. It was really strange, but also exhilarating.
When I learned to stop the constant self blame and criticism, I started noticing how others around me are constantly putting themselves down and how it impacted their lives. I know I am still standing on the lower rungs of this very long ladder to truly loving myself, and there are days I forget everything and the colour purple dominates (not quite blue, but a grey sort of day). But I feel like I have been shown the key to happiness. I knew all this in theory before, but now I have caught a glimpse of it in action. Simon Baron-Cohen, the psychologist, talks about the internal pot of gold every child should be given to have a full and happy life; self esteem. That pot of gold would be within every child’s reach if only they were taught how to love themselves from a very young age. They are perfect human beings and deserve to be loved just because they exist and for no other reason and if only we can show every child that they are loved in this manner the world would indeed be a better place.