I didn't blog last week because I was terribly sick, nor the week before because I was in Chicago for work. My reasons for not doing so fit in with the theme of this post as well as the last one I wrote, "Radical Self-Care."
My best friend pointed out to me that I would never treat other people the way I've been treating myself (i.e. pushing too hard, being critical, etc.). It made me think of the golden rule, "Treat others as you'd like to be treated." In this case it's more of the reverse, "Treat yourself the way you treat others." I'm very good at being loving with the people in my life but I'm not so good at being loving toward myself. I don't beam love to myself the way I do to others. I don't pamper myself or treat myself the way I do my friends. It's not because I'm being malicious or punishing myself, it's because I really hadn't given it much thought until I came down with the "plague." (I actually don't know what illness I have. All I know is I'm SICK.)
A golden ruler! I couldn't resist this image.
The most important realization I had this week is there are many parts to me and they all want to be loved. I've been saying affirmations for years but they've been directed at the adult me and she's easy to love. She's bold and fun and smart and adventurous. It's easy to say, "I love you," in the mirror to her because I mean it. But as I've written about before, I have an inner child and she's the one who needs love the most. She is needy and clingy and never feels like there's enough love for her.
My inner child is shy and quiet and wants to disappear. She's scared of people, places, and things. My inner child is the one who needs my care and attention. The one who my affirmations need to be aimed at. Do I like to admit these things? No I do not, but I'm writing this post in case there are others out there like me who feel like they never get enough love and they don't understand why. The people who've been saying affirmations for years and are puzzled why they still get so anxious about relationships. The people who could say, "I love you" to themselves all day and not have it make a difference. Perhaps it's because the affirmations are not being directed at the right you.
I know, I know, affirmations are cheesy and sometimes feel ridiculous, so what's the point of saying them? I say them because I don't like feeling anxious. I don't like clinging to people or boarding the bus to crazy town. The external world is a projection of the internal one and I want both worlds to be awesome. I want to feel whole and complete and loved. I want to give myself the endless supply of love I so desperately crave so I don't keep turning to an unsustainable source. The love I want is infinite and no finite person will be able to meet my demand except for me. I am the only person who knows how I feel all the time so that's why I say affirmations, because I need them and because I want to feel at peace.
To the parts of you and me that are "unlovable" and "unattractive." The parts that no one gets to see because they remain hidden. The parts that desperately want attention but so rarely get it. To you I say, "I love you SO much. I send you nothing but unconditional love and sweetness. You deserve to be loved as much as everyone else." I hope you'll join me in saying it too.
I dream of a world where we all love the parts of us that are deemed hard to love. A world where we treat ourselves the way we treat others. A world where we say affirmations to the parts that need them the most. A world brimming over with love for all of us. A world where we really understand what it means to live the golden rule.
Another world is not only possible, it's probable.