If you are not sure anymore that you deserve loving actions in your life, it is time to sit with yourself in silence and wait. There is a power in stillness, in time spent with our own thoughts. I used to tell friends that I couldn’t slow down to think because thinking hurt too much, but I’ve learned this isn’t true.Yes, when I spend time with my thoughts there is some grief at how out of touch I might feel at the moment or judgment about whether or not I’m doing a good enough job—there are usually tears.

But at least when I spend time with my own thoughts, I’m living and feeling my life in that moment, in touch with what loving actions I’m trying to incorporate into my life.When I ignore my thoughts and feelings, I get to a place where my life and my problems are so entangled in each other that I feel nothing at all.

Sort of a zombie state where all the motions happen but there is no anything: no up, no down, no passion, just flatness. I used to think that the flatness was better than the ups and downs. I’m learning something different now.

Lately when I sit in silence, enclosed within my own mind, away from the thoughts and influence of my friends, family, or society, I find a place where my own day-to-day experience becomes real to me.

The Courage to Love Again
I’ve chosen at times to live out of touch with my feelings, and at that point my life begins to look like a factory assembly line. Wake up, put on smile, take shower, look nice, be nice, make lunches, kiss good-bye, straighten house, hold on, no time to process, no time to listen to myself.

The product created on this factory line is predictable, and it doesn’t break down, but it also is not very self-loving.

The product I get when I sit still and listen is unpredictable—a flood, a burst of insight, a change in direction, and a knowing that has the potential to shock the family and social system. I’ve stepped off the assembly line and into myself, so all the machinery in the factory now has to shift to accommodate my movement toward acknowledging myself.

This is what it means to root your self-love in the soil of your beliefs: you step off the assembly line and into the silence of your mind; then you begin to believe you matter.