Only God, my dear,
Could love you for yourself alone
And not your yellow hair.
William Butler Yeats Ann Gregory
What is your “yellow hair”? All the things you love about yourself because they meet your personal ideal.
Can you imagine loving all of you – yourself alone? Not just the special, yellow hair, parts of you? Can you love what fails to please you? Or what is just ordinary, hardly worth noticing because it is neither marvelous nor hateful?
This is where animals have the advantage over us self-conscious humans…there isn’t a zebra in the world that adores or hates it’s stripes or wishes they were spots or just a touch thinner, or a shade lighter!!
Self-love is no sin. In fact, it is a morally necessary deed for two core reasons.
What we fail to love about ourselves we project on to others and then try to change them or destroy them.
What we fail to love about ourselves, becomes the justification for our self-sabotage, our hiding, our self-diminishing, our failure to thrive.
Self-love is not a pick & choose. It is not a menu teasing your soul’s palette – “Oh, what part of myself would taste good today?” It is the great inner gesture of your life and without self-love, you will not know how to love others or serve the world to the fullest.
A Valentine’s Exercise in Self-Loving
Write a Valentine from your I Am to yourself filled with appreciation, recognition, gratitude, wonder, awe, and tender knowledge at being yourself…this body, this life, this personality, this consciousness.
- to your physical body or a part of it…your earlobes, you two big toes, your hair color, your pelvis, your trapezius muscle, your age spots.
- to something about your biology…your deep breaths, your blood pressure, your bladder, your vagus nerve, how you sweat, to your ability to smile or shed a tear.
- to a memory… a detail or a whole episode of your life, a place, a person, a feeling and also just to the the joy and grief of remembering.
- to your way of thinking…how you seek to learn, how you question, how you wish, how you notice the moon, how you finished the crossword puzzle, how you wondered about death.
- to your feelings…your ability to feel a mood, to care, to be emotionally alive and expressive with desire, calmness, delight, courage, And find the compassion to send a love note to your fears, your disappointments and other difficult feelings.
- to your will…your capacity to plan, initiate, execute, complete, and celebrate brushing your teeth, checking your email, writing a poem, vacuuming your living room, singing a song, weeding your garden, praying.
Take some time today to love yourself alone!
And if loving yourself feels good and you want to know how much more of you there is to love, I urge you to sign up for the Core Imaginations Curriculum. Click here. NOTE: The discounted subscription is only available until March 1st.
From the beginning of experiencing your work, I have been and continue to be, astounded by your ability to organize this spiritual content with inner process.
Andrea Martone – Core Imaginations participant, biodynamic farmer, bookkeeper, Pilates instructor, Durango, CO