I love you

February 14th, 2009

love note

I've been thinking a lot about self-love lately. And with today being Valentine's Day, it seemed like a great time to bring it up.

Last week, I was listening in to a free teleclass with the lovely, Havi Brooks, and she was discussing being a "Habits Detective." During the call we were invited to take a closer look at a habit in our lives that we want to change. For me, this habit revolved around self-care and taking care of my body.

When I went inside, I realized that part of the reason I'm not taking excellent care of myself is that I fear getting obsessive about it.


About ten years ago, I got so obsessive about my body that I was weighing and measuring every morsel I ate, I barely ate any fat, and I worked out six days per week. For some people this may work beautifully, but I was absolutely miserable. All I thought about was food. If I didn't get in a workout, I would get extremely irritable. And on top of that, it was never, ever enough. Sounds like hell, right? It was. Well, eventually, I got to a point where I was looking ill and when a doctor recommended adding some fat (like peanut butter) to my diet, I went to the complete opposite extreme and ate every "bad" food in sight.

Fortunately, I'm not in that obsessive place any more. But I didn't realize how much fear of going back to that place was holding me back. I've been afraid of going back to that miserable place of "it's never good enough." And increased body awareness has a tendency to lead me to feeling bad about myself, no matter where I'm at.

I'm realizing that I need to love my body where I am in this moment and the next and the next. I know that movement and exercises is part of what keeps me feeling healthy, vital, energetic, and creative.

This week after doing some yoga, I was lying in savasana and had another realization. I've been feeling somewhat icky about "self-love." No matter what I know logically, it sounds selfish and self-absorbed. In my head, I heard the "not good enough gremlin" saying, "Who do you think you are?"

And my answer? "I am special enough to be loved."

Confidence begins in that place of knowing that you are loved, first and foremost, by yourself.

I cringe a bit around this stuff. I still feel funny about it. But I can play with the idea of self-love. I can practice it. So far the practice has made me feel wonderful. Below, is something I did spontaneously and was helpful. If you'd like to practice some self-love, give it a go!

Try this: Get in a comfortable position. Savasana (copse pose in yoga) works well, but you could find a cozy spot in your favorite chair, prop yourself with pillows in bed, or just ground yourself whereever you are right now. Imagine a tree root growing from the base of your spine. Imagine its roots stretching through the floors of wherever you are into the deep, dark earth beneath. These roots are grounding you. Now consciously relax every part of your body, starting at the tips of your toes, to your feet, your ankles, your legs, your pelvis, your stomach, your chest, your arms, your hands, your neck, your back, your jaw, your face, your scalp. Let your whole body melt into the floor, chair, or bed. When you are completely relaxed, imagine your body being filled with the light of your own love. Let it start small and grow. Let that love expand to include every cell of your body and then let it grow to fill the room you're in, then perhaps your neighborhood, your town, your state, your country, the world. Then if you're able, say to yourself, "I love you, I love you, I love you."


  • - The art above was my Valentine's Day card to the Hubster. I was inspired by the Inspire Me Thursday theme of "fold" and it also fits so nicely with this months word theme for the Creative Every Day Challenge!
  • - Speaking of art and words, The Creative Type scrapbooking blog is hosting a special Valentine's Day prompt of "Love Letters" and I'm sponsoring it! You can submit your own layout before March 1st and the winner will receive one of my Subway Stories prints! Check out all the details here.
  • - Make your own candy heart like the one above at ACME Heart Maker. I don't know about you, but I think those candies taste awful. But they sure are cute.


20 Responses

Damn straight you’re special enough to be loved, girl! Thanks for sharing all this. And I looooove your valentine to your hubby. So darling.

um, I think they taste good…but then again, I’d lick the floor if it was made of sugar! Good post, luf, something I should be telling myself too!

The card is wonderful! And you are correct: You ARE special enough to be loved.

