What about to yourself? As I often tell my patients, you’re a people too! I came across two messages this week that I found to be very touching. The first one, oddly enough, was while watching the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. His guest was Tyler Perry and he shared a letter that he had written ... to himself. In an instagram post, Perry wrote a open letter to his five-year-old self, where he thanks him for laying the foundation for who he is today.
“Dear 5 year old me. May I just say, ‘Thank you’ to the little boy that I was. Thank you for all you went through to allow me to be the man I am today. I love you, and I am so thankful to God that you survived.Even when I didn’t want to, your pureness and innocence ushered me here. Thank you for these 50 years. I love you. We made it.”
Perry then poses the question to others: “What would you say to your younger self?”
My younger self always wanted to please others. I focused on that, to the detriment of knowing myself. This second post from FB, is what I would like to do for my five year old self now.
I think this is a beautiful and very wise sentiment. This is what being in the moment is all about.
With Valentines Day coming up, consider this practice:
Many studies have shown that mindfulness meditation that includes LKM (loving-kindness meditation) can rewire your brain. Practicing LKM is easy. All you have to do is take a few minutes everyday to sit quietly and systematically send loving and compassionate thoughts to: 1) Family and friends. 2) Someone with whom you have tension or a conflict. 3) Strangers around the world who are suffering. 4) Self-compassion, forgiveness and self-love to yourself.
Doing this simple 4-step LKM practice literally rewires your brain by engaging neural connections linked to empathy. You can literally feel your brain shift and open up to empathy by spending just a few minutes going through this systematic LKM practice (Psychology Today, October 10,2013).
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