I am lucky enough to be surrounded by like-minded individuals who support my path of spirituality. While this may not have always been the case with all of my relationships, it was always the case with my family. I know when to recognize the need for gratitude and this is one of those times. Like myself, my family and now my partner, are on a spiritual path learning all that there is about self-development, personal growth and love. While we may all label it as something different, I can always count on the fact that we share a common language and a common goal to commit to ourselves and to show up to the world as the best version of ourselves.
Every week I look forward to Wednesdays, not because we are halfway through the week, but because I know I will receive a positive little package in my inbox. Every Wednesday my Mom takes the time to gather positive affirmations and words of wisdom to send to her loved ones. They are a time for me to pause and to recognize what is right in the world, not wrong.
A few weeks ago my Mom prefaced her weekly inspiring quotes with her own words.
She said, “I think we all need to love ourselves a bit more. I know I do. It is much easier to be critical than to love ourselves.”
She followed up her own statement with these three powerful quotes:
“Just remember that life isn’t about making other people happy. You have to look after yourself so that you can SHARE your happiness with others. There’s really no point in losing yourself while trying to please others.” ~Karen Gibbs~
“Every day I battle an enemy I never really see; it’s tough to win the war when the enemy is me.” ~Jeannine Sanderson~
“You need to love yourself. Love yourself so much to the point that your energy and aura rejects anyone who doesn’t know your worth.” ~Billy Chapata~
First off, thanks Mom. Thanks for caring enough about yourself and your loved ones, that you take the time to send these beautiful affirmations each week.
Secondly, isn’t that the truth? All of it.
It is imperative that we take time to learn how to love ourselves. We can’t possibly love others effectively, sincerely, or wholeheartedly, if we have not learned how to love ourselves first.
When you look into a mirror, what is reflected back to you?
Do you criticize what stares back? Or, do you embrace that reflection with ease?
Do you pick out your flaws – that extra pound or two, or not enough pounds? Or do you praise the shape you have been given?
Do you quickly work to cover your natural essence with product, or trace the indents and creases with joy, knowing that each line marks an experience in your life to date?
Is the conversation with your reflection speaking kindly or with words of disdain?
Ask yourself these questions the next time you peer into the mirror. You would be surprised at how many times we face ourselves throughout a day. You would be equally surprised to realize the profound impact that our thoughts, words and reactions to our reflection have on our daily lives.
One of the best ways that we can learn to love ourselves is through mirror work.
In keeping with the theme of what I wish my teacher had taught me®, it is one of my goals this year to take even more time to teach my students how to love themselves unconditionally, because with this self-love comes, confidence, respect, self-worth, success, fearlessness, forgiveness and an ability to connect with self and others on the deepest level possible.
Each of my students received a gift on the first day of school this year. On every desk was a mirror inscribed with an erasable affirmation. We begin each of our days at school with a morning mantra using these mirrors. For the first month of school, we have spoken our mantra in unison using the same positive message. As we move through our journey together however, I hope to encourage my students to create their own personal affirmations, which connects them to the part of themselves needing the most work – with the ultimate goal of reaching self-love.♥
It is very easy to look into a mirror and criticize, judge and berate the image we see and it can be even more challenging to look into the mirror and LOVE what we see. I want my students to choose the challenge of loving themselves.
Self-love may not happen overnight, but like anything, with consistency, motivation and a dedication to what’s most important, (you!) that transformation will occur.
While my students didn’t receive candy, videogames, or a big red box with a bow on it, they have received what I believe is a life-long gift. I hope that it will be the gift that keeps giving.