December 19 – “Say ‘I love you’ to yourself and mean it.”
The Calendar of Care was created by the minister of my faith community, who shared it with the congregation on the first day of December with the reminder that December can be a hectic time, both joyful and sad, filled with expectation, some realistic, some not, and that we, all of us, need to take good care of ourselves during this month.
I recognized that I do many of the daily suggestions routinely, others from time to time, and others not nearly often enough.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed the daily challenges:
- Notice something beautiful and pay close attention to it.
- Make a date with someone you’ve been meaning to spend time with.
- Stop at least twice today and just breathe deeply.
- Reflect for a moment on your greatest joy.
- Write down three things for which you feel grateful.
But “Say I love you to yourself and mean it”? I had a feeling that this one would be tough.
I waited to give it a try until my daily Reiki self-healing practice. With my hands lightly on my chest, I began to think the words, but hesitated. My intellect kicked in, allowing me to tell myself that I’m a good person, an often kind person, a generous person, a compassionate person more often than not. I could list these traits, but could not for the life of me take that leap into love.
I continued with my hands-on self-healing. When I had finished, I insisted that I say the words aloud: “I love you, Pam.”
Ugh. Who knew it would be this hard? Overcome with emotion, a feeling of unworthiness, I grabbed a warm blanket and took a nap.
Our nation is grieving. The latest massacre. Twenty-six people gunned down in the blink of an eye, the beat of a heart. Babies.
Our babies massacred every day, across our beloved country, in cities and suburbs and rural towns.
I open my Reiki classes with a welcome that ends with these words:
The world is in great need of healing. Let us begin with ourselves.
We, all of us, know that the road to healing is love, that love is the only way forward. There are those who are so twisted with anger and fear that they have lost sight of this truth, but in their hearts, they know it, too.
We are all children of the Divine. All of us: two-legged, four-legged, winged, scaled. We need to recognize the Divine in each other. This is not easy in a culture that preaches division. It takes practice, but it can be done. Healing is possible. When we recognize the Divine in each other, we can take action as a community to protect each other, support each other, care for each other.
I wasn’t able to comfortably say “I love you” to myself today, to recognize the Divine light that is me, partly because I haven’t heard it said to me enough in my life, especially as a child, when it mattered most. I imagine I am not alone in this.
I am going to practice. I am going to try to say “I love you” to others more often. Maybe this will help to heal a broken place in someone else, help others to see the Divine light that is them. Maybe it will help me to recognize the Divine light in myself as well.
Ha! My mind is already giving me a list of reasons why this is not a good idea. But I am going to try it anyway.
I hope you will be moved to share your thoughts.
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