I vividly remember the day I met myself in the mirror.
I see her staring back at me. She’s hurting and wants to lash out with harsh words and judgement “How could you do that? That was so stupid!” With tears in her eyes, she asks, “Isn’t it time for something different? Can’t we declare peace and find another way? It’s too painful to keep going like this.” Our eyes lock and my heart softens. I take a deep breath, and my whole body sighs with knowing and relief. “Yes,” I tell her, “It’s time for a new way forward. It’s time for more love, not less.”
It was difficult to see the depths of my pain and in that moment, it became so clear that I kept cutting myself off from love. Does this sound familiar to you? Maybe you’re aware that along the way you’ve become your own worst enemy. Instead of supporting and loving yourself, are you tearing yourself down, creating roadblocks of doubt and voraciously feeding your fears and insecurities?
When I realized there might be another way, I immediately softened with possibility. I felt alive with my own knowing and hopeful that maybe somehow it could finally be different. I could choose the path of love and this could be the medicine to open my heart, create healing and connect me to a more expansive life. Maybe this is what you’ve been needing to hear too? That more love, not less could help restore you to the biggest, best and brightest version of yourself.
Since letting go of this old pattern and making this new choice, I am a woman who loves herself deeply and practices the application of more love, not less. This means that on difficult days, when the old me would react with negativity and criticism, I now respond with love and compassion. This means that in the moments I experience big and uncomfortable feelings, instead of judging myself or running away, I sit with these feelings and drench them with more love, not less. I no longer cut off parts of myself, I now invite them in with love and curiosity. On days that I’m riding high and feeling on top of the world, I am grateful and feel the full impact and weight of love. In choosing more love, not less for myself, I am also able to extend this to others and it is dramatically changing my relationships with people in my life.
This practice of more love, not less, is a conscious choice and an ongoing practice. Old patterns and habits die hard. Really hard. Some days, I forget to apply love and I revert back to that old, critical, sharp-tongued version of myself. And it hurts. But over time, with practice and patience, it’s getting easier to keep choosing love. In this new version of me, it’s become pretty simple, I can either love me or hate me. So I’m choosing to love me more, not less.
So, I invite you to consider for yourself: (possible journal opportunities or conversation starters)
- What could change in your life with more love, not less?
- What could you create with more love, not less?
- What could it feel like to give and receive more love, not less?
- What could you experience by adding more love, not less?
- What could heal with more love, not less?
Maybe it’s time for more love, not less.
Ali Schaffer, LCSW is a spark for change, a permission giver, and an illuminator. She has a counseling practice in Nashville and provides individual and group therapy for adults navigating life transitions, coping with health challenges, and desiring to live more fully. Ali is deeply influenced by nature and incorporates inspiration from the natural world along with her super power of Noticing to help people write their own stories, create meaningful change and reconnect with their joy and purpose.
Connect with Ali over on IG @alischaffercounseling or firstname.lastname@example.org