Love’s a funny old word, isn’t it?
We misuse it, shy away from it, trivialise it and feel uncomfortable when other people use it in contexts that don’t feel “right” to us.
I love chocolate, I love going shopping, I love watching Strictly Come Dancing – we can all say the word in that sort of context, knowing as we do that we’re trivialising it, that what we’re really expressing isn’t love.
I love my children, I love my cats, I love my parents, I love My Lovely Husband – that’s a different kind of love (actually, those are all different kinds of love) and although I’ve used the same word, you know that I mean something much deeper and more important than I do when I’m talking about loving chocolate.
I love you – WOAH THERE!!!! Red lights flash, burly security guards come rushing from around corners, police sirens start screaming in the distance – for some people saying or hearing those 3 little words can bring on major levels of stress and discomfort. Embarrassment, uncertainty, feelings of unworthiness, fear, all sorts of negative “stuff” can get in between us and those 3 words.
“Are you in love?” a reporter asked Prince Charles when he and Lady Diana got engaged. “Yes, whatever love means” he replied – and didn’t we all know, really, at that moment, that he wasn’t just being shy?
That’s the thing about Love.
We all know that “I Love You” is one of the most important things you can ever say to another person, and most of us know not to use it lightly.
We place vast amounts of importance on Love’s presence in our lives but for some of us it’s far too intimate a thing to talk about.
Sometimes we’re frightened that if we talk about Love it will disappear.
Sometimes we’re frightened to admit that it’s not there for us.
Sometimes we don’t recognise we had it until it’s too late.
And sometimes…well, some of us are British, aren’t we?!
But are you comfortable saying it, and meaning it, when you’re talking to the most important person in your world?
Can you look that person in the eye when you say it?
Can you hold that person’s eye until you know they’ve really and truly understood what you mean, and that you’re telling the absolute truth?
Go and try it now – walk to the nearest mirror, look yourself in the eye and say “I Love You”.
And mean it.
Go on – I’ll wait.
How did you do? For some of us it’s not a problem, but for others it’s the most difficult thing in the world.
You’ve probably heard it before but it’s one of life’s great truisms – if you don’t fully know and love yourself, you’ll never be truly happy and you’ll never be truly loved by anyone else.
This isn’t about an ego trip. It’s not about prancing and preening and telling the world how wonderful you are and how much better you are than anyone else.
It’s about growing the ability to truly know and understand yourself so that you can truly love yourself, warts and all. What that gives you is a magical, wonderful feeling of calm, peace, quietness and acceptance right in your very core, the most solid of all foundations for a happy and successful life.
More than any of the material signs of wealth and success, a grounded, realistic knowledge of and love for yourself is what will support and guide you through life’s ups and downs.
I see lot of people who don’t have that. When they first start to work with me, a good proportion of my clients literally can’t look themselves in the eye. I ask them to describe themselves as they wish to be and then look themselves in the eye and describe themselves in that way – and they can’t.
I ask them to notice every positive thing that is said to or about them for a few days – and they can’t bear to write it down.
I ask them to focus on what they’re telling themselves about who they are – and their self-talk is overwhelmingly negative.
If that’s your experience of how it is to be you, then I PROMISE that
- it doesn’t have to be like that
- you can choose to have a different experience of being you
All you have to do to begin with, is to choose to look yourself in the eye every time you pass a mirror, and to smile at yourself.
That’s all. Nothing fancy.
Just look yourself in the eye, and smile.
Maybe say hello.
Try it for a week, and notice what happens to your thinking.
And in a week’s time, I’ll tell you what to do next.
Do let me know how you get on, I’d love to know.
With Love and Fairy Dust