“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn’t it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up.” ― Neil Gaiman
Love can be hard. I mean, difficult. Love itself is warm, squishy, delicious, but choosing it, to see it. to live it. to be love, that is where the difficulty lies. Because, after so many years, we have all become programed to see the fear, the hate, the indifference. So many times, that is “easier” than choosing something new. Than choosing to love. This self care journey I have been on these last couple months have really showed me two things: 1) everything comes down to love; 2) gratitude is the thing that creates change.
Did you hear that, those of you in the back?
Everything comes down to love. Gratitude is what makes the change.
In our divisive world, we all want to separate people who don’t believe what we believe or people who do things different than us as others. Truthfully though, we are more the same than different. We have replaced our ability to connect with a divider to keep us disconnected. Not only from each other, but that also ends up turning inwards. We separate parts of ourselves. There is a work self, a home self, a self when we are by ourselves. Outward appearances show only one person, but inwards we are so divides, it can be hard to see through all the masks. Yes, masks. We don one anytime we are not our whole self.
Love is not just about an attitude or expression for others to soak up, but it is a devotion and a way of being. Most importantly, love starts with us. Yes, loving yourself first. But do not confuse this with self involvement or self centeredness. OH no!! Self love is simple, it’s clean. It has no hierarchy, real love does not put anyone above, but reminds us we are all equal. We are all worthy. We leave no one out.
In the mornings, I have started a strange new ritual. When I wash my face, I tell myself 25 times “I love you.” In the mirror I gaze into my own eyes (the best I can while washing my own face) and I repeat those three little words until I believe it. On average, it’s 25 times. Some days I get to five times and feel the flood of love. Other days, it might be closer to 50 times. I do not stop until I feel the love for myself. Because if I don’t love me, how will other people love me the way I should be loved?
In what ways are you finding to remind yourself to come from a space of love? What ways are you giving yourself love? Some final words on love and life, from good old, Willie Shakespeare: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”