"...we can only love others as much as we love ourselves."
- Brene Brown | Gifts of Imperfection
For 2016, a friend chose the word SELF as her word of the year. I admire her courage to choose this particular word.
Defined as "a person's essential being that distinguishes them from others, especially considered as the object of introspection," this choice is a particularly courageous act in a world where focusing on oneself is easily misjudged as selfish or indulgent.
She is giving in completely to her body's desire for more introspection and reflection.
This week while reflecting on love I thought about my friend, her courage, and the word Self and how it relates to love.
The foundation to all love is self-love.
To celebrate my friend's courage, I made her a card. Starting out with a blank page on a type writer at Better Off. The card making itself was an experience. Having pressed the wrong key a few times, I initially felt the urge to start over but accepted the "mistakes" as part of the aesthetic.
Initially, I was going to write a longer letter, telling her how proud I feel of her and her decision. However, when I asked myself what was the specific message I wanted to share, a few words sufficed:
On this Valentine's Day...
I have one wish for you:
May you feel full of SELF love.
Once I held the card in my hand I read it over a few times. I was a bit surprised as a sense of relief washed over my body. I needed those words, too.
Later that same night at my weekly compassion meditation group, the teacher spoke about love. He reminded us that in our culture we are not trained to notice moments when we are receiving deep care and love and that in our meditation we are practicing just that. Training in compassion opens us up to feel all the love we are receiving.
He went on to say: "Every moment of every day, you are loved. Right now, in this moment, you are loved." When he said this I replied with teary eyes and a smile: "That's a big deal."
I write to you today, sharing these words with you because perhaps, just like me, you may need them too.
May you feel full of self love.
That is my wish for you today and always.