I am going to be honest, I had no idea what self love was before this tumultuous year. Ok I maybe knew what it was not, see my post WHY I DON’T LOVE MYSELF, little did I know how accurate that title actually was.
This last year my life has been thrown into turmoil and change. It’s as if the universe decided to throw every factor at me to see how I could cope. Well, test by fire it was and I had no choice but to walk through the fiery coals of my own shadows to get to the core of myself and learn what it truly means to love myself.
What nobody tells you about learning to love yourself is that making steps towards it can sometimes HURT like hell, feel incredibly alienating and will make you question your entire existence. (Maybe a bit dramatic but that is how it felt)
So what I learnt about self love was how it feels a lot like being REALLY HONEST with yourself, it looks like tapping in to your emotions and your body to FEEL and LISTEN to what is going on in order to make decisions that SUPPORT you and your future self/ideals/goals/values. These decisions often don’t look like what we would expect, and the results of which even less!
What I have found for myself is that loving yourself looks like putting necessary boundaries that validate your emotions and make you feel safe. It looks like speaking your truth even though it’s unpopular and means you could alienate yourself. For me It looked like putting boundaries with people that I love even though my scared inner child did not want to do that, for fear of abandonment or rejection. It looked like distancing myself from people that did not feel emotionally safe to be around, even though this meant also distancing myself from people I like. It looked like having really difficult conversations that felt terrifying but needed to be had to avoid resentment and to validate my own emotions. It looked like the choice to never again try to FIX someone or CHASE anyone, be that friend or lover. It looked very much like a mess and that my whole life was falling apart at some point
During this time of putting difficult boundaries I felt extremely lonely at times, but through this moment of being alone I got to fill that void with my own self love. Which is where self care came in, yoga, meditation, journaling, bubble baths… Now don’t get me wrong I also indulged in self destructive behaviours as well, because I am human and perfectly imperfect, but self destruct doesn’t last (too) long when awareness is present.
Through the emotional turmoil and all the victim ‘poor me’ stories I told myself, I found a way out. Each time I made a decision to validate myself, each time I put a boundary, each time I had that difficult conversation, I built a TRUST with myself that had never been there before. There was a clear feedback loop from my body/emotions to my actions and with each little step more and more confidence in myself was built. Of course this did not happen over night and parts of it felt really rough, but the confidence and knowing I have gained coupled with a real sensation of deep self love, which I can now translate into – ACKNOWLEDGING TRUSTING VALIDATING – gives me a foundation that feels unshakeable.
IF love is an energy and you are giving it away freely without any boundaries or reciprocation, can you see how that devalues the currency of your own self love?
I see it like this, when we are not loving ourselves there is a LOT of outwards energy, as in energy moving away from you. For example, obsessing and worrying about future/past events, people or situations. GIVING your time or energy to things that do not fulfil you OR things you don’t really want to do. Engaging with people that don’t support you or reciprocate your input e.g. friends and people that don’t respect your time and have a TAKER attitude. ALL of these scenarios create a huge amount of OUTWARD energy that is not being returned to you. Cutting out these scenarios from your life frees up so much energy that can be put back in to YOU and this also translates into physical and mental energy!
From my diary, the moment of realisation…
“I finally understand how my energy has been one of chasing and holding on too tight. I couldn’t even understand the concept of ‘Loving Myself’ because my energy was so embroiled in ‘trying’ to gain something. Which ultimately was unknown to me. I already felt like I loved myself but now I am finally starting to understand that energy better. I can see now how that clinging chasing energy kept me stuck in a loop of yearning and lack that made me ungrounded and un embodied. Making me feel as if I needed you to be whole.”
I basically made the decision to take back my energy and pour it all back in to myself. What happened since then….
I am not afraid of rejection, I go after what I want unapologetically AND without expectations because my self worth is not tied to the outcome.
I give LESS AND LESS FUCKS EVERY DAY!! With deepening love and trust in myself I am the only one that needs to have my back, I don’t need to pretend, shrink myself or compromise my values for anyone or anything, and that includes money and work!
I feel more creative, I have more energy for myself that results in more productivity and inspiration.
My intuition is heightened. Through listening to my body and emotions, trusting them and validating them I am able to discern the voice of my intuition clearly.
I have MORE LOVE to give. I have more love and care to give to myself, I have more love to put in to my work, I have more love to give to my friends, my dog, I have more love and compassion for everyone because my cup is over flowing and I give from abundance.
Where in your life can you take your energy back? How can you show yourself some more LOVE and GIVE BACK to YOU what you put out in to the world?