Whew! I've been doing this work for many years and have done this very exercise many times and yet it never looses its potency for accepting myself just as I am.... over and over... again!
When I first began my journey of self-discovery, I was living in a beautiful home in southern Arizona that was completely fenced and had a wrap-around veranda. In trying to learn to appreciate and love all of me, I spent the summer in the nude. Now, 10 years later not only do I still struggle with my body image, I'm still very aware of the areas that I feel lack or not enough.
I took this exercise a bit deeper. I broke up my life into decades and said I LOVE YOU, to me in each stage of my life. I began with pre-birth. I LOVE YOU... I knew you before you were born.
I went to me in the womb. I LOVE YOU, knowing I was an unwanted child.
Next decade, age 1-10, I LOVE YOU, visualizing me as a child, feeling all the parts that I was told were unloveable.
Ages 10-20, I LOVE YOU, in those very awkward years of feeling like no one could love me.
Ages 20-30, I LOVE YOU, finding love and meaning in relationship and family.
Ages 30-40, I LOVE YOU, as the children grew and began finding their own path in life... and realizing that I wasn't a part of it. (I had to get my own life!)
Ages 40-50, I LOVE YOU, as the invitation (discontentment) to the path of self-discovery began showing itself.
Age 50-60, I LOVE YOU, accepting my path for living my life as untraditional and magical, when I rest into it and say yes to the doors that open. Still struggling with my side kick - 'not good enough.'
Let's see, that leave 2 more, I LOVE YOU, I LOVE YOU... you're perfect just the way you are. You're made in the likeness and image of the creator, how can that not be perfect.
Pati, looking into my eyes with one hand on the mirror, I say one last time with true heartfelt meaning, I LOVE YOU.