Bring to mind someone you love: child, grandchild, parent, close friend, intimate partner; someone in your life now or perhaps no longer with you in person.
Focus on the look on their face when they see you and smile. Bring up good memories of when you were together enjoying each other’s company.
Open your arms and hug them. Absorb the familiar touch and scent. Notice how you feel in your whole body. Take your time with this.
Now remember all the wonderful qualities of this person – what you really love and admire about them. The top 5 points for their eulogy. Write this down or make a mental list. See this list of Signature Strengths (written out below) and notice all that apply.
Remain grounded and aware of your body and your breath.
Next, think about the less-than-wonderful qualities of this person. It could be something that frustrates or scares you, like how they have a sharp tongue at times. Maybe they are driven by an addiction or compulsion or you hate driving with them because they rage in traffic. Take a few deep breaths and remain aware of your whole body. If you have intense images or words, stop and do some tapping or tracing before continuing.
You know this person really well and have clarity both about their strengths and what holds them back. Bring up their image again and notice how you feel in your body. There might be a residue of tightness or defensiveness. A warmth in your heart area as you tune in to your love for them.
Do you feel kindness and compassion for them? Even with their struggles and suffering, with what you can see clearly is less than ideal in them? Sit with that for a moment. Do you still love them?
Visualize yourself sitting with this person and switch perspectives so you are looking out of their eyes. They see the look on your face when you see them and smile. They have good memories of times they enjoyed your company. They feel the warmth of your smile and your hug. Take your time with this.
If they were to focus on your wonderful qualities, what would come to mind? Look again at the list of signature strengths. What would they check as your top 5? Choose a positive quality you have in common.
Breathe and notice your reaction, the thoughts in your mind. Is your mind bringing up a rebuttal? Do you have a mental list of proof against? Of what disqualifies you? If so, look at the words or images, notice how that feels in your body, take a few deep breaths and let it go. You could tap or trace if they are intense.
Shift back to looking at them and think about why you chose that quality as a strength of theirs. Do they have to display it perfectly to qualify? Do you apply the same “rules” to them as to you?
Do you still love them?
Can you love yourself?
Signature Strengths: https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/testcenter
Appreciation of beauty
Bravery, valor & excellence
Capacity to love and be loved
Citizenship, teamwork, loyalty
Caution, prudence, discretion
Creativity, ingenuity, originality
Fairness, equity, justice
Industry, diligence, perseverance
Judgement, critical thinking, open-minded
Love of learning
Spirituality, sense of purpose, faith
Zest, enthusiasm, energy