The group is talking about things we do that are not self-loving and Faye starts to tell us how she has to spend time with her man’s family.
“They’re super-critical and always have something bad to say about everyone – including me. I always feel like I have to be on guard with them and it makes me anxious. It definitely doesn’t feel self-loving to be around them, but they’re family and I have to.”
There’s another family dinner coming up, she tells us, and she feels depressed at the thought of having to go.
As she speaks, her face is tight and tense and she seems smaller somehow, as if she’s holding herself tightly inside.
The group wants to know what her heart had to say about the family dinner that is causing her distress.
“Ask the Love Question!” they demand.
After all, that’s what we are there to do. To learn how to make choices that are more self-loving in a way that serves us AND everyone around us better.
So she asks herself, “If I loved myself, what would I choose to do now?”
And then, right in front of our eyes, her body and face suddenly relax, she expands back into herself and laughs saying, “Well duh! If I loved myself, I wouldn’t go!”
Then she claps her hand over her mouth, her eyes open wide in horror. “I can’t believe I said that. I can’t not go!”
The group challenges her.
We all saw her relax and laugh and then tense up again.
“What was your first response to the Love Question?” they ask her, not letting her off the hook.
“Well”, Faye says, “I saw myself telling my man he must have a lovely time with his family and I’m going to enjoy my evening on my own. And it felt so good and so free.”
“And what was his reaction in what you saw?” one of the women in the group asks.
Faye thinks for a moment and says, “His reaction didn’t feel so important.
What felt important is what I want and need. He would be surprised but ok about it because he’d see I feel relaxed and comfortable in my decision.
And it’s his family. Why shouldn’t he be ok to go alone and spend some time with them? I mean, it will be a new thing but not a bad thing. Just something we’ll all adjust to.
I can’t believe I’ve never thought of doing this before!
If I knew I could stay home sometimes when I chose to, I wouldn’t have felt so resentful of them all these years.
I’ve been blaming them for forcing me but it was actually me that’s been forcing myself all this time!
I can see now that they would have been fine with me not always attending.
I mean, they’ll probably gossip about me when I’m not there – but they do that anyway even when I am there so it won’t really make a difference except that this time I’ll be happier.”
If you loved yourself, what impossible thing would you give yourself permission to do now?