Several years ago a friend told me the story of a woman who was dying of cancer.
Chemotherapy was not helping, the cancer was advancing and in a last ditch attempt to save her life it dawned on her one morning that she may be losing the battle because of the hatred she felt for certain parts of her body. She had never liked, accepted or been particularly nice to these parts of her body and she decided that day to embark on a radical journey to self-love. She decided that she would pick a hated body part and stare at it in the mirror, meditate on it, dig up any old buried pain from the past surrounding it, and keep thinking about this body part until she loved and accepted it. Then she would move onto the next body part and repeat the process.
And, after months of doing this, guess what? Her cancer went into remission. Now, I’m not suggesting that this will happen for everyone suffering from cancer but the fact that it happened to this woman amazes me and is a big reminder of how powerful our thoughts are. All beings on this earth respond to energy. We all thrive when given positive energy and we all suffer if too much negative energy comes our way, so think about what us hating ourselves or even a part of ourselves will do to us over time.
After remembering this story, I decided that it is time. Time to start walking the walk as well as talking the talk. It’s easy to proclaim that you accept and love yourself and have embraced the aging process. But I personally am still horrified at certain things I see in the mirror and it’s time for me to really dig deep into the experience of deep love and acceptance of myself. A number of things I don’t like or love about myself quickly pop into my mind as I write this. My rather large hands with really prominent veins, my expanding wrinkles around my eyes, how my face is hollowing (and drooping a bit) as I age, the list goes on. I definitely have a few issues to work through to get where I want to be. And none of these issues will be resolved by changing how I look. No botox, fillers, breast implants or lipo will help. Changing my perspective about my perceived problems is the only thing that will heal what needs to be healed. So, a couple of days ago I was shopping in the neighborhood and stopped by my local Shopper’s Drug Mart to pick up some toiletries when I noticed an Oprah magazine as I was at the till. I stared at the large font on the cover, How To Love The Skin You’re In, then turned away and paid for my purchases. As I walked out the front door, I felt compelled to turn and look at the magazine again. How to love the skin you’re in. How can I not buy this mag, I thought as I walked back in and scooped up a copy.
Next on my shopping list was something for dinner from Whole Foods. My mind went over all of the healthy items I could buy and, after considering them all, I realized that I didn’t want any of them. Not a one. I feel like I’ve been so extreme with my no-gluten, no-dairy, no-sugar regime and, although I do feel better and my skin looks better, I needed to forget it all for awhile. My inner child was desperate for some fun food. She wanted to eat something extremely delicious. She wanted chocolate.
Well, it looks like it’s time for “The Love Experiment” to begin. I am going to start with one hated body part and focus on it until I have transformed the way I think about it. Then I’ll move onto the next one and so on and so on until there is nothing left. I’ll write upcoming posts about this whenever I have something share-worthy. I’m excited to start this next journey and if any of this resonates with you, please come with me.