I decided to accept a seven-day challenge given by Louise Hay and Robert Holden in their beautiful book Life Loves You: 7 Spiritual Practices to Heal Your Life.
Yesterday was Day 7 so today I’m going to tell you all about this seemingly simple exercise that took me places I never expected…
Here’s the challenge (spiritual practice sounds nicer!):
Sit comfortably in front of a mirror. Inhale deeply. Say to yourself: Life loves you (or Life loves me), then exhale. Repeat this 10 times. Notice your response each time. Pay attention to your bodily sensations, your thoughts and your feelings. Write these responses in a journal. Be honest. And please don’t judge yourself.
The second part of this exercise is to look into the mirror and repeat this affirmation: I am willing to let life love me today. Once again, notice your responses. Remember to breathe. Louise Hay and Robert Holden recommend repeating this affirmation until you feel “comfortable sensations in your body, light feelings in your heart, and a happy commentary in your thoughts.”
Repeat this exercise for seven consecutive days.
So I knuckle down and I do it. Seven days in a row.
There are tears. And sadness. Anger makes a surprise visit.
My inner child wails. Self-worth wavers. I judge.
I witness my beauty. And I feel the love.
Physically, I experience tension in my shoulders and I struggle to catch my breath. My head aches.
I notice a panicky feeling in my chest. My insides fizz.
Sometimes I become distracted by my thoughts, by my eyelashes, my hair, teeth and makeup. Fears arise.
Ideas spring forth. I want to share this exercise with as many people as possible.
I doubt that life loves me. I hope that it does. I believe that it could…
Interestingly, I find it easier to say Life loves you rather than Life loves me. It’s as if I’m two separate people – one a wiser, more evolved, peaceful, loving being; the other a wounded, scared child who needs reassurance.
I make myself look into my eyes as I cry the tears of a frightened child who feels all alone and just wants to be loved and protected. I’m here for myself in this moment.
I have the awareness that every time I lost hope, I left myself. I promise never to abandon myself again.
I feel a fierce determination to let life love me. Gradually, this determination transforms into something gentler, something more accepting, something more loving.
I realise that I close down whenever I fear rejection. I decide to open my heart, to let in the good, to love myself and, in doing that, to let life love me.
As I gaze into my eyes, I actually become quite mesmerised. I get lost in the colours and the inky blackness of my pupils as they dilate and contract.
I recently started seeing an amazing guy who tells me how beautiful I am. As I stare at my reflection, I see what he sees. I can see the beauty in my eyes, the beauty in me.
By the end of these seven days, which are laden with emotion, insight and healing, I’m saying Life loves you and really meaning it. I’m also able to say Life loves me too. I feel happy, light and relaxed.
I could never have predicted what would have come up for me while completing this exercise. My inner child voiced how scared and alone she feels. So I started giving her the love, affection and reassurance that she needs.
It became clear that I regularly criticise and reject myself. I resolved to be there for myself and not to abandon myself any more.
I’m more aware of when I close off to others, to the world, to life and to myself. I’m going to give myself the love and care that I deserve. I know that I can make myself happy.
I’m happily choosing to open my heart. I can see the good in the universe. And everything that happens is a confirmation that life loves me. I just have to let life love me today. Because once I allow it, I can see it.
Since starting this challenge, I’ve been given countless proof that life loves me.
A sales assistant drops a free lip balm into my bag. Motorists let me pass. A barista draws a love heart in my latte. People smile at me.
Image: Author’s Own
One morning, a friend gives me coffee, a Mars bar and a massage. Another friend gifts me with a red phone cover sporting a snowflake and a love heart. A loved one presses money into my hands for an upcoming trip.
And I can definitely feel the love with the guy I’m seeing. It’s in our hugs and our kisses, our texts and our glances. It flows in the things we share and the way we are with one another. My heart is so open when I’m with him and that feels really good.
This spiritual practice has shown me that I can feel this way all of the time, not just when I’m with a romantic partner. I can bring that openheartedness, warmth and affection to my interactions with other people too. And to the time I spend alone.
I greet people with a smile. I give people hugs and I’m present to what they share with me.
I listen to myself. I’m true to who I am and to what’s right for me. I’m nice to myself. And I appreciate life and all that it offers me in every single beautiful moment. Life loves me.
And guess what? There’s an abundance of love to go around because life loves you too.
Want to make sure? Try out this exercise for seven consecutive days. Enjoy. And please let me know how you get on.