If you are anything like me, when you first started hearing the phrase ‘you gotta love yourself’, you thought well how on earth do I do that? Obviously if we are hearing it, someone thinks we aren’t doing a good enough job of loving ourselves already! How do they know…what do self-loving people do differently and were they born like it, or do we all have to learn how to do it? I think many of us do need to…
I’ve been on a journey with those questions…probably like most of you reading this. I’ve learnt that to me self-love means being honest with my preferences, saying yes and no when that’s what I mean. I also feel self-love when I nurture myself well. Eating lovely food in an enjoyable environment, taking time to stop and celebrate the rolling hills and sunsets, expressing myself through my clothes and music and developing friendships that are mutually satisfying and enriching.
I take a look around my life in a 360 from time to time and look at all my reflections. What do my home/body/work/relationship life/health/friendships tell me about my self-awareness and self-love? It is really wonderful to be able to ‘own’ the reflections when they are pleasing, to trust that anything good in my life is there because I attracted it. I see my life as my art and I love to see it all as a glorious work in progress. It is hard going too when a glaring area of lack is suddenly brought into focus. Yet it is in those moments of contrast in our lives that we define our choices. We choose what we do want through the experience of what we don’t.
I’m learning not to fear the contrast, but to pick up my ‘brush’ and start creating the next details. Here is where I must love myself in whole new ways…there is so many aspects of us that want to join the party! As we become more true to ourselves, these aspects have a disconcerting habit of showing up unexpectedly and demanding entry and no amount of resistance is going to make them go away. In the end we must simply open the door to the lovefest and invite them in!
I start by facing the embarrassing new arrival, whom I may not be willing to sit down to tea with just yet and breathing into my feelings. Sometimes I pick up a pen and ask what it has to say and let it rant or weep…Other times I can sense the age of this part of myself that feels unworthy of love and this helps me to open my heart and invite little me back in. It’s really amazing how good this feels, to integrate a little part of me into my heart, very tangible and warming. Try it- you’ll like it! Imagine your mini-me climbing into your arms for a cuddle, wrap your arms around yourself and breathe deeply. Ask if there is anything he/she wants to say and answer back inside like you would to a sweet child. Because that is what you were and still are in parts. We only get to fully grow up when we take our inner child with us. Afterward doing this somehow you can sense that you are now more ‘solid’, which can certainly help when you meet other peoples’ inner kids!
I’m going to tell you my other favourite tip for self–love….Every time we allow love to flow through us we are loving ourselves too. As it pours into us and out from us, we get the blessing of its’ flow. Love is what we are and by being true to what we are, then every aspect of our lives are blessed. We express what we came here to do, which is have fun, explore, give our gifts, grow in capacity to exude our essence and anchor our light here on Earth. It sure feels good to simply be our own true self.