Whilst on a training course recently, as part of an exercise to prepare ourselves as therapists to work on clients, we were taught a method of leaving all of our daily problems behind and to help us to focus and to feel happy, positive and at peace, so that we were in a good place to begin work on our clients. As part of the process we were asked to identify three things that we really loved. Not just liked but loved, that made us happy and that we really had true feelings for. Many of us chose our partners or children and then objects that we also loved, maybe they had fond memories associated with them or they were gifted by someone special. It wasn’t too difficult to come up with the first thing, and then not very hard for the next two, the hardest part was choosing which of several things I loved I would add to my list. It took about a minute.
Then we were asked the hardest question. Can you write down something about yourself that you really love. Not just like, but that you feel good about, it makes you happy.
Every single person in the room, firstly looked horrified, then looked completely stumped.
Then not only did we have to find one thing, but three. It’s possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, and I wasn’t the only one. It took ages for us to come up with three things, and even then some of us wrote that we only liked them, we couldn’t actually say we LOVED them. We felt a bit ashamed of ourselves!
This made all of us think quite hard. As a group of all female holistic therapists we were all perfectly comfortable with the idea of loving things, we show and give love every day to our clients, in our treatments and throughout our working day, not to mention the love that we give and show our friends and families too. But as a society we aren’t taught to love ourselves in the way we are taught to be kind and love others. If anything we are taught that it isn’t quite right to love things about ourselves, it’s vain and big headed. It’s fine for other people to say they love things about us, even then some of us don’t handle the compliments very well, but not for us to say we love ourselves. It’s just something that never crossed our minds, no one had ever asked us before, and we could barely do it.
There is nothing wrong with it, in fact it’s very hard to give love to another person if you don’t love yourself a little, as a therapist it’s really hard to be effective and compassionate and giving without at least liking yourself! We spend all of our lives not liking ourselves, I personally dislike lots of bits of myself, mostly aesthetic I have to say, but I have friends who actually dislike themselves as people, which is shocking and sad. If you can’t find things about yourself to love, how will anyone else?
So today I want you to sit, and think…hard…. Can you find three things about yourself that you love, that make you feel good? not just the outside but the inside too? Does it make you feel odd or uncomfortable doing it? If it does, keep going. I’d like to think that everyone reading this can improve their feelings about themselves just a tiny bit, it spreads happiness, improves confidence and changes the way you look and feel too. It’s only three little things, it shouldn’t be a major challenge. Then see if you can find more! The more you can find, the more it shows, the more you glow, the more people are attracted to you because you look happy from the inside. So off you go….what are you waiting for…it’s just three little things..