Look into your eyes in a mirror and say “I love you”. Many people tell me they can’t do that. “That might work for someone else. Not me.”

Loving yourself unconditionally might not be fully available to you right now. If so, start with acknowledging this truth.

When we have core deficiency beliefs of unworthy, unlovable, unsafe or _____ , we defend ourselves against feeling what is actually here. This is a natural human response to avoid pain. We reflexively avoid fear and terror. Feeling powerless. Hopeless.

Life holds much joy and it is also difficult. Life is not a Disney movie. It is wonderful and agonizing and real. We struggle and we persist.

What would this moment be like if there was unlimited kindness here? Understanding. Patience. Acceptance.

Bring to mind the most benevolent presence you can imagine. It might be a person in your life who feels so much good will towards you. It might be a someone from your past or you could vividly imagine someone. It could be you!

This person absolutely wants the best for you. There is no judgment. They accept you completely just as you are. Maybe you accept yourself this way! I do.

Accepting ourselves does not mean we’re stuck with how things are right now. When we feel afraid and alone or we are struggling with an addiction that is harmful to our health, we obviously want that to heal. Understand that these patterns are normal trauma responses and that they are not permanent. Shaming ourselves makes it worse and gets in the way of truly healing.

What would that benevolent presence want you to know? Bring in words and vivid images. You might have an image of yourself at a certain age. Visualize this benevolent presence talking with your younger self at a time you felt desperately alone and unworthy.

I understand you. I really get what this is like for you.

I accept you. I love you.

Your early life experiences and circumstances are not your fault.

I understand what led to you feeling this way. This is a natural response.

I don’t need you to be different from who you are in this moment.

There is nothing you need to fix.

I invite you to be here just as you are. I love you.

Bathe in unconditional love and acceptance, kindness and patience. Feel it in your heart center and let it permeate your whole system.

Stay in touch with your body and breath. Notice if there is any hesitation in letting this in. A feeling of uneasiness or that there is something wrong with you could be preventing you from accepting this unconditional good-will.

Are you willing to allow in this kind compassionate presence? You may start off not fully believing these words or with that nasty voice belittling you. Do the practice anyway! Return to it again and again and immerse yourself in benevolence and good wishes.

I accept you just as you are. I love you.

Benevolent Presence practice (5 minutes)


A longer 25 minute practice of being your own beloved

Loving Ourselves
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