Self-love. This is the whole basis of my profession. I help women all over the world return to their natural state of love. Back to their authentic state before all the pain, holes, and gaps were created in their identity. When we were born, it was our most natural state of pure love. Then, life happens!
Some of us were born into an environment in which we were not wanted, were a mistake, or just plain ole’ got in the way. This all resulted in a distortion in the way we view love, especially for ourselves. Even if we were born in an environment in which we were planned and wanted, we still received messages about ourselves through our parents, school, friends, etc. We internalized our parent’s anger, frustration, and bad days. We created stories about ourselves and how unlovable we are. Or how we get in the way.
Then, one day we wake up, as we get older, realizing how uncomfortable we feel being seen or taking up space. We treat ourselves how we were treated. We beat ourselves up for not being enough of this or enough of that. We judge and compare ourselves. We put others’ needs before our own, engage in promiscuity, create addictions, procrastinate, abuse our bodies, accept less than we deserve, continually engage in confrontation and frustration, and punish ourselves. This is the opposite of self-love.
So then what the heck is self-love, right? Do we have to be perfect in order to know we love ourselves? How do we know we’ve “arrived” at loving ourselves? These are all questions I often get asked from members in my group and my clients. Many believe that they do indeed love themselves. They say, “Of course I love myself!” Then I ask, “Why do you consistently judge yourself? Why are you agreeing to the 2am booty call from the guy giving you way less than you deserve? Why are you putting your kids’ needs before your own? Why are you arguing with your family and in-laws over and over again? Why are you beating yourself up when you look in the mirror? Why are you continuously looking to get yet another elective cosmetic procedure done?” Hmmm…they begin to wonder.
One can say “Well I can’t control what my family or my in-laws do. I am just reacting to them.” Once we heal the triggers our family or in-laws are bringing out in us, we no longer react the way we used to. We choose love over fear. We realize it’s coming from an unsettled place within themselves that has absolutely nothing to do with us. This is when we free ourselves. This is when we truly love ourselves. When we realize they need more love than we do in those moments because we already are filled up with love and respect for ourselves. Self-love begins the moment we decide to love ourselves harder. It begins when we decide to put ourselves first, spend more time alone filling ourselves up, and crying it out and making ugly faces when need be. Self-love isn’t always pretty. It’s often pretty messy instead.
How to Start Practicing Self-Love Today
It all begins with a choice. A choice to begin to see through the eyes of love and understand what needs to be adjusted within yourself. We may not know exactly what this is as we are beginning our journey into self-love. All we need to do is to set the intention and ask a power higher than ourselves to help guide us. We will be led to our ah-ha moments over and over again.
Once we understand what our core issues are and what needs the most love, we are already beginning to heal and love ourselves. Awareness allows us to live consciously and understand our triggers. It allows us to self-talk and choose differently to not allow ourselves to go down the path to self-destruction less and less each time. There is no such thing as perfect and that is important to understand as we begin this journey. It took us however many years to get here, we are not going to just master this self-love thing in 6 weeks or 6 months. If you are engaging in an unhealthy booty call relationship, it first begins with awareness that this is not showing yourself love. And that’s it. If you are not putting yourself first, it begins with realizing you jump for everyone else and put your needs last. Most of all, it begins with admitting it to ourselves. We often know this and are not ready to acknowledge it and do something about it.
Accept that this is where you are at and understand how you got here. You can’t beat yourself up when you realize you have an inner child that is hurting from her upbringing and this is why you are in the position that you are in today. This is why you may put others’ needs before your own. You realize it gives you a sense of self-worth, something you lacked as a child. Accepting that your inner child doesn’t feel a sense of self-worth only enables you to love her more now and help her to see her self-worth today. She is you and you are her. Together you are one. You learn not to judge yourself and compare yourself because your journey is significant to you. Only you know what you went through to get to where you are today. If you are engaging in the 2am booty call, it’s accepting that this is where you are right now as you begin to heal and love yourself. It is NOT beating yourself up for doing it.
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The antidote for self-love is through compassion. Understanding yourself and having compassion for all pieces of yourself, especially the ones that you’d rather disown and ignore. Especially for the pieces of yourself that you are ashamed of. It’s having patience for where you are right now and showing unconditional love and non-judgment for all of you. If you are continuing to engage in the 2am booty call, it’s loving yourself even harder as you begin to become frustrated with yourself. It’s understanding that you may be doing it to get a false sense of love and instead begin filling yourself up with love in other ways. It’s beginning to see your own value and worth and having compassion for the part of you that does not yet see it. It’s hearing that inner little voice when you get that 2am booty call and slowly but surely beginning to choose yourSelf. And if you slack after coming far, it’s not beating yourself up for it and instead understanding why you did it.
Self-love is a conscious journey. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s important to exhibit patience and non-judgment every step of the way. When you realize you are beating yourself up, it is the awareness in saying,”Oh here I go again beating myself up. This hasn’t worked for me in however many years. Today, I choose to love me instead.”
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