As part of my self-guided MBSR (mindfulness-based stress reduction) program, I watched the following TED talk by Shauna Shapiro.
In it, she discusses her life’s work: the power of mindfulness, and how mindfulness has to be accompanied with kindness towards the self in order to eradicate shame.
One exercise she suggested was to wake up every morning, put your hand on your chest and say “Good morning <my name>, I love you.” Seems simple enough right?
It seemed like an easy thing that I could add to my daily practice. But like Shauna, when I attempted to tell myself that I loved myself in an earnest way, I choked. I couldn’t do it. Because I don’t. I want to, but there are parts of my psyche that deeply despise myself. The words feel wrong.
So like here, I am beginning with just acknowledging myself. “Good Morning, Mackenzie”, I said this morning, hand to heart, and even this simple gesture pricked tears in my eyes. Perhaps I can work up to expressing self-love eventually with practice.