Many of us say the three most important words, I love you, to our spouse, partner, lover, children, friends, and even our pets. But how many of us say I love you, [insert your name]?
Admittedly, I went decades before I ever uttered those words to myself, but I longed to know what love felt like and my deep desire led me down a self-destructive path.
I kept looking for love in all of the wrong places, via people and places and things. As you can imagine, I did not treat myself lovingly.
How could I?
Every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I'd pick apart my body or my face, which only amplified my feelings of inadequacy.
Because I wanted to be loved, I'd wear a mask and play the role of the perfect daughter, sister, friend, partner or employee.
Ha! I could have won an Oscar.
It took the ending of a turbulent relationship for me to hit rock bottom and really confront myself. So I went on a quest seeking answers as to why I was not finding love.
I read countless self-help books but none really resonated with me. Then I discovered Louise Hay’s You Can Heal Your Life and I had an aha moment.
She writes about saying positive affirmations in front of the mirror as a powerful way to connect with your spirit.
Like an enthusiastic student, I wanted to implement this theory, but after a few days I was experiencing a lot of discomfort. It just was not easy expressing or even feeling an ounce of self-love.
So imagine my pleasant surprise when one morning weeks later, I stared at my reflection in the mirror and wholeheartedly said, “I love you, Andrea.”
I gushed from ear-to-ear, wrapped my arms around my shoulders and gave myself a hug.
Then I proceeded to say the following affirmations: