LFCS Book Club: I <3 Me
Over the last year, I’ve been on quite a journey because of some significant changes in my life. On the journey across different aspects of my life (such as health and relationships), I started to notice and pick up on things I hadn’t noticed before. As a non-psych working in an office of Psychologists, I realised I was connecting with their work and I started to think about things in completely different ways.
My aha! moment came when I realised that even though I felt quite confident, my self-worth wasn’t going so great. I often found myself thinking negative things about myself and talking myself down about things I thought, said, and did. Not only that, I noticed my super support network of my bestie and my mum calling me out, saying things like “Betina, why are you saying sorry? You didn’t do anything wrong!”.
Although aware I was lacking a little ‘self-love’, I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this insight…
Cue the trusty Left Field Library!
I was browsing the shelves and this crisp white book caught my eye “I <3 Me”. What an interesting name for a research based psychological science book I thought. I flipped it over to read the back and was delighted to find that unlike some of our book collection which is more advanced, scientific and suited to the psych’s of the office, this one was a self-help book suited to everyone! Once I read more of the blurb, I was visibly excited – it was just what I needed... nay, what I’d been looking for! I <3 Me is all about the author (Dr David Hamilton) and his journey on the path to self-love.
There are no words to describe this discovery other than perfect timing.
I <3 Me is all about finding out how much love you actually have for yourself. Not the ego-fuelled “I’m like so totes amazeballs” kind of love, but the crucial regard you have for yourself which helps you to value your worth and allows you to navigate through life.
The book centres on three stages of self-love:
1. I’m NOT enough
2. I’ve HAD enough
3. I AM enough
This three-stage concept is the basis of the whole book. David takes the reader on a journey through the different stages, explaining each one. During the “I’m not enough” stage he explores what might have been the cause for someone feeling they are “not enough”. David then works through some of the catalysts which may have caused a person to reach their tipping point and land in the “I’ve had enough” phase. Towards the end of the book, he explores the powerfulness of the feeling someone gets when they truly see themselves as “enough”.
David shares personal stories throughout that relate to each stage. Some of these stories really touched me and I shared them with multiple people in my life after reading the book. His were the kind of stories that really made you think and look at your own behaviour and say “Hey, wait! I have done/thought/said that.” This is what really makes the concept resonate so deeply.
My favourite story is about an elderly woman and her mobility scooter – it definitely made me take a step back and think about how I react in similar situations. David was standing in a coffee shop when an elderly woman ran over his foot with her scooter. She turned back, but didn’t apologise. He didn’t say anything but expected an apology from her. The woman then sat near him in the coffee shop and he overheard her conversation - it was the very first time she’d driven the scooter, she was scared and self-conscious of driving it and wasn’t experienced at all. It was at this point the author realised the lady probably wanted to say sorry, but was concentrating too hard on trying not to run over anyone else’s foot! He concludes the story with a powerful thought I’d like to share with you:
“We can’t’ ever know what’s going on in a person’s mind unless they tell us. So, next time you’re about to judge someone, pause for a second and remind yourself that people have judged you without knowing what was going on in your mind or your life. And if you judge others, you invite judgement of yourself. When you know you ARE enough, you have no need to judge other people. You let them be who they are or who they need to be. That’s all.”
I <3 Me has exercises throughout the book which I think is a great way to help readers really connect with the concept and for the message of the book to resonate. With such a personal and deep concept as self-love and self-worth, I think this is really powerful to include tools like these to assist readers on their own individual journeys. What’s more, the activities are actually quite simple and enticing because most only take a few minutes to complete and can be done anywhere (in the car, in the shower or even in the moment!)
David refers to the old mantra - practice makes perfect - and I have faith I will be able to focus on a few of these exercises a week to keep going on my own ‘self-love’ journey! I still have a way to go, however, I really think reading this book allowed me to see there was a journey to be made.
I’m definitely inspired. I want to go out and buy a copy for all my friends because I feel it should be a staple on everyone’s bookshelf. I’d like to close with a key excerpt which, for me, is almost as good as a warm hug from mum:
“You don’t need to convince anyone of your worth. You’re worthy because you are. Your life is worthwhile because it is. The fundamental truth is that you ARE enough. You’ve never been NOT enough and there will never be a time where you’re anything other than ENOUGH. That is also a fact! ………You are entitled to be happy, to have love in your life, to be successful, to have money, a promotion at work, new shoes, a meal at a nice restaurant, some time by yourself or a hot bath on a Tuesday. So… go right ahead!”
~ Betina Osley , Team Coordinator