by Bob Vance
Remember, these questions and exercises are for creative exploration. There are no right or wrong answers. It is best to answer spontaneously, or to use them as a basis for meditative, even prayerful, contemplation. Take your time!
1) Who was the first person to tell you “I love you”? Describe how you felt. If you cannot, why do you think that is so?
2) Who was the last person to tell you “I love you”? Describe how you felt.
3) Is there an important person in your life who has never said the words “I love you” to you, but who you know loves you? What part of that is comforting? What part is uncomfortable?
4) What thoughts arise in you when someone says “You have to love yourself before you can feel love from others”?
5) What does loving yourself mean to you?
6) If you could love yourself better how would your life improve?
7) Do you think there are actions that you can take that might move you toward feeling more loved? If so, can you list three of them? If not, why not?
8) In 25 words or less write your personal theory about how important love is to your life. What experience from your life makes this theory true?
9) Write the names of five people you know love you. Indicate if they have ever said they love you. Regardless of that answer briefly describe how you know they love you.
Have you ever said ‘I love you’ to each of those five people? How do you show them you love them regardless of whether or not you have said it?
10) How do you think your feelings of being loved and/or unloved affect your overall satisfaction with your life?
11) Name three new things you think you can do that will help you feel more loveable when you are feeling unlovable. What do you think might go right or go wrong if you try these new things?
12) What fears do you have when you think about talking honestly to one person you trust about your feelings of being unlovable? How might talking to one trusted person about this help you feel more loveable? If you think it would help, how soon can you do this?