How to Love Ourselves
The times we are living in, promotes self-love, but almost in a narcissistic way. Advertising companies often use the phrase: “you deserve….” to obtain whatever the object of desire might be. We are told to love ourselves. Yet we do not know how. We try loving ourselves by buying ourselves whatever we want, eating foods that comfort us, entering relationships that hold the promise of nurturance, pushing ourselves to the limits to feed off the acknowledgement we receive from others. Loving ourselves actually refers to being mindfully aware of ourselves in every moment, and thereby “holding” ourselves and our emotions in every moment. Is “holding” not the very first way in which a mother conveys love to her baby? Is it not the manner in which she allows her baby to feel safe and contained? How can we “hold” ourselves when we need to be held? Firstly, by embodying the emotion that we are experiencing. Asking ourselves:”Where in my body am I feeling this sadness? How does this sadness feel, in other words, how can I describe the physical sensation of this sadness – is it hot/cold/burning/stinging/sharp/edgy etc?” And then just to allow ourselves to actually feel this sadness by focusing on it – basically saying to yourself “my sadness is important to me, I’ll give it my full attention” and not, as we so often do, just not allow ourselves to feel it, telling ourselves to “just get over it”, busying ourselves with other things in order not to feel the sadness, sweeping it under the carpet, eating or drinking it “away” etc. But actually to sit with it, as a mother would sit with a crying baby, holding the baby, until he or she has processed the fear/sadness and feels safe again.