It’s more common than not for people, and I count myself among them, to feel unloved and unworthy – not necessarily from moment to moment, but, perhaps, as a sinking feeling ever looming in the background.
Related to an issue I was having feeling appreciated at work, a business coach (who is peerless in his field) gave me an exercise to look in the mirror and say “I love you.” His reasoning was simply that no one can love you like you can love yourself. I thought that was pretty sound. In fact, I still do. However, this exercise wasn’t working for me, so I explored a bit further.
You see, when I look in the mirror and say “I love you,” there’s a part of me that doesn’t believe it – that doesn’t trust myself. Others might have a congruous reaction, and I might at some time, but not at this point in my evolution. There’s work we can do around that.
Let me paraphrase, with liberties, what our Pathwork Helper, Pnina, said on this topic.
When I have attempted to work with a daily mantra in the past, often it didn’t resonate in the moment. Rather, it touched into the internal split I was feeling – and the mantra didn’t feel true, or I couldn’t connect with it in a genuine way. There is an exercise we do where you get to connect with three different aspects of yourself we call the Child Consciousness, the Healthy Adult Ego (or Caretaker) and the Higher Consciousness. When you process from the point of view of your Child Consciousness, you will connect with the consciousness and experience of your Child (a profoundly amazing teacher) and come to truly know that the Child you are wants to feel safe and trusting of the moment and of others, especially the Caretaker.
So, it’s essential for the Child to feel safe with, and trust, the Caretaker. The way we create internal safety and trust is to be in truth with our self – to the best of our ability in the moment – and of course to be in truth as we grow and change.
So, when you say to yourself ‘I love you’ and you don’t truly feel or believe this in the moment, you are creating a split between what you are really feeling and what you think you should be feeling. Said another way, you are trying to superimpose an artificial feeling on your experience in the moment. It won’t feel right if it doesn’t feel true; and if it doesn’t feel right, it reinforces the negative feeling rather than the positive one.
Another approach, more Pathwork oriented, is to take a moment and assess what you are feeling toward yourself in the present. For example, you might say: ‘I don’t feel so good about myself right now because: _________. I would truly like to feel more loving and accepting of myself, and I’m not sure how to get there.’
This type of approach helps you align with positive intention (vs. traditional positive thinking which tries to build a positive feeling on top of a negative foundation) and places no demands on you to be where you are not. From my perspective, I always prefer to feel authentic with myself in the moment and give myself space to be as I am, while aligning with my most caring intention toward myself, even if I’m not there yet.
Authenticity leads to truth; truth leads to trust; trust leads to love.
What things do you tell yourself, and don’t believe? Can you find a way to be in truth with yourself in a way that allows for greater guidance and love to flow into your consciousness?