Thank you for sharing.


what an inspiring post; especially for someone carrying an extra load (35 lbs) thanks to meds. I appreciate willingness to be open and even more, to share so eloquently.
creatively yours,

Wow I love your card and the new site layout!!! Wonderful!!

Thank you Leah for sharing your story. This is such a meaningful and thought-provoking post. I’m taking these thoughts with me on my jog this morning…thank you.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

Oh self love. That is a tough one. Am I enough? Again a tough one to get. Thanks for the tree-love meditation. I will try it out this morning. I love the visual that you create with it.

These days I tell myself, “Remember dear one that you have a lot to offer.” You too Leah have so much to offer and it is enough.

My hope for each of us is that we can love ourselves as much as others love us.

{soul hugs}

ps – I’m with you those little candies are awful to eat but adorable looking. I photographed a dish of them and put all sorts of affirmations on them. Visit by Valentine blog party to pick up a handful for your pocket (not your mouth). http://www.collagediva.com/souljournal

Three cheers to loving yourself! Because you are worth it! ♥

Digging the post and the new layout!

Love the card for the hubster! So great. And, love your subway series. But you know that!

The self-love thing… it’s a biggie, isn’t it. So worth it and so hard to live sometimes. I notice when I want love from someone else and i’m not loving myself even if I get it from them, something in me doesn’t quite buy it.

Dear Leah,

Beautiful, beautiful card! Your hubster is very lucky to be so loved! And a wonderful exploration of the struggles that we all have around the issue of self love. Thank you for the yoga/meditation idea. That was brilliant. And good luck with your self love practice. You give so very much that it’s time to bring some of that wonderful energy that you put out back home to you!


This is such a wonderful, and truthful statement. And I love the card you made. Perfect!

Loved the card; totally understand the struggle. If we don’t know how to love ourselves how can we really love anyone else?Thank you for the reaching out.

dear leah, a deeply touching post, it brought tears to my eyes, as you have described my daughter’s past to a tee and somewhat my own as well…self love is a very hard thing for us women to do for some reason…we aren’t taught it, we didn’t see it, and we get this”I am being selfish” routine in our minds if we do nurture ourselves…but if we don’t show up for ourselves, we can’t show up for anybody else!

you are beautiful, leah, as is your new website! but you are far MORE beautiful!

leah, what a gorgeous new site you have! ’tis lovely. oh, and what an honest and poignant post…you are not alone in this.

Great post. Very thought provoking, and a subject that is one I need to mull over for my own life.

I think your post is very in line with the artwork that I just posted on my blog. I am doing a series of paintings using one of my favorite mantra. “be positive” I believe if you can stop yourself from your negative thoughts by replacing them with positive ones you can allow yourself to feel self-love.
Also, my painting fits the theme of the month- words.
you can see it here

I love what you did to your site! Beautiful!

That yoga pose should be easy enough for me!

The Bible says in Mark 12:30-31 Love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this:
Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment
greater than these.

So Loving Yourself is a commandment.

I know it sounds iky to do because maybe somewhere along the line we confuse self love with selfishness and self absorbed. They are not the same things. I’ve had to learn
the hard way because I’ve never felt good enough. I went
through a lot in life and I am still on a journey to try and love that person inside me that says she’s not good

One day when I was going through something awhile back
I was in a Thrift Shop. Picked up a book and opened it
to a page that was something I needed to read. Click
Flassie and it will take you to that page and a link to
the book. You’ll have to click on the photo to get a closer
look at what the pages says.

Happy Self Love Day Too!!!

God Bless You and Yours!!!

Here’s to lots and lots of self-loves. For everyone who has a self.

Leah, I hear you. I used to be an exercise addict. I loved the exercise “high” and the feeling of control, but I pushed too hard and on one work out I dropped a really light warm-up weight. Couldn’t lift it. Burnout was official.

A few years later, after a car accident the doctor prescribed the gym. I was scared of getting back to exercise, but having a trainer really helped me find balance. He said, “You don’t want it to happen again, so you won’t let it happen again.” The support was a big factor. Heh, it may be time to get a trainer again.

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