Once upon a time, there was a young woman who gave and gave to other people until it hurt. She cooked for people, always threw parties or gave presents to friends on their birthdays, bought expensive clothes for her boyfriend, and generally bent over backwards to help anyone she cared about (or didn't care about). It pleased her no end to buy something special for a friend, even when she really needed some new clothing for herself. That didn't seem to matter.
She often wondered why no one brought her flowers, and why no one did anything for her birthday--even when she hinted it was coming. The young woman also wondered why she always felt empty and lonely inside. Then, one day it hit her like a ton of bricks! She had been doing all these wonderful things for other people, completely disregarding her own needs. A little voice inside had been trying hard for years to tell her this, but she so desperately needed love that she kept doing what her subconscious logically thought would work, giving to others so that they would give to her.
Loving Yourself More: Doing Things For Yourself
As soon as she realized that she needed to love herself more, she began doing little things for herself; things she had previously expected other people to do for her. She began buying herself a bouquet of flowers once a week. When she'd forget, she would find that her friends brought her flowers! Wonder of wonders, every time she did something nice for herself, it increased the amount of nice things other people did for her, almost in direct proportion!
Then she took herself on a cruise to the Hawaiian Islands, fell in love with Hawaii, and decided to live there for awhile. However, the loneliness got worse, even in paradise. One morning the young woman woke up with the solution. "Aha!" she cried, "If giving myself gifts helped others to give me gifts, why not try giving myself LOVE so others will be able to give me more love? It's worth a try."
Opening Your Heart to God's Love
So she began with simple spiritual exercises that worked for her and opened her heart to let God's love in. It was miraculous. She was able to identify and accept this love, and realize that it is the true source of ALL love, no matter who she thought it might be coming from. Then she began feeling comfortable being alone. Even though she still wanted a mate, she did not feel so lonely, and could accept more of what life brought (or didn't bring). Because she was able to love herself, and take the time to give this pure love of spirit to herself, she began to receive more love from friends, family, and finally from a man with whom she felt closer to than anyone else. As she continues this process, the joy in her life is still increasing daily, and she overshadows the small bits of loneliness with more and more love.
Exercise to Help You Love and Open To Love
Yes, that story was about me! Here is an exercise I used to help me love and open up to the purest, most secure and satisfying love there is.
See yourself walking in a desert. If you are feeling particularly abandoned or forlorn, you can think of it as a vast, lonely desert with no love to be anywhere. You have been walking for a long time and are very thirsty. Suddenly you spy a patch of green... an oasis! As you get closer, it calls to you with a hauntingly beautiful melody and a radiant heavenly glow. As you enter it you see a lovely alabaster fountain flowing with a spray of water sparkling like diamonds. Your guardian angel is standing next to the fountain, and hands you a cup of this magnificent nectar of the heavens. You drink it gratefully, feeling it not only quench your thirst, but also filling you with the most wonderful feeling of love and contentment ever.
You are then invited to bathe in this extraordinary fountain, and you do so, feeling now completely surrounded by this awesome feeling of pure, true love. You feel protected, loved, and cherished like you have never felt before. You walk back into your life singing.
If you like, you can sing out HU, which is an ancient name for God found in every sound on earth. Sing it out with a long drawn out breath and the vibration of that name will fill you with even more love.
Remember the Feeling of Being Loved
Another simple exercise is to think of a time you felt more loved than any other you can remember, and get into that feeling, no matter how far back it goes, even if you were rocking in your mother's arms. Now fill yourself with that love and let it open your heart to more.
I also invite you to make up your own exercise, one that suits your own spiritual beliefs and lifestyle. If you do this sort of thing daily, I guarantee you will be graced with much more love in your life.
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About The Author
Deborah Johnson is a counselor, author and publisher of: "Think Yourself Loved", "How to Love Yourself", "How to Think Yourself Thin", and "How to Make Your Dreams Come True". Debbie can be reached at: Deborah Johnson Publishing, 7030 SW Canyon West Dr., #6, Portland, OR 97225.