Have I Told Me Lately That I Love Me?

"I love myself."

Can you say that? Can you say those words without feeling, like, a little uncomfortable?

Can you look at yourself in the mirror, say to your reflection, "I love you", without a trace of falseness, weirdness, Stuart Smalley-ish-ness, or other, 'oh-jeez-this-feels-really-dumb'-ness?

Nah, me neither.

And, why is that? (And if you can, why is that? 'Cause I'd like to know your secret..)

It could just be a silly exercise, and have nothing whatsoever to do with your ability to feel genuine love for yourself.

So, let's ask some other questions.

What sorts of things come to mind when you think of the words, 'I feel love for myself'?

Or more accurately, what sort of feelings do you notice? Is there a connection, a resonance, like, yeah, I really do feel love for who I am..? Or do the words feel hollow, with little meaning. Maybe it's like, well, I like myself well enough, but I wish my thighs were thinner.

Or perhaps, it's 'what kind of hippy-dippy New Age bull s*** is this?' Who cares if I freakin' love myself?

Alright. Calm down.

Why do I bring this up? Well, as with most things I write, it's all about what I'm going through. (And therefore I assume there may be at least one other human out there going through it, too).

It's been this nagging feeling of not quite being in the center of my own life for a good many years. A fruitless search for that feeling of rightness outside myself, mostly through other people. An unpleasant sensation of feeling 'less than..' anyone else I was with.

And a whole bunch of other little and not so little things.

Then, there was that uncanny way the universe has of sending me little thwaps on the head to tell me it had to do with that self-love thing. But I had no idea what that really meant.

Alright, said the universe. Here's some more restating of the obvious. You know how when someone asks you if you have a preference for something, and you really do, but you say you don't? Why don't you start there?

Oh, here's another one. You know when you find yourself getting irrationally angry about something, and you either stuff it down, or obsess over convincing yourself that you are actually rationally angry, and then you still stuff it down?

In other words, my dear, (says the universe) you don't really know who you are. What you are putting out there for the world to like and smile upon and accept, is liked and smiled upon and accepted. But it doesn't feel all that fulfilling because you know it's not the real you that's being accepted and it feels like a lie. The darker parts -- the opinionated, silly, ugly, selfish parts --  the really interesting, juicy, honest parts are kept hidden. You learned not to love them, you assume no one else will either. How about experimenting with that? See if that's true?

(Hence the, um, unorthodox nature of this supposed shiatsu blog post.)

Just for good measure, (speaking as me again) I'll tie it into health. I believe that lying about who you are, and cutting off vital parts of yourself will eventually kill you. And I have a book on order from Amazon that I believe says pretty much the same thing. I'll let you know after I read it.

Anyway, those dark, juicy parts have been trying to get my attention for a long time. Screaming, "loooooooove meeeeeee", or at least, "Hey, look at me. And if you don't, I'll keep sabotaging everything you try to do in your life, and keep you from ever feeling whole. Because we are part of you. Let's be friends, 'K?"

Is this more than you ever wanted to know about your friendly neighborhood shiatsu practitioner?

Well, I think it's important to give some indication that I know what I'm talking about before I go doling out advice willy-nilly. And to prove that "Step Into Your Power" is more than just a catchy tagline. It's my own personal project as well.

I have some things I've found to help me make friends with my ugliness, some tools to help me dig deep to the roots of these negative beliefs. I'm willing to share them. With you. For free.

So, stay tuned. I'll try to relate it to shiatsu, I promise.