“Dear Therapist in my Pocket, can I please ask you something? I’m so desperate!”
The message pinged into my inbox as I sat with my morning cuppa, having just opened my computer ready to start writing.
“Sure, go ahead!” I typed back.
“I don’t know how to love myself! I hate me! I loathe me! Please, please, please, can you teach me how to love myself?”
I set my cup down and felt the full impact of those words. The pain. The desperation. The fear. The need. I sat with that for a good few minutes, letting the enormity of this young woman’s confusion sweep right through me, finding all the bits of me that have also known this place once. Long ago now, but I can still remember.
Then I put the kettle back on and made a pot of tea as I tried to come up with what might help, be a starting point. Something.
I sat back down at the computer to reply. I want to share that reply, in case it might help anyone else who also knows this place. Here’s what I wrote:
“Dear Child of the Universe,
Yes, that’s what you are. I know that’s going to feel a bit weird, a bit crazy. But it’s where we have to start. Hang on in there with me. Just hear me out. I promise I’ll get to your question. This is the best way I know to answer it.
I want to tell you why you’re here, and who you really are.
You are a child of the Universe, just as I am, too. You’re not alone here. The energy that is you is the same energy that is me. I am you and you are me, and so everything you have known, I have known too. Everything I know, you also know. Since the beginning we have been, and we always will be. In Love and Oneness. We are the Universe become human.
When you dig deep, it’s all there. You’ve just forgotten. Just as you were meant to forget. Just as you agreed to forget, just for a little while. But now you’re ready to remember. And you’ve shown up, just as I’ve shown up, just as we planned and agreed, before we incarnated here, in order for you to do just that.
What a time that was, how eager and excited we were, you and I, each busy planning how the adventure of this lifetime would go! In that place we all beat in time to the One Heart, held in the beautiful knowing of its tender embrace.
If you let go a little, fade out of the wanting into the stillness beyond, you can still find that place. It’s in the space between your thoughts. Always there!
And we planned this moment, you and I. Do you remember? The threads that were to be your life and my life would intertwine in this briefest of moments, this gentlest touching of souls, so that we would bless each other and be forever changed.
I am you, remember, just as you are me. Together with all that is, we are the creator of worlds, incarnated here in this time/space reality, in order to expand still further the depth and breadth of compassion and unconditional love of the Universe which is breathing us and which is living every moment in and with and through us.
Just think of that, just stay with that for an instant.
Here you are, a magnificent being of light and love and unimaginable power, a vital and unique part of the web of light and love that holds the very fabric of the Universe together, incarnated here to gift us with a journey that you—and only you—can make. This adventure is uniquely yours, Dear Child of the Universe, and you are walking your path so perfectly. You are doing everything you came here to do, in exactly the way you came here to do it. Nothing is going wrong, nor can it ever.
Let me tell you exactly how the Universe that you are, and that I am also, expands in compassion and unconditional love. It is through experiencing contrast.
How can we grow in love unless we have known what it is to feel the suffering that is hate, to struggle through shame, to feel the awful pain of jealousy? And, by growing through them, finding a place of understanding and forgiveness? How else does a loving Universe expand?
And so, only the bravest of us come for the adventure and the gift, Dear Child of the Universe. Only the strongest, the oldest souls, do what you are doing. And what I am doing also. Before we come, while we still know who we really are, and are planning what this adventure will entail, our motive is Love. We come for Love. And for the fun of it. For there is oh-so-much fun to be had too! So much laughter and companionship along the way. We just have to find our Tribe and it will be there.
So we pack our suitcase, jump into the birth canal, and here we are!
And, after a few weeks to acclimatise, we experience the onset of amnesia. We forget everything. We no longer know who we are, or why we came. We become fully human, but never cease to be Divine. And all the while, with every step we take, every breath we breathe, we are surrounded by more light and love, help and support, guidance and encouragement than we can begin to imagine from this place of forgetting.
By the way, we never make this journey alone. We’re cheered on at every turn, and we are constantly receiving signs of love and guidance if we have our eyes open and will only look. It’s in that place of stillness between our thoughts, and in the synchronicities that are always happening. It’s constant!
And when our journey is done, we go back home. To so much love and tender care, excited welcome and congratulations, so much appreciation and gratitude for the amazing gift we have given, the lessons we have shared, the expansion in compassion and unconditional love that has happened as the direct result of this lifetime we have lived.
And so, let’s go back to your question, Precious Child of The Universe. And how to love yourself. Well, I would suggest there are maybe two ‘”hows’” to that:
The first is, remember who you really are. Not who you seem to be, from this human perspective, but who you really are: a magnificent and all powerful incarnation here to become perfectly imperfect for a while. A Child of The Universe.
The second is, forgive yourself for forgetting. We beat ourselves up so much for forgetting, for our humanness, for the things we believe we’ve got wrong, the mistakes we think we’ve made. And all the while, what we’ve actually been doing is walking our path, faithfully and bravely, exactly as we’d agreed. We’ve been busy living the contrast we agreed we’d live. How amazing are we?
And so, Dear Child of the Universe, since you are the Universe living and loving and breathing, and since the Universe is unconditional love forever expanding, what’s not to love? In truth, you can’t not love, because you are love. And if you feel loveless, or unworthy of love, just try reminding yourself of who you really are, and go that extra mile and forgive yourself for forgetting.
After all, we all think you are utterly amazing! And we think you’re doing an incredible job! Perfect, in fact!
Truth be told, we’re all watching in awe!
Author: Janny Juddly
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Greg Rokozy/ Unsplash