Self-love some of the backstory…
Once upon a time, I felt such shame, guilt and self-hatred for the things that happened in my life and the hand I perceived I was dealt with. I have found myself caught up in my stories. Isolation was my default stance. When I couldn’t bear things any longer I would hide. I used to hide from my ‘truth’ and in doing I ended up not loving me.
What I have come to realise that my crappy life is a fabulous gift. Writing has been and continues to be my saviour. Through writing, I have learned that I have a right to love.
The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely.” C.G. Jung
Not just writing if I am honest – pure bloody-mindedness as well.
When I was expelled from school, I called my dad at work, expecting the usual telling off. The sting of his words, ‘are you mental or what?’ wrenched my heart. I held back the tears and swallowed hard; he simply put the phone down on me. No one talked or looked at me that week, while I, slightly unconcerned, relished my newfound freedom. A few days later I found myself on a farm with the Moonies. More on this in another blog.
Then I entered the world of work.
Every day I dragged myself out of bed to go work, I wanted more from my life, but I was caught in a limbo land where I couldn’t move. I was trapped, caught in the spider’s web and watching horrified as life passed me by. Don’t get me wrong I have had some wonderful jobs, but I was never fulfilled. I wore the suits and did the stuff and on the inside, I was dying.
I thought that relationships would save me…
What I failed to realise was that it gets easier to deal with things, not that life would get easier. Blinkered and unaware of the tougher times to come I lived in a weird smog. My desire to learn, heal and grow and my knowledge of how to look at things didn’t desert me, but somehow I stranded myself on a loveless Island with strange bedfellows. (not all at the same time…)
One day in what I thought was the sanctity of a boring marriage, the one where I thought was safe, I was delivered a hellish wake-up call.
I relocated my life but not my self-hatred.
I don’t know what the turning point was, I think I just decided that something had to give and hating myself was a waste of time.
During this period I came face to face with my demons. I wrote and wrote thousands of words for a book called Journey To Self-Love, that is still not published – but oh boy was it cathartic.
And it saved me. Once again writing saved me.
In writing that book I learned a few things:
The heart is the gateway to you and your connection with the world. If I hadn’t learned to love me first and create a strong, vibrant connection at my heart first, then I know that the rest of my healing could not take place. Nor would it continue.
The heart chakra which is what we are working on when we think about self-love. This chakra stands for love and the right to love and be loved.
This chakra is about love, self-love, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, generosity, empathy, kindness and connections to other’s hearts. When the heart chakra is healthy, you feel the love flowing through your life, you will think about how you give and receive love.
It sounds rather narcissistic to say that you love yourself. If you are a preening prancing horse then maybe it’s not so cool. However, the conscious evolved kind of love where you honour and respect who you are is a wonderful place to be. Through this, you start to see that you have value.
I’ve always been a bit quirky or as I was once described a wild child. I’m quite fond of the funny memories that my mum shares. I love to relish the silliness of being just who we want to be. For me, that includes singing to my doggies – they do like it, I’m sure. Dancing with them and generally feeling good about just being rather than trying to please others. When you love you, you can just BE.
This is my essence as well as my values. I’m essentially a free spirit (my essence) who dislikes rules and adores freedom (a value). Intuitive and demanding fair play and justice. When you love yourself, it is easier to stand by your values and live your life as essentially you. That is, like above, not being afraid of being seen as you and walking your path, your way.
This has to be one of the hardest things to do. Accept and do not judge yourself or others. However, it is one of the most satisfying and for me the funniest ones to do. When I catch myself about to judge me, I eat my words, sing it away, make myself laugh and then quickly reframe. Of course, there is always room for expansion and transformation.
Where once you may have had weak boundaries now you hold your head high and let the behaviour of manipulators and bullies pass you by. It becomes easier to say no, without making excuses. And when people try to emotionally blackmail you, you’ll find that it’s stuffed in the trash can as their stuff.
We’ll look at more reasons another day. For now, understand that cultivating self-love is one of the keys to inner peace and contentment.
What about you? What has loving you given you? If you don’t have it, what is the one thing you can do today to start this process and practice?
Let me share one last thing – I ask myself this question, do I love myself enough to…?
From here I know I can make good, conscious decisions.
What do you notice people who love themselves? I’m not talking about narcissistic behaviour but people who genuinely love who they are and find joy with how their lives are. I bet when you witness them they seem happier, and those who associate with them are happier too.
If you find it hard to see that in you, perhaps it’s time to turn off the inner critic and try this simple journaling exercise.
Be prepared for resistance from your inner critic. Your inner critic may not have been talked back to for years. It usually has the run of things so be aware of that. Flood him or her with love and get your pen to the ready…
101 things I love about myself is a wonderfully simple, yet powerful exercise.
All you need is a set of index cards, some coloured pens and a glass of water.
The water is for you to sip as you ponder…
Get comfortable, take three big deep breaths and let each go with a big sigh. Plant your feet on the ground and imagine roots flowing into Mother Earth. Connect your breath to your heart and flood it with love.
When you are ready write one thing that you love about yourself on each card.
When you have completed the exercise you can shuffle the cards and intuitively pick one for today.
I love that I allow myself to express my emotions
Is the one that I picked for the video below.
When you have chosen the card for the day, think about how you will connect that sentiment and feeling with your heart and embody it through the day.
Journal about what comes up for you as you start your day and at the end of the day reflect on what happened and what you learned about yourself.
If you love to journal I have a range of journaling books that are designed to help you to focus on what you what to create in your life. Each covers four subjects spread over 28 days. These subjects are designed to help you to create a stronger connection with your heart and wisdom.