Loving self by choosing light

Light filters in 3I’ve been challenged recently to focus on loving myself. I always thought I knew about this, at least for other people. I thought I was good at loving other people. But I used to teach that in order to love others, truly love them, one needs to love the self. Guess who needs and needed that lesson? So I am beginning to look at things I’ve written, to see where I might have hints about what it is to love my self.

Somehow, while there was a part of me that knew I had light inside somewhere, the rest of me felt convinced that inside me was inherently flawed. I always seemed to think that even the Divine would find me, at my core, unlovable, unworthy, not good enough (thank you, Panache Desai, for that trio of phrases!). So I thought of light as external somehow, even the times when I experienced it internally. I would attribute that light to the Divine, denying it as inherently my being.

However, as I once wrote, light kept showing up to surprise me, to startle me out of my chosen darkness and heaviness. I’ve written a number of poems and other things about this. The lines on the image above are from one of these. More often these days, I choose to love myself. I choose it by taking a moment before making a choice to see whether that choice feels light or heavy to me. I even make a point of choosing what feels light! It’s an amazing sensation to choose what feels light. It so contradicts how I’ve always seen myself, or chosen to ignore myself in the past. I still run away from myself, but not so often anymore. Now, I’ll notice when I’m running away, recognize that I feel scared, or stymied, and choose to be gentle with myself. I choose to ask questions, like “Is this really what I would like?” or “Is this light for me?” Sometimes, I’ll just recognize that it’s ok for me to feel scared, and check in to see what would help me move forward, anyway.

These are little things that don’t seem like much. But I have to say, these little things are practice, that help me to choose what is light for myself more often. They are little things that decrease the power I’ve given to fear so often in my life. I’m finding that fear isn’t stopping me for so long as it used to. It isn’t able to hide from me, either, as effectively as it seemed to do before. Choosing light means recognizing more often when I’m lying to myself. That helps me to make different choices, like listening to someone nailing me on what I’m doing and feeling via describing how I’m behaving. Each time I choose that lightness, I find myself more willing to choose it again, then again. When I don’t choose light, I find myself treating myself more gently, and allowing myself to choose again.

This is such new territory for me! There is so much more to say about this! In the meantime, I choose to enjoy light filtering in through all my shadows, because when light filters in, the shadows disappear. And how can something that disappears be solid or true?

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