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The book from creator of
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The woman who Could not Conceive of Loving Herself

I conduct workshops on energy and restraint in which we examine our nourishing patterns and the attitudes that lie behind our consumption of food. For a number of years, these workshops took place on the weekends.

I remember one woman particularly well because she taught me a lesson without actually intending to. As I looked across the group, I noticed her immediately because I could sense how doubtful and critical she was. I thought, She won’t turn up tomorrow. I immediately dismissed this negative thought and told myself, Of course, she’ll come. Then I put aside this distraction and continued with my lecture.

And what do you know: the following morning, there she was again. I was very pleased, but she devoted the whole day squirming about in her seat, obviously bothered by something. When the second day of the work- shop ended, I thought again that she probably would not turn up the following morning. Again I dismissed the thought. I did not want to prejudge her or project myself onto what I thought she might be thinking.

On Sunday the last day of the workshop, the woman arrived again. Yet she was not the same woman at all. She glowed, smiled, and joked around with the others. Her shoulders were relaxed, the restlessness had disappeared, and she no longer had her arms crossed. I sat down beside her during the lunch break and asked what had happened.

She smiled and said, “I slept poorly and was feeling awful. I simply could not grasp this idea that you were constantly hammering away at. The idea that this is where I have arrived and I have myself to thank, not to blame, and that I am fully responsible for where and what I am, that I should love myself. Then, last night something happened. I was lying awake in bed and turning this idea over and over in my head—that I could not love myself. That was too much, too selfish, too egocentric. I just couldn’t, and I was not going to come again today.”

“Yes,” I said. “So what changed your mind?”

“Lying there, wide awake, it suddenly occurred to me that if I couldn’t love myself, I could at least commit to being my friend. I wanted to be my friend.”

Her thinking could not come to terms with the idea that she wanted to love herself, but eventually her thinking “admitted defeat,” and she found a direct route to her own heart: a path into a new existence where she chose to be her own friend and to honor that friendship. Her dissatisfaction with herself had been such that she wasn’t willing to love herself until she had reestablished her faith and trust in herself. She understood that by reinventing her relationship and befriending herself, she could gradually forgive, open her heart, and embrace herself and eventually love herself unconditionally.

Image: Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir
To commit to yourself is a decision to sow the seeds of devotion and gradually permit yourself to put down roots and grow:

I love myself anyway. Whatever my appearance, whatever I do. I will always love myself. I love myself anyway.

Your happiness is always in complete harmony with your permission for happiness. We are as joyful or happy as we permit ourselves to be. And by sowing this seed and permitting yourself to grow, you immediately increase your prosperity allowance. The way to increase your permission is to love yourself and forgive yourself and thereby reclaim the energy you had invested in ingratitude, disappointment, shame, regret, and remorse. The next time you love yourself despite having “made a mistake,” you expand your permission even further, and so it continues.

Image: Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir
Allt sem þú veitir athygli vex og dafnar - líka fréttirnar sem þú lest!
Commitment to our own life and person is no more complicated than committing ourselves in marriage. It contains exactly the same principles and structure. Yet our commitment to ourselves is even more important. A commitment ceremony where you promise yourself to yourself is as simple as saying:

“In love and joy, in the eyes of the world, I promise to share my life with myself in every second. I vow to be devoted and true to myself. I will support myself through thick and thin. I will walk with myself along life’s path. In my name. Love. I vow to commit myself to myself and promise myself eternal support and love in all my actions, great and small.”

Commitment means signing on the dotted line, marrying yourself with all of your advantages and faults, come what may. There is no instruction manual, no blueprint. The formula is always the same:

All that you devote your awareness to grows and thrives.

Image: Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir
When we are not fully present, we are always doing things halfheartedly—allotting our own existence and my surroundings a limited portion of prosperity and thereby actually allotting absence instead. Commitment, on the other hand, is a sign that we are promised to ourselves, wholly and completely, through thick and thin, up and down, and inside out. We are perfectly empowered in the present moment and show up fully and tell the world who we are and what we want. We become the designer and leader of our own lives, just as some of us are prepared to devote ourselves to another person forever in matrimony. Oddly enough, we commit ourselves to other people, dedicate ourselves with ambition to our jobs, and we commit to protect our children and kin at all costs. Yet we hesitate to promise ourselves to ourselves, through thick and thin, in sickness and in health, till death to us part. Denying this, our credibility is gradually sacrificed, and we begin to distrust ourselves. Why do we commit ourselves to someone else before we have the might and the permission to commit ourselves to ourselves?

Image: Ragnheiður Arngrímsdóttir