Two weeks ago I wrote to you about quieting your own mind and welcoming in a wise presence to cultivate self-love. How has it gone, darling? Have you been able to slip away from your thoughts and into a warm bath of love for yourself? I hope you have. Remember, you’re wonderful darling. As you’ve offered yourself this love have you felt what I’ve hoped you felt? Seen that at your core you are divinely human just as we all are? Flawed and imperfectly perfect. That’s what I wanted you to see, and for your inner critic to take a seat to allow love in. If you’re still practicing, then you’re doing it exactly right. This morning I laid in bed listening to a morning meditation against the sunrise encouraging my busy, controlling, mind to release into my presence and the presence of the day. Self-love and living in presence is a daily practice.
The Process of the Presence
As you become more aware of your own limiting beliefs, the stories you tell yourself, and how they craft the language of your inner critic two beautiful things happen. The first is you are easily able to offer yourself forgiveness with judgment and the next is you allow yourself to be loved.
On forgiveness, when you are able to see you are not your thoughts it becomes almost innate to offer this to yourself. In my own life, I have about a dozen critical themes that loop inside of my mind, and being able to identify them allows me to detach from them. The more I am able to give them a name, the easier I am able to identify a pattern, and offer a simple, “hello friend,” to the critic. There you are again, I see you, I hear you, and I am not you. In this practice, forgiveness comes easily. The more you name your limiting beliefs, the easier it will be to befriend, release, and forgive them. In the light of love, these limiting beliefs cannot stay.
As you move through forgiveness and honor your humanity the next step starts to become a little easier. The step is to allow yourself to be loved exactly as you are, not as you desire yourself to be. I don’t know about you, but allowing others to love me is just about the most vulnerable place in my heart. If I find another spot, I’ll let you know, but for right now that’s the soft one. You see, love, true love, is given to you on your worst days when you can barely look at yourself which means you have to let the people that love you see your worst days. That shit is hard! I have a theory as to why this is true love or love at its essence if you will. I’m not going all wedding day, Corinthians something, something on you. Or the romantic love that declares it will love you through all odds. I mean, that’s also a cool type of love, but that’s not what I’m writing about today.
My theory is this; the people who truly love you can see your innate goodness through, well, your bad days/choices and suffering. In the moments when you cannot offer love to yourself because you either did behave in a not-so-great way or are mentally suffering, the people that love you are to you the light you cannot be. They are the candle in your darkness reminding you, “darling, it’s Ok, you wonderful human, love is here.” They come without judgment, kneel beside you, and remind you that you are not the sum of your worst days. Our damn critic is loud on those days. Those that truly love us allow us to love ourselves when we cannot so that we can in time, love ourselves again on our own. Whether it be that day, in a week, or in a lifetime. Those that love us can nurture us back to love if we allow them to.
Love, True Love
This type of love requires a deep vulnerability because it requires you to be seen, exactly as you are and not how you desire others to see you. This type of love, if we’re lucky, is given by a small handful of close friends, family members, and a partner if you desire it. It isn’t given by everyone we meet, nor should it be. This type of love requires your whole heart to be open and your heart is precious. As my therapist has told me about a dozen times, “only you get to decide who sits at your table, girl they need an invitation!” I know it’s not as fun or riveting as walking through life with “free hugs,” on your shirt and offering love to everyone you meet (not..speaking from experience or anything over here…). But, that type of love offered freely and to all cannot go as deep as your soul needs it. Sure, we can offer love and happiness to all beings on earth, but who we allow in to truly love us is an entirely different thing. This type of love took me years to honor, and today I blush at the table of love that surrounds me.
To my tribe and family who allow me to be human in all moments, who love me fiercely when I cannot love myself, who have carried me when I could not walk; know this, I am alive and well, and thriving because your love led me back to mine. I wake each day in awe that I get to do this thing called life with you by my side. I hope that in each waking moment, whether it be when your sad thoughts are floating by and life is crushing you or when life lifts you to the highest mountains, that you know I am a candle of love for you as you have been for me. Thank you for teaching me that opening my heart isn’t so scary after all.