I saw this L-O-V-E written in chalk on a sidewalk in New York City. I walked by it, stopped and smiled, kept going and then had to walk back to take the picture. I bet the person who wrote this couldn’t imagine how it would affect me. The smile on my face almost led to tears.
I get love now, and I feel loved. But back in my 20s and 30s, not so much. So literally finding “love” on the sidewalk made me stop in my tracks.
Remember the lyrics: “I was looking for love in all the wrong places…”? That was me – looking for love in a package of chocolate chip cookies, a king size bag of M & Ms or two Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches (because one was not enough!).
“Why am I not enough?” I would ask myself. “What can I do to find a boyfriend?” I asked myself the wrong questions for way too long.
The question I needed to ask was, “Jodi, do you love yourself?”
But I didn’t want to ask that question because I didn’t want to face the truth. Eating chocolate was much better than admitting I didn’t love myself. All along I didn’t love myself because I didn’t feel loved. Again – me – looking for love outside myself – in the form of acceptance from others. If, then…If the cute guy liked me, then I was pretty enough…then I would be happy and then I could love myself.
I have to tell you, writing this is nearly bringing me to tears. If feels like torture – as if my heart is being ripped out of my body. And honestly, makes me so humbled and grateful to be where I am now – in a loving relationship with myself and married to an amazing man who supports me and shows his love for me in so many ways (like going out of his way to make sure I have almond milk or knowing what vegetables are in the refrigerator so he can pick up what I’ll need for my spaghetti squash or morning smoothie).
Are you in a loving relationship with yourself? Are you taking care of your body, mind and spirit as if they are the three most important parts of the world?
If you are, I say, “Bravo!” to you. “Well done and keep it up” (and I’d love to hear about your self-care habits and how you show yourself love – please hit “reply” and email me).
If the the answer is no, you are not in a loving relationship with yourself, please don’t worry. As I’ve just shared, I’ve been there. I know the candy and ice cream (and pretzels and potato chips) taste good and do a great job of numbing the feelings of sadness and inadequacy so you can keep doing what you do best – be of service to others. And I want to tell you that you can be in a loving relationship with yourself and succeed in being of service to others. Perhaps you’ve even heard that the more you love yourself, the better you can serve others – it’s true!
Can you do this for me right now? – stand in front of a mirror, look at your beautiful self and say, “I Love You.”
If doing this exercise makes you feel like you’re going to throw up, please take a deep breath. It’s OK. You are not alone. I’m here for you. Feel free to email me. Consider participating in the Set Yourself Free! Experience next month (details coming soon).