I am...

I was visiting family in N Ireland recently. In my bedroom there’s a mirror-wardrobe. As I was in bed enjoying a lazy morning lie-in I decided to do something I’ve never done before.

I rolled onto my side and looked right into my eyes. I held eye contact with myself for ages while I repeated “I am…”

I am amazing

I am beautiful

I am alive

I am honest

I am me

I am unique

I am special

I am love

I am pure

I am soulful

I am everything I need to be

I am present

I am healthy

I am strong

I am here

I am a survivor

I am…

I just kept starting a sentence with “I am” and then said the first thing that came into my head. And all the time I held eye contact with myself.

At first it felt really strange. When I recited my first few sentences I could hear the little voice in my head say “No you’re not…”.

So when I said “I am amazing”, the little voice quickly jumped in and said “No you’re not. You stuffed up your last business”

When I said “I am beautiful”, the little voice and it’s damning eyes scoured my face and corrected me by saying “No you’re not. Check out your wrinkles! And look - you’ve got fat bits everywhere!”.

But I kept going.

And as I kept going the little voice slowly became a little softer, a little unsure, a little less critical, a little less eager to find faults in me.

And as the voice began to quiet, my emotions began to come to the surface. I could feel tears starting to well in my eyes. Not tears of sadness but tears of appreciation, tears of acknowledgement, tears of love.

Because as I stayed firm and kept reciting my many “I am”s the little voice in my head realised that it was a losing battle. It would try to blurt something negative out, but before it could I would move onto my next “I am” or it would start to blurt something snide and before it got anywhere I’d moved on to my next “I am”.

So eventually the little voice that has always putting me down and kept me secured in my comfort zone, started to slow down and begin to become quiet. Because I was no longer listening to it.

And that’s when the emotions could rise, unhindered, from deep inside of me.

How often do you look at yourself and only find the negatives? I’m guessing almost every time you look in the mirror.

But why is that?

Why can we find beauty in those dear to us, why can we see perfection in nature around us, and we cannot see it in ourselves?

Surely before we love anyone else or see beauty in anything else, we must first experience it in ourself?

Because if we cannot love ourself, how can we know what love is and, therefore, how can we truly express it to someone else?

If we cannot see the beauty in ourself, how can we truly see and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us?

Being in love with yourself is not about being vain or even “too big for your boots”. Being in love with yourself is honouring who you are and the life you are experiencing. It’s about respect, appreciation, acknowledgement, recognition, reverence of your-self. Because there is and should never be anyone like you.

You are unique and, therefore, you are truly special; one of a kind.

So the next time you are tempted to put yourself down, or the next time that little voice in your head highlights your supposed faults and weaknesses, stop and say “I am…”. And repeat it as often as you feel you need until you can see and believe that you are unique, you are special, and you are loved… by you.

You are you. There is no other like you. So be kind to yourself, appreciate yourself and love yourself.

Viv xx