With Day 11 of The I Love You Study* I am discovering great joy in saying ILY when I do something well, something that I am good at, or something I love that is part of my character. Yesterday I had an experience snowboarding that was, let’s call it, “less than optimal.” In addition, I lost my iPod on the lift up to the top of the ski slope. Once I started making my way down, I noticed I was getting REALLY irritated (a major equipment issue was impeding my flow). I was in my head lamenting about not making the progress that I wanted, which I then projected into my future saying, “Now tomorrow’s going to be messed up, too.” I quickly realized what I was doing in my thinking, and I just got really present, and then enjoyed (as best I could given my bindings were on incorrectly) making my way down the remainder of the slope. The iPod was long gone, which was a major bummer. However, I just let it go. There was nothing to be done other than accept it or continue creating suffering for myself. So when I was feeling good, I said my “I love you, Rosie” which felt like an affirmation of “Good job at being in the flow Rosie! Good job at not holding onto things!” I’m noticing that the ILY can be used for giving myself an “internal high-five,” in addition to being used to combat negative thinking.
Here’s a question Ali submitted yesterday:
Rosie, Do you think its important to put our name in the ILY statement or is it enough to simply say “I love you?” I gather that by including my name I am making the statement personal, but does it have to be about me? Can we arrive at the same heart softened destination by a more general route? I know myself to have a strong ego/persona which can get out of hand if it is not anchored to the rest of the body. It is through the understanding, “that which I see is a reflection of me” which enables me to work in healthy relation with my ego, as well as the rest of my being. So I wonder if one is to say “ILY” rather than “ILY, NAME” can it too have a potent affect? Any thoughts? Sincerely, Ali Cayenne
This is an excellent question, and thanks for submitting it Ali. My response, and approach to this process, has two aspects. I will first offer this to you: Since this is your personal game of introspection, explore what it’s like to do both. Pay attention to what you notice when you use your name, versus saying a more generalized statement of love that you are offering to others. I would imagine that every person’s experience will be slightly different, so navigate a little internal adventure to see what you discover. Secondly, I will share a bit about my approach and thinking in this: I do both, but there are purposes to each, and I think each yields a different result. I have been a long-time practitioner of Metta (the Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness), however I never practiced it much with myself. I would always send love to those around me, always with the intention of being humble. What I have discovered in saying ILY specifically to myself and using my name, is that I am creating a stronger sense of joy, fulfillment, and kindness toward myself. I do not have a concern of strengthening my ego, because I believe the ego can not be strengthened by loving kindness. I believe that the ego is strengthened by negative thinking, which I am discovering is directly neutralized by saying “I love you, (with name).” While I understand your concern about not wanting to be egotistical in saying ILY to that which you identify in your name, I encourage you to explore this specific ILY technique as a consistent practice for the rest of the month and notice what happens. I invite you to share with us what you discover through each route of ILYs. May you be joyous, loved, and loving today and every day! ~RL
*April 2011 is designated as the month of “The I Love You Study.” Every day in April, participants commit to saying to themselves through out the day, and as many times as they can remember, “I love you ___(with their name)___.” The purpose of the personal study is to observe what shifts occur from creating a new thought pattern based on self-appreciation, in lieu of the often deleterious thoughts we often run on auto-pilot. Participants are encouraged to journal about their experiences, and may share their experiences through this group.