Self-love comes up a lot in the world of healing and Spirituality. We throw the word around a lot, but often don’t talk about the why, the what and the how. So let’s break it down.
Why is Self-Love important?
Why is self love so important to living your most authentic life? Self love is the practice of putting yourself first in the most loving and honest of ways. As someone who used to excessively worry about what others are thinking and feeling, this has been one of my greatest lessons. We can’t possibly know who we are at the level of Soul when we are putting others thoughts, opinions, beliefs and feelings before our own. Self- Love is fully immersing ourselves in the energy of honoring all of who we are including our shadows from the inside out. When we do this work we align with our truth so that we can live out our own unique passions, purpose and fulfill our calling. Self-love is at the basis of every choice we make. If we don’t feel that love for self we will remain in the wrong career, remain in unfulfilling relationships, be taken advantage of or be mistreated and generally settle in various aspects of life.
What does Self-Love look like?
It requires taking 100% responsibility for yourself. This means we don't get to blame or point the finger - ever. Being fully responsible doesn’t mean you’re always in control of what happens, but you are always in control of how you choose to respond to people and circumstances. It's having the willingness to always be honest with yourself with the knowing that you and only you are responsible for your destiny. Some important questions to ask are:
Do you let uncomfortable situations slide by due to fear or do you step fully into the discomfort with the knowing that it's an opportunity to love yourself even more?
Do you allow what others think about you come before what you think about you?
Do you make choices based on beliefs and feelings that you are carrying from past experiences and then wondering why nothing is changing?
Do have an inkling or a knowing that you are living life by somebody else's rules or perhaps trying to fit into a box that was never meant for you?
Self-Love looks like answering these questions honestly with lots of self-compassion while knowing that your challenges are simply an opportunity to love yourself more deeply so that you can align with the truth of your heart’s desires.
How do we practice self-love?
Again we must be willing to go to the depths of our truth. Self-honesty is at the cornerstone of self-love. Some thoughts and questions to ask are:
Observe without judgment how you genuinely think about yourself? Take notice while holding self-compassion. Be willing and open to shifting your thinking.
Observe without judgment how you genuinely feel about yourself? Again, take notice while holding self-compassion. Be willing and open to shifting your emotions.
Observe how you speak to yourself during the most difficult of times?
Can you embrace the idea that everything that is in front of you is there to guide you towards a deeper connection to yourself even when tremendous resistance arises?
Are you open to loving all the parts of you that you have judged, shamed or neglected? Those are the parts of you that may be keeping you from your dreams, your truth and your power.
A note about emotional healing and self-love:
Practicing Self- love requires us to FEEL all of our feelings. It might be uncomfortable, but we all know the deal. Miracles and true transformation don't occur in our comfort zone.
Feeling the hard emotions like sadness, anger, frustration and disappointment are not the problem. Avoiding them is the problem.
This is the most common way to Spiritually bypass through life. We'll preach positivity but attempting to always be positive becomes toxic when we aren't willing to acknowledge our real feelings first.
We can never get to authentic positivity while we are denying the truth of our emotions.
Real self-love requires us to sit with our whole self including all of our inconvenient limiting thoughts and feelings that are preventing us from breaking through to the other side. The way we move through life depends on how we feel about who we are. When we honor, accept and love all the various parts of ourselves, especially the ones we attempt to run from, we can’t help but live more in our truth and in our power.
Through applying love to all aspects of ourself we come to see that we have always been whole, we have always been complete and there was nothing that needed fixing. The only thing needed was the practice of loving ourselves more deeply.