Loving What Is...

The month of February is infused with hearts and love and I appreciate the reminder to be more loving. I also love the chocolate.

Both of my kids wanted heart-shaped boxes for Valentine's Day and I was more than happy to oblige. Here's a pic of their two boxes: an interesting dichotomy of the light and dark sides. (Yes, we're also big Star Wars fans).

These two images speak to me because this whole notion of self-care and treating yourself as lovingly as possible includes loving your dark side. I get that those parts of ourselves that are not so easy or pretty or kind are much harder to love. But, if you're not loving your whole self, then what? It's as if you only love your kid when she's happy. If we only love the sweet parts then we are denying the full experience of connection and of life.

Believe me, there are times when I don't enjoy my kids. Each one one of them has the ability to send me into an intense rage. But it's usually because they're reflecting a part of myself that I don't like. Talk about gurus. What are our kids here for but to teach us who we are?

Here's an example of learning to love myself. I can be pretty hard on myself when I look in the mirror sometimes. I'm getting older, I'm getting wrinkles, my weight isn't exactly where I want it to be. If I was only willing to love my thighs when they were thinner, then what are they doing on my legs every day except feeling bad? I still need them to carry me around and to get me from place to place. If I only think about how I don't want them to be then I never get to appreciate how strong they are and how they allow me to walk around my beautiful neighborhood every day. Thank you, thighs!

I've done a lot of work in the past couple of years on learning to love myself completely. And it's not easy and I still find myself walking around muttering “I'm such an idiot” on occasion. But, as I'm becoming more aware of those tendencies toward self-hatred, I'm learning to let them go. And to be gentle with myself. And what's actually happening is that I like myself more and therefore enjoy the people around me more as well.

It's like my heart is expanding like the grinch's!

What if you wrote yourself a love letter. What would you say? What if you wrote a letter to that part of yourself that you think stinks?

What if, for one day, you chose to really honor that part of yourself that you really don't like. Or that part of yourself that you truly hate? Can you allow yourself to shine the light of love there? And see what happens to that unloved part. Maybe it gets healed.