Loving and Approving of Ourselves
A couple of weeks ago I came across a video on YouTube of Louise Hay discussing one of her most powerful affirmations,
"I love and approve of myself".
Even though I knew my assistant had some Monday Quotes in reserve, I felt like we needed to offer up this one when we next posted the MQ. Then, when she sent it to me for approval, all dressed up with a picture and my comment, I almost shut it down. At first it knocked the wind out of me almost as much as it had the first time I heard it.
Over twenty years ago, right after I left my 18-year marriage, I heard Dr. Christiane Northrup speak. I had become a fan of hers based on the way she viewed women's health and especially pregnancy and childbirth. I felt like she was a kindred soul. I don't remember what else she said because I was struck by the phrase she recommended, the one I mentioned above, having heard it from Louise Hay. Louise was another person I looked up to, although I was just barely able to scratch the surface of her self-compassion and wisdom at the time. I knew it sounded good, yet I still wasn't taking it in.
Dr. Northrup said that she had learned from Louise to look in the mirror and state, "I love and approve of myself". I felt a small, shimmering crack in my hard-earned, carefully-constructed shell. Now, as I look back, it reminds me of something I heard about a statue of a Buddha made of pure gold many years before. It was covered with a thick coat of mud to protect it from an invading army. While the soldiers were searching for precious things to take, they overlooked the dull-looking, brown carving. The model of the spiritual teacher was forgotten for many years and stayed in the corner of a temple. During some remodeling it was moved outside and after a particularly heavy rainstorm it was noted that the mud was cracking and something was shining underneath. The tale goes on to say that sometimes we cover up something precious, (perhaps ourselves?!), for protection, but underneath the true gold remains.
I know that when I looked in the mirror and said that phrase for the first time it was terrifying. Even saying this to myself again recently brought up an initial response of, "Oh, no I don't". However, as I watched the video from so many years ago, I remembered how it helped me. I was taking some very bold steps in my life back then and I didn't have a clue what I was doing. My ego was running the show and I would probably have told you I didn't have a soul, if you had asked me. I might have even been boastful about that last admission. I was a sad, hot mess. I couldn't make head nor tails of what life was all about. I was full of swagger, anger, self-loathing, and confusion and the last thing I wanted to do was admit that.
When Louise suggested repeating, "I love and approve of myself", she was aware that it would often bring up the opposite within us. If you think about it, anyone who truly loved and approved of themselves probably wouldn't have to say it. They would live it and be on their merry way, but when those of us who don't feel that way confront it, it brings up all our negative messages. If we're really looking at ourselves and are even willing to consider what this is bringing up, we stand a chance of beginning to heal.
That's what I've been doing since 1997 -- mending, restoring, correcting, improving and generally getting better. I've had to learn how to bring out the best in myself and I'm not done.
I'm attaching the original video from Louise Hay because I can't improve on what she has to say and how she says it. It's less than three minutes long and more powerful than a two-hour lecture. Everything she says is what I wish for you.
Sparkles and Love,