Updated: Jul 2
When we hear the word self-love that’s passed around so freely we may think of a few things, bubble baths, being gentle to ourselves and maybe journaling. But no one told us that the deeper truth and secret to this soft word could actually cause so much self-doubt.
Ads make it look easy, and Facebook quotes make it look easy; but let’s face it, to ask more for ourselves, learning to take care of ourselves and speak up when we are called, takes effort and deep self-commitment.
To be able to trust our own instincts, to refrain from eating ice cream when wanting to lose weight can be hard frickin work! No one told us that the softest word “self-love” would be so hard to attain!
Yet mastering self-love in my opinion is the most glorious and challenging work we will ever do in our lifetime. It involves discovering who we are beneath our mask and understanding our deepest needs and values and actually standing true to those needs and values! Mastering self-love takes humility, incredible strength, and deep self-honesty. It makes sense why we need so many sweet quotes and reminders.
Self Love is the path home back to ourselves. Self-love is actually honoring ourselves at a core level and it can also sometimes look and feel a bit foreign to our system at first. When we begin to choose a new positive thought, decision, or behavior it can feel like an imposter is taking over. In fact, that imposter is who we are underneath the protective parts of ourselves. We need to remind ourselves every minute, hour, and day that we are safe to take care of ourselves and in fact eventually we will be rejoicing to do so!
When we can stop distracting different inner parts of ourselves with temporary feelings of validation from others we get to come back to ourselves. When we can heal the root cause of what drives us to bend over backwards for the world and show up for others meanwhile putting ourselves last, then we have begun to taste self-love.
I have seen and felt glimpses of this more as I’ve aged in between every difficult decision, step and choice and prioritize listening to what I want over the fear of what I may sound like, look like or come across like. Can you recall a time for yourself you truly took that liberating step to say ‘Yes’ to what your soul is crying for? Maybe it’s a vacation, a day off, a decision to have a less stressful life filled up with shoulds, a long nap, a long put off workout or meditation, the ability to say 'no' I have too much on my plate and being ok with the end result. It's so important to stand behind yourself trusting you made the right decision to say ‘Yes’ to you!
Letting go of the pattern of obligation to people please everyone is a gigantic step towards coming back home to self-love. It takes time, and a great support system to help us remember we deserve this. Let’s face it, the validation we are really craving isn’t about who’s in front of us now but about who couldn’t show up for us back then.
How can we heal this place so that we can be more loving? Therapy helps, inner silence and mediation help, and any other support you can find to help guide you through this process is pivotal.
When we can meet ourselves with more compassion, this cultivates the deepest appreciation and fulfillment of validating ourselves. Connecting inward with ourselves and reminding ourselves we get to have now what we didn’t receive then is so important. This is the most important aspect of connecting and believing we are worth loving ourselves and showing up for our feeling and needs.
When we can love ourselves more deeply and unconditionally, the world will feel more loving and we can ultimately depend on our own self-love to light the way!
Spiritual Empowerment Coach