It is easy to hate on ourselves, to judge, to evaluate, to compare, to list all the ways we fall short. Short of what? Some distorted ideal we have become attached to as our answer to life’s challenges. This ideal may be attained, but it won’t end the self-hate. It may mute it temporarily, but the judgment, the comparison, the critic will dominate once again.
So how might we release this attachment to loving ourselves in the future, to embodying this love now? As Sharon Salzberg, meditation teacher and author of Real Love, shares: “Love is a living capacity with us.” We already embody love for ourselves. We have lost touch with it.
Here is a simple practice in remembering the love that lives within us.
Pause. Scan. Savor.
PAUSE! Take a couple of minutes (literally 2 minutes if that’s all you have) during the day to pause. You may find this most accessible before you fall asleep.
SCAN the day and identify at least one way you loved yourself. It can be an action you took, an action you chose not to take, the way you spoke to yourself, etc. It can be ANYTHING!
SAVOR! As you recall this experience, as micro and brief as it may have been, feel the sensation of loving yourself arise in the body. Allow it to hold you, perhaps soothe you or energize you, creating safety and presence. Allow this feeling to soak into your cells like water soaks into a sponge. Or, savor it like you might a yummy piece of food or a beautiful landscape. Feel free to go to the Savoring the Present practice for further support.