How to Love Yourself (A Different Way)

Imagine going back in time and talking to your younger self. What would you say to comfort them, to make them feel safe, to make them feel loved?

To preface this post, I need to introduce the most beautiful song/music video combo I’ve experienced all year. The first few times I heard this song, I thought about future bae and how I’d aim to love with my whole heart. While I was humming the song to myself this evening, I thought up a new perspective that really excited me.
Please listen to the song A Different Way by DJ Snake & Lauv.

To me, the red balloon in the video represents the little boy’s love — a love that he’s proud to share with the world.

This evening, I imaged singing the words to my childhood self.

Even a broken heart can beat again

Forget about the one who caused you pain

I swear I’ll love you in a different way

I grew up without a father, and thought about how I would be a phenomenal father if I’m blessed with that opportunity. I would love my children in a different way.

When I was 9 years old, I went through a very traumatic event that changed my life forever (maybe I’ll share that story in a future blog post). Whenever I think about vulnerability and weakness, the moments of that event are a constant. Thankfully I’ve moved past that pain in recent years. Yet, on the rare occasion the little boy in me gets scared.

Maybe you have a moment like that in your life, or maybe you just remember something sad or scary when you were a kid. Think about that moment, think about how you felt (if you can’t remember, guess). Now, imagine going back in time to that moment and talking to your younger self. What would you say to comfort them, to make them feel safe, to make them feel loved? Seriously, stop and think about it for a minute. You can say those same things to yourself, every day if you wanted to.

What’s stopping you from showing yourself as much compassion as you’d show a frightened child?

As soon as I ran this thought experiment on myself, I was overwhelmed with love and gratitude I hadn’t felt for months. I thought, “I made it out of that situation, and I turned out just fine.” In fact, I did it with so much glory that I’m able to feel immense compassion for someone in that situation. My heartbeat slowed down, and felt totally at peace. I felt loved.

If you were your own child, how would you love yourself?