You are Loved

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Unlike a lot of people my age, I didn’t grow up watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. I discovered Fred Rogers later on in life through documentaries, and the more I learned about him the more I became a fan. He was a man who exemplified qualities like kindness, curiosity, and compassion. He taught children and adults to feel, name, and express their emotions rather than ignoring them. And he had mastered the art of exuding love through his simple presence.


Six years before he died, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award during which he gave a very short acceptance speech. He used 10 seconds of that speech to invite the audience to remember all the people who had helped them become who they are. Here are a few of his words from that night:


“All of us have special ones who have loved us into being. Would you just take, along with me, 10 seconds to think of the people who have helped you become who you are. Those who have cared about you and wanted what was best for you in life. Ten seconds of silence. I’ll watch the time.”


Who are the people in your life who have loved you into being? Perhaps that list is long, or perhaps painfully short. What would it be like for you to take 10 seconds right now to think about someone who has helped you become who you are? If you’re open to trying it, just take a few moments to let yourself notice any feelings that arise when you think of them. Maybe there’s warmth, or love, or gratitude. Maybe there’s an ache of longing or a painful stab of grief. Whatever it is you feel, try to notice it without judgement.


A practice like this won’t change the circumstances of your life. It won’t bring your loved ones back to you. It won’t vanquish your anxiety or immediately lift your depression. It won’t erase years of trauma or neglect from you life. But it can help anchor you in the truth that that you are loved – and that you are worth loving.

~Michael Hazeltine, LPC

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