Observe your body and your thoughts as you try this little exercise – read this affirmation out loud: I Love Myself.
Say it again, a few times. If you’re feeling uncomfortable saying it, ask yourself why. It took me 38 years to learn to love myself.
When I do this exercise with my clients, only a handful are successful in the first attempt. Some tell me they ‘hate’ themselves. Some say that ‘love’ is a strong word and they don’t feel they deserve it. Some say, ‘there’s nothing there to love’.
I resonate with all these statements. It’s not easy to love yourself. In fact, it’s easier to keep living in shame or guilt. But wait…Ponder on this ayah for a minute…
“It is Allah Who has made for you the earth as a resting place, and the sky as a canopy, and has given you shape- and made your shapes beautiful,- and has provided for you Sustenance, of things pure and good;- such is Allah your Lord. So, Glory to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds!” (Quran: 40:64)
How beautifully Allah tells us to unconditionally love – even own selves. So why is it so difficult for people to love themselves? Perhaps it’s because we forget that we are not our experiences.
We forget that we are a force that overcomes experiences, no matter how negative they may be. Whatever you have been through in life, you are still here, well and alive. You made it.
When I learned to love myself, I realised that it wasn’t that I hated myself – it was that I hated all the choices I made in my life that brought about the negative experiences.
It was that I hated my past behaviours that shackled me in shame, guilt, blame and regret. It was that I couldn’t differentiate that my body was different from my soul.
I learned self-love when I began to connect with my essential self – my intuitive voice, the voice of my soul. The soul’s voice never misguides because it is pure and isn’t affected by past conditioning. I realised that I am a pure soul created by Allah and I must love this being that dwells inside my body.
Daily Practice of Self-Love
- After salah, sit on your prayer mat and focus on your breathing.
- With each in-breath, feel your body energised with light. Imagine light entering through the crown of your head and dispersing through every part of your body.
- With each out-breath, praise Allah for creating you and giving you this precious body to live in. Imagine the light pouring out of your body and reaching your family members, neighbours, community, the nation, and to the rest of the world. Your mind is powerful enough to create this image. Praise Allah for the power of your beautiful mind.
- Say these words: I am a beautiful creation of Allah. I love myself. I am love, light, kindness, peace and joy.