The Path to Self Love

The Path to Self Love

Self love. It’s nice to say that you need to love yourself, but for some, this might just be the hardest thing on Earth. I’m sure most of you felt like you weren’t good enough, that you weren’t worthy of love.

You might have even felt ugly and useless at some point in your life.

We all have.

And in those times, you might have decided to come out of this state, to love yourself. You got to the conclusion that you should. You were in constant struggle, so you decided to take care of the outside of yourself: your body, because you thought that was your biggest issue, and if that was solved, you would be able to love yourself.

But tell me, did it work?

Self-love in its purest form is about cultivating a relationship with oneself that fully owns and embraces vulnerability, courage and compassion.

Its importance is crucial to the development of who you are as a woman. So, as you might have guessed, it is much more than just taking care of the physical body; the external.

It’s nice to say that you need to love yourself, but for some this might just be the hardest thing on Earth.

When Self Love is mistaken for Self Care

You might have started to do some exercise, to look after your body and health, maybe have a massage or pedicure so that you would feel better. And of course you did, but the feeling slowly faded away or became difficult to hold.

Why?

Because, although you took care of your physical body, you only did it in a one-faceted way, not paying attention to the other aspects of yourself that were yearning for your embrace. You did this to feel better, but part of you knew that something was missing, as if you were not getting the self-loving journey quite right.

Well, part of this is true, but not in the way you think. Self love can easily be mistaken for self care.

But what is the difference?

Self love is a hot topic right now, and there are many definitions about what this actually means. One definition, which seems to be receiving a lot of weight, is that self-care equals self love.

But tell me, when you took care of yourself, you still felt that something was missing, didn’t you?

You might have been somewhat content, but weren’t fulfilled, because you still felt uncertain on the inside. You were afraid of the unknown, and you began to understand that there was more to the story than just attending to the external parts of yourself.

Whilst self care is important, it’s only a small piece of what self love actually is.

We almost have to be careful in giving self care such a defining voice, because when it’s described in this way, we miss the depth of understanding of what this topic really offers us to explore within our own universe.

When embraced in this way, we may experience self love as fluffy, flaky and ungrounded; simply something we’ll make time for when we have the time.  It might be seen as a massage, or a hot cup of tea, or some form of pampering.

To me, this is not self love in it’s fullness, this is respite and sometimes really needed, there’s no doubt about that, but this is not the full picture of what self love is.

Understanding Self Love in its purity

You want to know yourself, you want to connect into this feeling more, knowing what really would have you feeling fulfilled and secure in your centre.

It’s important to be patient with yourself, take one step at a time, and you will embody an understanding quicker than you realise.

As soon as you look deep within, you will find a whole new world there. A world that is waiting for you to explore. Take your time, you don’t need to rush. Discover every element, every desire, fear and thought. And let them find you.

When you can really explore the undercurrents of what self love is, it’s a sacred and powerful journey one takes within. It’s a domain that’s entered alone; an understanding that’s felt through silence.

You are the pilgrim traversing your own pilgrimage and there is so much preciousness that’s held here. 

It’s truly about the quality of relationship we have with ourselves; exploring our own depth of vulnerability, where we tell the truth to the person we are – simply no more hiding our feelings and emotions, we give ourselves permission to see it in its glory, to welcome all that we are to the dinner table – our joy, anger, excitement, grief, passion and sorrow can co-exist without suppressing, justifying, or making excuses. It just is.

This means having the ability to accept our beautifully flawed humanness and learn to be comfortable and open in this space.

Can you see how this is much more than self care?

Indeed, there is more presence and self awareness asked of us when we navigate this kind of relationship with ourselves.

This is not for the faint hearted, because in all this vulnerability, the parts that we’ve abandoned and neglected come up to be seen, witnessed and healed. Our pain becomes inwardly visible and exposed.

Here, we are always given a choice. Either we embrace it or fight.

Embracing our being beckons and calls for self-compassion; to see our imperfect perfection through the eyes of someone who deeply cares for us, someone who won’t leave us when the going gets tough, someone we can deeply be with in challenging times, someone who will counteract any conversation within that is not self loving by offering words of kindness, wisdom and insight.

In this space, the heart feels soft, even in our pain.

The fight, however, will never allow for love to come through, because its power is fueled by keeping us small, disconnected and in a place of suffering. We must choose the courage to embrace ourselves and make choices that empower our growth and freedom.

Embracing self love is the greatest gift we can give ourselves, because this is the only relationship that we will have that will last our lifetime, isn’t it worth investing in?

Embarking on this pathway

By embarking on the pathway of self-love, we give ourselves the opportunity to unburden ourselves; mostly from our own self abuse.

It is subtle in its appearance, and comes to us in ways that we could easily be dismissive of. It is the fooler of fools and the liar of lies.

Self abuse finds us in the echoes of our minds and whispers words that hurt us, these are the conversations that move in our heads by default, you and I both intimately understand this.  These are the conversations that feed our anxieties, self-doubt and the lack of confidence to fully shine in the world without apology.

Self love gently or sometimes fiercely intervenes (depending on her mood) on such conversations; offering kinder and more encouraging words, ones that move us closer to ourselves rather than becoming more separated, uncertain and confused.

Self abuse shows up in the toxic relationships we can find ourselves in, the ones that ask us to self-betray; when we want to say no instead of yes, and we know this truth because we feel the assault in our body.

Self abuse tells us not to self trust and look outside of ourselves; self love says “Beauty, you have all the answers inside!”

Self love is the voice that will say “No” for you, without guilt or resentment. Self abuse tells us not to self trust and look outside of ourselves; self love says “Beauty, you have all the answers inside, trust this beyond anything or anyone else”.

Self abuse tells you that you should be fearful and to stay where you are, don’t take a risk, while self love says “Bring the fear with you, she’s welcome and we’ll gently show her how to move from her heart and that it’s ok to risk because this is how she will grow”.

Self abuse screams “I told you so, you failed”.  Self love says “Don’t worry, I’ll catch you”.

Self abuse blankets you with self judgement and self love tells you that you are perfect just the way you are. Self love will unburden, you will no longer be in the fight, because you’ll see the fight as a waste of time and energy.

The choice you’ll want to make is a choice that will elevate you, encourage you through your vulnerability, courage and compassion to own your power, to own your right to shine like the brightest of stars.

Self love allows you to evolve into who you were born to be and nothing less.

Talking about self love is simple, practicing not so much. In truth, it takes work, effort and time, but it is the most rewarding work you could do on yourself.

Simple steps that you can take

Talking about self love is simple, practicing not so much. In truth, it takes work, effort and time, but it is the most rewarding work you could do on yourself.

First, you have to decide with a full heart that you want a relationship that will allow you to experience yourself in a way you haven’t yet, one that’s beaming with optimism, encouragement, vulnerability, and one that supports you without requiring any of this outside of yourself.

You’re choosing to internally cultivate this.

By simply deciding, you are declaring something big to the world; to your world! You are declaring that you are making YOU a priority. And just by deciding, you are moving energy into motion. Trust this.

You have done the most important step already, because it`s all about starting on this incredible journey of self discovery.

Next, simply watch the conversations that you are having without making them good or bad.

Rather, ask yourself: “Is this useful for me, does this conversation elevate me to feeling stable and secure in who I am?”

And when you are in the land of self-talk that isn’t supporting you, practice self intervention with a quality question that asks:

“How would someone loving speak to me right now?”

If you wholeheartedly agree to this accountability within yourself, you will naturally see things change for the better, because your focus will be moving towards more self love and you just might need less self care to carry you through.

 

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