So I asked the question: "How do I rebuild myself?" Then I shut up long enough to hear my first answer already!
Sometimes, if we're lucky, or blessed, or someone somewhere is praying for us (thanks, Mum-in-law!) or it's just our turn - the answers come.
Anyway, I don't know why, but through a sequence of coincidences something has already found its way into my lap that is, quite unmistakeably, part of the answer to a question I've been asking for a while. Let me tell you about it ...
Question: How can I learn to love myself when I don't?I've known for a long time that to truly heal my body and brain I need to heal my relationship with myself. I mean that I need to love myself. I know this is a phrase that many of us find uncomfortable. It sounds like conceit, or worse - self-helpy, new-age fluff.
But when you actually think about it, it's the height of conceit to think that it's good to love other people - our entire post-Christian morality is founded on loving your neighbour and so on - but it's not acceptable to love ourselves, as if we were somehow different from everyone else on the planet!
But anyway, it's not a logical argument for most us. We have just learned to think ourselves unloveable, to feel at a deep, unconscious level that we do not deserve love. And I believe that unconscious drive can lead to chronic illness and persistent depression.
Tougher question: How can I change an unconscious belief?The problem with unconsciously held beliefs and feelings is that, of course, you can't talk yourself out of them. You can't just take a "logic pill" to make it go away. You can't even take a "self-love pill" or a "happy pill", although many have tried!
I've been grappling with this conundrum since the early years of my depression. I've tried talking cures and anti-depressants, emotional healing techniques, prayer and retail therapy. Most of what I've tried has helped a bit, some has helped a lot, and some has just helped my credit card company.
An answer? Why not start here...But here, in this small but powerful little e-book, I think I've found some answers that are already helping me. It's called, rather brilliantly I thought, "Love yourself like your life depends on it". When I read the title I had to buy it because that's exactly what I feel to be true for me. This is not a book by a psychologist, therapist or guru. It's a book born out of real experience. It's short because the guy doesn't need to lecture at length to show off his knowledge. It's potent because it contains a true story and some simple things that you can learn in seconds and practice in minutes - every day for the rest of your life if you want to.
I'm not sure how much more to say, because I don't want to plagiarise the author. But I'm so grateful to him, and to whatever grace is leading me right now.
Grateful, grace-ful and feeling bloody great-ful!