What Water Taught Me About Loving Myself
Articles Inspirational articles from Hay House authors
What Water Taught Me About Loving MyselfA Quick Experiment To Rekindle Self-Love
Loving yourself is not about a philosophy of living, it’s about picking your practice and applying it every day.
The Back Door To Self-Love
We all know on some level that it is important to love ourselves. But when people say that “all you have to do is love yourself,” it’s kind of like telling a child in kindergarten that he or she has to solve a college physics equation. Like that bewildered child, we have no idea where to begin. We are standing in a place where we don’t love ourselves and haven’t for some time. We simply have no idea where to start and where to go from here.
There seemed to be lots of theories. People in the business of self-help talk about self-love all the time, but most don’t know what self-love really means. They can tell you all day long that you need to love yourself and list reasons why you need to love yourself and even give you reasons why you’re lovable. But no one taught about how to love yourself, or what self-love looks like on a practical level.
When Affirmations Don’t Work
Many of the stereotypical self-help techniques for improving self-worth simply didn’t work for me. It felt like I was trying to chip away at an Alaskan glacier with a grapefruit spoon. Affirmations made me feel worse. I would sit down at the kitchen table and try them. I’d write “I love myself” 100 times on a sheet of paper and try to feel the words as I wrote them. But as I wrote them, it was as if my brain was saying back to me, “You don’t really think I’m this stupid, do you?”
I could repeat the words I love myself all day long, and they would still be a lie.
It became obvious to me that I hadn’t loved myself for a long time, if ever. I didn’t love myself, and I didn’t have the slightest idea how to love myself. I hated the idea of self-love. Having grown up in a family that prioritized self-lessness, self-sacrifice, and service, I felt like the concept of self-love was a villain. Self-love seemed like the devil coming to destroy my goodness and destroy all the chances I had of being loved by someone else.
Being Honest About Where You Are
It felt like I’d hit rock bottom. I imagined that this was how people feel when they are so pathetic and so destroyed by life that there is nothing else left for them to do. I had chased myself into a corner. All other attempts at feeling good in my own skin had failed. That was the moment that, like a person admitting to being an alcoholic, I admitted to hating myself.
Admitting to where you are feels simultaneously like pain and like relief. It’s not fun to realize that you are living with an enemy within, but at the same time, admitting it feels like finally accepting something you have been resisting for years. The energy required to resist where you are is exhausting. Admitting to where you are feels like letting yourself float downstream after swimming upstream against river rapids for years.
The Water Glass: Drinking in Self-Love
Being an extrasensory, I can actually visually observe the effect that thoughts have on things and the effect that the frequency of one thing has on another thing. I can literally see how thoughts like I am never going to be good enough feed right into the stomach area and create conditions like gastritis and ulcers. I choose not to drink tap water if I can help it because I see the way the chemicals and the pipes affect the energy of the water. As I mentioned in the beginning of my book - Shadows Before Dawn, the line between thought and reality, physical and nonphysical, does not exist for me. Even so, in the powerlessness of my self-hating condition, I had overlooked an amazing opportunity.
One night, I decided to go to the city library to stock up on movies. I’ve always loved documentaries, and that day I was drawn to one called Water: The Great Mystery. In the film, they talked about the idea of “structurizing water.” The documentary demonstrates what I have always observed, which is that everything that is around the water influences the water, and that your body, being such a high percentage of water, works the same way. In the documentary, they took the structurized water and poured it into an ocean with the idea that the structurized water would positively affect the water in the ocean.
I paused the movie halfway through and flew around the house looking for a pen and paper with all my bells and whistles going. I couldn’t believe I had missed something so obvious. I knew I couldn’t focus positively toward myself enough to love myself, but I could focus positively toward something else. The idea of finding things to like about myself turned my stomach; however, I could look at my son and find a zillion things I loved about him.
It stood to reason, then, that I could take a glass of water and think about everything I love about my son and direct that heart-bursting affection and positive focus that I feel for him into the water. Then I could drink the water. I felt like a war general who had just conceived of the “self-love Trojan horse.” Like a reverse poison, I could restructurize the water in my body that had been programmed with self-hate by inundating it with the vibration from the glass of water that I had infused with love. I wasn’t sure what reaction I would have, so I was too afraid to try out my little experiment that night. But during my son’s nap time the very next day, I got the courage to give it a try.
An Unexpected Reaction
An internal tug-of-war raged as I poured the water and started to focus on it all the things I loved so much about my son. When the timer went off at five minutes, I lifted the cup to my lips and, as if I was taking medicine, drank it as fast as I could. I expected that I would instantly feel good, like being full of internal delight. Boy, was I ever wrong! I immediately started shaking. I felt sick to my stomach. My whole body flushed, and instead of throwing up, I started sobbing. My body started purging grief that had been suppressed within me for years. I felt quite literally like I had been purged. I lay in the fetal position on the kitchen floor, crying for a good 20 minutes. As my crying subsided, I felt this overwhelming sensation of relief. I felt grounded.
I took a walk and realized that I felt the hint of inner peace for the very first time. I didn’t feel ecstatic, but I also wasn’t desperate to find an escape from myself. So I decided that I would carry on with my little experiment and do it every day for a month at the same time each day. For the first week, I had the same reaction. Drinking the water felt like a chemical reaction, like two violently repelling energies were at war within my body.
After that first week, the reaction I had to the exercise gradually decreased. I was acclimatizing to the unfamiliar frequency of love.
Then funny things began to happen. External changes started taking place. I complimented my own cooking in front of a friend, something that would have thrown me into a guilty self-hate spiral before, but this time it didn’t feel wrong. I tried out affirmations and discovered that they weren’t as hard to believe as they had been before. I could say, “I like the color of my skin” and really mean it. The angry voice in the back of my mind that would say things like, “You’re too difficult for anyone to love” or “Like you’re one to talk” or “Nicely done, stupid”—that voice started to go away. And my anxiety started to decrease.
By coming in the back door of my own self-hate through this practice of drinking water that was infused with love, all the other practical how-tos of self-love became easier to do. By coming through the back door, I had broken down the heavy walls designed to keep love out, and from that point on I found I could take a front-door entry approach to self-love. I set out on a mission to find every single ingredient that I could in order to design the perfect recipe for creating self-love.
The True Love of Your Life
Pain cannot be healed by hating yourself; it can only ever be healed by loving yourself. Self-hate is like quicksand: When you struggle, it just causes you to sink deeper and deeper until you cannot breathe. But if you stop struggling, you can set yourself free. Self-love, then, is not a destination we need to struggle to get to, but rather a state of being that is available to us in each new moment. We simply need to let it in. Allow it.
Each moment you take one step forward is a brand-new moment, and you are a brand-new you. Be gentle with yourself. You are a precious piece of this world. This world could not be complete without you. You are priceless not because of what you do; you are priceless because you exist. You don’t know it yet, but with time you will come to know that you are, in fact, the love of your life.