Lovingly Embracing Yourself

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(Lose the Net by Rasmus Faber Courtesy of Epidemic Music)

It continually amazes me the way good questions lead so naturally to good answers and how beautiful questions lead to even better answers! Each time we open ourselves to the things we don’t know, we’ve opened the doors to discovery and wonder and greater understanding.

I’m Scott Lennox and you’re listening to The Beautiful Question, a consideration of things that matter every day.

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I can think of no subject more worthy of our time and attention than the matter of loving ourselves in healthy and supportive ways.

Join me this week as consider ways of doing exactly that. Stay with me.

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While I’m no longer surprised by how often I hear it, the number of counseling clients I regularly meet with who are challenged by the notion of healthy self-love and self-support could easily stand as an inditement of the culture or the family or perhaps the parent who failed to teach them how to do it.

It’s one of the most damaging and far-reaching “missing pieces” in their lives.

Even so, most of these same clients can describe in detail the ways they love and nourish and protect and provide safety and support for the children and others who’ve been in their care. At the drop of a hat, they tell me innumerable things they’ve done, often smiling because it felt so good to do it.

Yet, when I ask what they do for themselves—what they do that is directly and intentionally loving—they find themselves hard-pressed to give me an answer and look at me with blank stares.

It probably won’t surprise you that these are people who week after week tell me chapter and verse about how lonely or despondent they feel. They’re quick to express how sad they are that one person or another has neglected or mistreated or abandoned them in some way.

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photo: ollinka


The two questions I most often ask in response have the same guiding intention behind them. The first one is this. “As specifically as you can, what things do you do to care for a child?” (By the way, the answers they give me are almost universal.)

“I let them know I am with them and that they’re safe with me.”

“If I see it happening, I stop them from doing things that are dangerous or might hurt them.”

“If they cry, I hold them and reassure them.”

“When I speak to them, I use words that are loving and encouraging, and I’m careful with my tone of voice.”

“I spend time with them. Sometimes I’ll even get in the floor to play with them.”

“I let them know I’m proud of them and point out the good qualities I see in them.”

“If they fall, I pick them up. If they fail, I encourage them to start over. If they quit, I help them get going again.”

“I remind them, over and over, how strong and capable they are and that they’re not alone.”

“When they are exhausted, I put them to bed and tuck them in, sometimes singing to them or telling them stories until they fall asleep.”

After I’ve heard the things they tell me, I usually ask how they might do some of those same things for themselves. In fact, how they might hold themselves as safely and lovingly as they would hold a child or someone else they love? Their answers don’t come as quickly as the answers to my earlier question, yet more often than not, it soon becomes obvious that they’ve known how to love themselves all along.

The issue hasn’t been a lack of knowledge or a lack of ability or understanding, but a radical lack of focus. For whatever reasons (which, by the way, are far less important than what they can do that is more effective), they’ve treated others lovingly while overlooking themselves or leaving their own needs out of the picture altogether.

So as always, let’s take this out of the realm of the theoretical and bring it into the here and now—into the world of everyday living. To get you started, here is a short list of self-embracing behaviors.

Saying “I love you” into your own eyes in the mirror.
Eating at least one healthy meal every day.
Catching self-judgmental thinking and stopping it.
Allowing yourself to get the sleep you need.
Taking a daily break from your “busyness.”
Regularly staying in touch with healthy friends.

In a pointed way, I invite you to consider this week’s Beautiful Question as a doorway into treating yourself in the finest ways.

Question One: When you’ve shown love or care to someone else, what specific ways did you do it?

Question Two: As a way of holding yourself lovingly and sacredly, what specific things will you do for yourself?

Question Three: What will you do to stay consistent with loving yourself in measurable ways for the next twenty-one days?

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I always look forward hearing your responses, yet this subject specifically peaks my interest because it is so vitally important to living well. Write and tell me where your considerations take you and the things you are doing to love yourself. I’m listening.

As I say each time,
My Light with Your Light!

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I’m happy we can engage this way as we consider things that matter and what to do about them. If nothing else, I hope you feel inspired to look more deeply at ways of caring for yourself.

You can be further inspired by visiting my friends at Kosmos Journal. That’s K O S M O S Journal. Their mission is to inform, inspire, and engage global transformation in harmony with all life. You can easily find them online at Kosmos Journal dot O R G.

And at thebeautifulquestion.com, you can read the illustrated transcript of each podcast as you listen. We’ve also included an archive of all previous podcasts, including guided relaxation audios that can help you practice letting go on a daily basis.

If you find these podcasts useful, I encourage you to share them and tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world. It’s a great way of spreading peace.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced, and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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