Okay, I’m just gonna say it: unconditional love really is the most ridiculous term ever invented. I mean, really, as if there is something called ‘conditional love’. There isn’t, because then by definition, it isn’t love anymore. Love is inclusive. There are no exceptions. I’ve been practicing this concept for quite some time now. I’m not fluent in it yet, and most of the time I f*ck up big time, but as it is a life-long practice in love, that just extra practice. This week, I realized that I have mostly focused on loving that which is outside of myself as perfect as it is, that as much as I am compassionate towards myself, I don’t love myself unconditionally. I don’t include all of myself. There are things about myself that I have real issues with. nothing new there, but the realization that this habit of judging parts of myself as not up to standard has contributed nothing to my life is. So I have decided to throw it out of the window and do something radically different; I have decided to love all of myself. All. Of. Myself. Everything. Every habit. Every thought. Every emotion. Every quirk. Every square millimeter of my body. Everything I create. Everything I don’t create. Everything I say. Everything I don’t say. Everything that I regard as brilliant, and everything I judge as unworthy. Everything. Including the things I have up to now not been able to accept about myself at all, the things I keep actively resisting. Even the feelings of resistance themselves. I will just love.
Part of loving is allowing. I will allow everything to be as it is in this moment. I will allow it to feel as it feels. I will allow it to change when it does, because it will. I will not judge any of it, because I am deciding upfront that it is worthy of love, no matter how it feels or what it looks like. This is an inside job. Imagine that I am feeling very angry. Instead of suppressing that anger, or judging it as not good or unhealthy, or being angry at myself for feeling angry, I am simply going to allow myself to feel angry. I am not going to act out my anger, not towards myself or any other living being, but I am going to allow myself to feel angry. And I am going to love it. I am going to allow it to be without judging it. And I am going to allow myself to feel it until it subsides. Because it will. That I know for sure. Every part of me is worth of this loving attention, even or maybe especially the parts of myself that I feel aren’t worthy of love. In a weird way, this is the only thing that makes sense, because not loving has proven not to be effective
I am going to practice radical self-love, and I would love for you to join me. What would it feel like if you loved every square millimeter of your body? If you allowed every emotion and thought to just be, and love them as they are. “Yeah, but…,” I hear you think, “this thought / emotion / body / habit is really ugly! Loving it would be condoning it.” Not necessarily, loving simply means being present without judging negatively. So while thinking the so-called ugly thought without judging it, you may become aware of the feeling that is beneath it, and allowing that feeling to be felt without judgment, it may simply dissolve. Or it may not, there’s no way to tell. But I can tell you this, you will feel better for it. Not because facing the shadow parts of ourselves is a breeze, but at least we are loving ourselves to the best of our abilities. And tell me, how would that feel? To just love yourself for no other reason than that you decided that you are worthy of love! Pretty amazing, huh?
photo by Mike Swope
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