Monthly Archives: February 2017

Give Yourself Some Self-Love

Aren’t there times when you want nothing more than a pair of loving arms, wrapped around you?

And aren’t there times – whether you simply happen to be alone in a moment of need, or you’re living through a lengthy period of solitude or singledom – when such tender arms are nowhere to be found?

Fortunately, there is one embrace that is always available. It’s the loving contact of our own arms.

I was reminded of this instant and easy self-loving technique when I was browsing Caroline Latham’s useful little book on compassion this morning.

She offers this exercise you can use when you are caught up in negative thoughts:

Every time you find yourself wandering around muttering: ‘You stupid idiot, why oh why did I do that?’, stop and correct yourself.
Say instead: “I love and forgive myself.” Do this even if that kind of language feels alien and too sweet.
Go against that cynical you.
Give your arms a comforting pat.

I want to go further, and say, ‘Give yourself a great big hug!’ And not just when you’ve irritated or annoyed yourself, but whenever you feel hurt, or sad or in need of some unconditional love.

At a difficult time in my own life when it was hard to find solace and the pain of loss sometimes felt overwhelming, I got into the habit of giving myself a cuddle.

I’d cross my arms over my body, rub my upper arms with my hands comfortingly, lovingly stroke my shoulders and say out loud: “It’s alright darling, you’re doing so well, it’s alright.” It was such a heartwarming and helpful practice.

We are always available to comfort ourselves. That’s the great thing about self-love, it’s always on tap.

Next time you feel sad, disappointed in yourself, or mired in grief or some other misery, offer yourself some self-love in this way.

Try it. You’ll probably get an opportunity sooner than you think.

Make it a daily habit to love yourself, and then remember to extend some of that same love to other people too.

Elizabeth Martyn: Beyond 60

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