“…the dry throat that came from a love you remembered
but had never fully wanted for yourself,
until finally, after years making the long trek to get here
it was as if your whole achievement had become nothing but thirst itself.”
– David Whyte, “The Well”
I sit for my daily morning practice; often it’s a form of meditation.
Thoughts race – who I have to call or where I have to be.
I pause and observe my monkey mind, the inner critic, and my saboteur.
I have one simple defense.
The hardest of all practices.
And yet the simplest.
The easiest to judge oneself for.
And it is one that society may mock.
You may write it off as preposterous.
And it may even feel so.
But never forget, judgment is a way of staying falsely safe.
It is a practice that was gifted to me by an elder, with a 3” x 5” hand held mirror. Every day I look into the mirror, into my eyes, and say to myself 10, 20 times, the hardest three words.
Three words we often say to comfort one another.
Three words we rarely think to say to ourselves.
The most powerful three words in the human language.
Three words that require that we drop our armor and open our heart.
The words are simply this – “I love you.” I breathe deeply, as if washing my internal organs with these words.
- Do you have the courage to speak them to yourself?
- With all your self-judgments and criticisms?
- With all the old programming that says you’re not worthy to hear them?
To say such words to your own image in the mirror, what does that bring up for you? Can you do it? Or is it just weird?
I struggled for some time. It requires great opening. We are often loathe to do it – for fear of getting soft or narcissistic.
“I love you” challenges the monkey mind, the inner critic, the doubts that you are ok, loved, and can trust yourself.
“I love you” pierces through cynicism and fear.
It taps the Deep Well.
The Deep Well of connection to something bigger than yourself.
The Deep Well of Self-Trust.
The Deep Well of “I am enough.”
The Deep Well of “I love you.”
Consider the despair of the world. Can you still hold “I love you”?
“This is warrior’s work. Warrior of the heart,” a client said in my office one day.
“Yes,” I said, “to make the world safe for your heart to show up in a world that is often heartless.”
The practice is simultaneously an opening to make love and do battle with old parts of yourself.
It’s taken me time to believe these words. My gremlins and inner demons had hijacked my system. But in three words, you can show up to lovingly combat the daily soul suck of the world.
“I often believe, fuck it, nothing matters. The world is screwed and I can’t change it,” the client said. “But now I know that I can change my world. I can tap the Deep Well.”
Can we hold the despair of the world and the beauty at the same time?
Try the “I love you” practice for thirty days. It’s not easy but it’s deep. Improve your self-relationship and improve all your relationships.
This post was previously published on www.stuartmotola.com and is republished here with permission from the author.
Photo credit: Istockphoto.com