In honor of Louise Hay, who passed away yesterday, I thought it was an appropriate time to share one of my biggest life lessons to date. This important lesson is self love, and I learned it from Louise.
Just as many people do, I have struggled with self love my entire life. I developed habits at an early age where I was really hard on myself if things didn’t go perfectly – letting my ego run away on repeat with critical thoughts about myself. Things like, I can’t do this, I’m not good enough, my nose is too big, my thighs are too fat. That is, until I discovered Louise Hay’s book You Can Heal Your Life.
One of the exercises in the book is looking at yourself closely in the mirror, staring into your own eyes, and telling yourself, “I love you.” This seems very silly, but I bawled like a baby when I first did it. Try it. You will likely feel like a total weirdo doing it, but see what your reaction is. If you have a less than ideal reaction, I encourage you to repeat this exercise daily. Pay attention to thoughts you have about yourself throughout the day. Correct any negative or critical thoughts as they arise.
What happens if we don’t love ourselves fully? According to Louise, these critical thoughts, resentment and guilt create emotional problems, illness and disease within our physical body over time. The great news is we can change our thought patterns. Because our thoughts create our experiences and impact our health, we can change outcomes and improve our health through positive thinking.
You may have heard the popular saying, “You can only love others as much as you love yourself.” Well, that saying is the truth. As I have opened up to loving myself more, I feel like my relationships and my life in general have gotten better and easier. I know I really struggled sharing my voice and speaking up for myself as a child. I was known by many people as being really quiet and shy. I still have issues with this, which I’m working on changing. Maybe what Louise is saying is right. I wasn’t sharing my voice, and I did wind up with cancer in my thyroid – right next to my vocal chords. Coincidence?
Another beautiful lesson that Louise brought to the world is that it is never too late to start. She wrote her first book at age 50, which pioneered the self-help movement and created Hay House, Inc., a publishing empire that has sold millions of books and products worldwide. Don’t let age or time stop you from following your dreams. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it!
To read Louise Hay’s biography, click here.