Talking to Yourself...Loving Yourself
I like to talk to myself. Seriously, I do. I’ve been inspired by Mariah Fenton Gladdis, my Gestalt teacher/group therapist, a luminous, loving and deeply intuitive healer who has lived with ALS for over 30 years. About twenty eight years ago, she had been told she only had a small chance of surviving two years. She decided that if she was to survive longer than that, she would have to breathe love and life into her being unconditionally. There was absolutely no room for breaking her own heart with negative self talk. Mariah has said that she is living on love– It’s true, and she is like a flower fragrant with it.
“So what I’d like you to do right now is to be that part of your body that is under threat, that is suffering in some large or small way, for example, your eyes or your liver, and talk to yourself. Tell yourself what you need as that part of you that is ill. As that part of your body, say to yourself, “Work with me; take care of me; I need you.”
Now, be yourself and respond to that part of your body. Apologize for any time you have criticized or been angry it. Anytime you’ve wanted to disown or amputate. Give compassion. Say, I am so sorry this is happening to you. I’ll stay with you. I’ll do everything in my power to help you. You have much to teach me. I will care for you until I draw my last breath.”
That is being in relationship with you. Your body is not attacking you. It’s not out to hurt you or betray you or abandon you. You are wounded, and you must cherish and care for and comfort as you would an injured child. If your illness is in your eyes, thank them for all they have shown you. Say, I’m here to help you. You’re not helpless.
You know the French term, la petite morte ? It is little death. And when we criticize ourselves it’s a little murder that we commit. In that second, we die. We are heart-broken from that hit that we give ourselves.
So be patient with yourselves, we all do this. It takes time to undo that habit and know that you don’t want to give yourself little deaths over and over and over. You want to breathe life and love into your being. Every time you express gratitude, appreciation for any aspect of yourself, you breathe life in. Any time you love, you breath life in. Any time you criticize, you amputate. You suffer a little death.
And when you have given, be sure then to enter a conscious moment of receptivity. Receive what you have given. Inhale. Practice. Practice until you can receive upwards of 90 percent of the love you are giving. Bathe every cell. Soak in it. This is the dance of health, giving and receiving, breath by breath. This is how you create fertile ground for healing to occur.”
This practice isn’t just for our physical struggles, but also for our sadnesses, frustrations, fears–all the vulnerabilities that we can be so hard on ourselves for. I am awed by my capacity for tenderness for myself. I have come to feel as though we are all babies, and we are all sages. We really, really need to care for ourselves and each other. Our communities need more love saturated fragrant flowers. Why not be one?
P.S. Please enjoy Sinead O'Connors music video, "This Is To Mother You" Play it for the parts of you that need to hear it...