One of the latest long term homework assignments Doc has given me is quite simple, yet also very effective.
Everyday I tell myself that I love myself.
It’s often in the car when I’m alone, listening to music, speeding along to here or there.
Occasionally it’s when I’m sitting around with friends.
Once it was when I was about to start working, knowing that day’s crew had two people I didn’t care for.
Each time I use a easy method Doc suggested: I touch my heart. On my chest, just to the left, I rub in small circles, applying pressure until I feel the beating.
It is an amazing and humbling moment each time I feel my heart beat.
When I’m alone, I usually say it out loud.
“I love you. I love you.”
I usually say it about five times, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Often I tear up. Doc says that’s because it is a sentiment that is hard for me to take in, hard for me to accept, hard for me to believe. It stems from my self worth issues, the neglect from my father, and the example of my mother as a doormat.
My father never told my mother that he loved her.
Do you love yourself?
I love myself…sometimes. I like myself most of the time.
Sometimes, though, I don’t. Sometimes I am mean and downright cruel to myself.
Sometimes the background noise in my head points out every defect, small and large, and amplifies how much I don’t love those parts of me, even though the sum of it, all of it, makes me.
Sometimes I want to scream and gnash my teeth and rage at myself and the world.
But only sometimes.
More often then not, especially lately, I’m good. More often then not, I love me, flawed imperfect me. Changing, ever growing me.
But always, whenever I put my hand over my heart, and say those three words, over and over again, I feel wondrous. I feel joyful. My heart is full, almost bursting. I feel loved.
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