Roses are red
Violets are blue
My life was imperfect
Until I met you…
Today I’m going to tell you a love story. But it’s not your well known Once upon a time…. girl meets dashingly hot boy on tinder; boy and girl fall madly in love with each other, they buy a house and move to Sandton where they live happily ever after…kind of story!
Today I’m going to tell you an untold love story.
This is the love story that Hollywood, fairy-tales, face book and twitter have forgotten about…. It’s different to the love story that we have grown up believing in.
This is a very powerful love story.
It’s the love story that we tell ourselves about ourselves. In fact you could call it the “selfie” love story! And tragically, it’s quite often a very unloving story. And quite often this story is based on the myth that it’s selfish and vain to love ourselves fully. That someone who really loves themselves is arrogant and self-righteous. The real truth of the matter is in fact quite the opposite of this. By truly and authentically loving ourselves, we create space for those around us to do the same for themselves. This notion is beautifully captured by Marianne Williamson, in a quote made famous by Nelson Mandela:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
In working with coaching clients, one of the things that has really struck me is how many of us (and myself included at a stage) walk around thinking that we aren’t good enough, that we need to be perfect; that we aren’t acceptable just as we are; that we need to improve ourselves to be more loveable. We hope that someone else will love us, and affirm us in the way that we struggle to do for ourselves. But although it isn’t always as straight forward as simply deciding to love ourselves, we can all choose the selfie love story: to recognise that true love isn’t conditional – that we can’t be picky about what parts of ourselves we love. This means fully acknowledging all parts of ourselves as unique and loveable. Real love is unconditional, and what this means for ourselves is learning to love the parts of ourselves that we don’t think are loveable: our shameful emotions; our wobbly and bouncy bits. It means loving ourselves exactly as we are right now. And accepting those parts of ourselves that we often want to hide. In doing this we open ourselves up to the world, to opportunities and to really being able to love others and be loved. And ironically, once we can accept the things about ourselves that we think are hard to love, they become easier to change.
What is the love story that you tell yourself? Do you have one?
I invite you to notice the stories you tell yourself continually about yourself. Ask yourself whether it’s the kind of story you would want to be told by your lover, or your best friend; or one that you would want to tell your lover. If you find that your story is not very loving… choose to tell your selfie story in a kind, loving and accepting way. One way that you can begin is to complete the first line of your selfie love story – I love myself enough to…….
And then decide on your first step to make your love story come true….This may mean taking some time out of your hectic schedule for yourself (time that you may feel you don’t deserve); it may mean treating yourself to some pampering; or doing something that makes you feel alive, like the dance class you haven’t had time for. It could also mean choosing more carefully who you spend your time with.
It may seem quite foreign at first, but as you begin to practise this, and as you authentically start to tell the selfie love story, you will notice magic happening in your life!
So I’ll end with this new selfie rhyme:
Roses are red
Violets are blue
I knew that I was perfect
When I loved myself too