"No matter how you feel or look, if you love or hate, fail or succeed- I think you are perfect the way you are. And I love you."
(In written and spoken form. I let Freunde fuers Leben's great project inspire me (watch the video below): They asked some people to write a love letter to themselves and read it out loud. Watching that really moved me. I'd considered complimenting myself for my project before- plus it was my birthday. Perfect present to myself. And challenge.
Here's how I did it: I wrote two letters, one in which I told myself all the things I know I really need to hear. One in which I told myself the things I honestly felt, even if it was a little less than what I need to hear. For now at least. Next I recorded them. I didn't feel like videotaping everything I'd written down. Instead I took pictures of me listening to my own voice. I think they tell a quiet a story. See below; They are aligned with time. The earliest is on the upper left, the latest on the lower right. Read them like a book, Left to right, then down.)
HOW did I react?
I listened. And tried to allow. i listened again.
HOW did I feel?
I felt- a lot. It took a while till the words really got to me. After all I am not used to my own voice telling me things, saying "I like your body" into my ears in that soft, loving way. The word "masturbation" flashed through my mind. But at some point after I'd pressed repeat things changed: There was an opening inside. My stomach got wider and intensity increased. I felt longing and relief. Sadness. I smiled a little. Exhailed, inhaled. Noticed a fast growing frog in my throat. When the second letter was finished I needed a moment. The sun was shining warmly on my face. The ache in my stomach remained. People passed by. They looked like they were in a different land. I closed my eyes. And thought of what I tell my yoga students at the end of each class:
"Sit with your eyes closed. Draw your knees to your chest and wrap your arms around your knees. Rest your forehead on your knees. Sitting here, holding your legs in like that, really give yourself a hug. Not just any hug but the most loving, friendly, open hug you hold in store. Embracing yourself the way you are today. Right here, right now. With everything you're carrying. No matter if it's pleasant or painful, pretty or ugly, right or wrong, if you're proud of it or if ashamed. Just embrace yourself, accepting yourself the way you are today, unconditionally. If you want to you can tell yourself in your mind: "I love you.""
Usually there are tears for at least one person. Afterwards the whole scenery has changed: A noticeable relief and softness fills the room. My theory: The amount of projections decreases because by embracing them we're taking our inner kids home. And all the dirty dudes we're carrying but not letting in (who might actually look pretty cool once we open the door and ask them in). And leaving other peoples shit outside. Because we're hugging our little selves and not the whole wide world. Whatever it is it works.
Up for an experiment?
Take a pen. And a paper. Do the love letter thing. Or grab your legs and do the hug. Or both. And enjoy :) You won't regret it. I promise.
ANYTHING ELSE (thoughts on the project, changes, observations?)?
This whole project makes me think about the different kinds of love that there are. I feel inspired to write a paper for school on that, maybe I can derive a love thesaurus from this challenge's experiences and use it as a basis or something...