Self-love. Such an amazing concept for just too small words.
The foundation of awakening is to reconnect with our Divine Essence. Our essence – the truth of who we are – is love.
In this day and age, it is easy to get caught up in the materialistic and outer world. So much of the sense of who we are is reflected in the outer world. We identify with what we do for a living, where we live, our community (married, single, parent, pets), our passions, our activities, etc. All of that plays into our self-identity. At the basic core though, in essence, we are all Light and we are all Love. Learning to reconnect and embody love – or more accurately self-love – is key.
The age-old saying of “you have to love yourself before you can truly love anyone else” holds truth. Society, however, has tainted or twisted that idea. You might have the impression that self-love is a selfish act, something that shows an inflated ego or a grandiose idea of oneself. It is time to shift those perceptions and allow for a much deeper experience of self-love.
When you love something or someone, you place a high level of value on that special ‘being’ or thing. You are expanding your sense of connection, allowing a stronger focus and increased attention.
So the dilemma is, how much value to hold for your own self. Do you put your needs first, or do you put others first? Understandably, as a parent, for example, it is important to prioritize caring for those who are yet unable to care for themselves. Making sure your children, or even your favorite pets, are supported, nourished and have what they need to thrive is required in such a role.
However, after perhaps years of putting others and other factors first, the pattern of putting your own needs behind others has become your norm. You overlook the importance of thinking about your own needs. And when you do, often guilt shows up.
Have you ever felt guilty about taking a nap in the middle of the day or spending money on something for yourself that you don’t need, but really want? Do you value yourself enough to justify actions which support or nurture you on a personal level?
Of course, , there is a responsibility to live within one’s means, but shifting your perceptions around taking care of, or even pampering, yourself is a necessary step in moving towards more self-love.
Are you thinking – ‘what does spending money on myself have to do with self-love? Self-love is something within myself.’ Certainly true. But how you “treat” yourself in your outer world is a reflection of your level of self-love.
Do you take care of your physical body by devoting time for proper exercise or movement each day? Do you expend the extra time and money to prepare high quality foods for your body? Do you indulge, once in a while, in an afternoon of napping, reading or watching a good movie – just because you feel like it? Or do the demands of others always take precedence?
Years ago, when still learning to honor and love myself, I would go out to dinner with friends and only consider the least expensive menu item rather than the possibility of what I wished for in that moment to feed my body and soul.
It seems like a simple thing, but it was a form of not loving myself, of feeling limited and ignoring my wants and desires. Seriously, in the reality of things, spending five dollars more on what I really wanted would not have broken the bank. And it would have gone a long way in honoring myself. Those actions and decisions just reinforced that I was not worth the extra few dollars.
There were times I would feel guilty for sleeping the afternoon away on a weekend, as if I had wasted my time, not recognizing the value of allowing my body to rest and heal without judgement. And how many things I didn’t try because I was afraid I would fail or not be good enough to succeed.
The soul needs to express. That expression comes in many forms, many of which may have been suppressed, denied or ignored for years. When you really start to get connected to your inner self, those desires to express in new ways begin to surface.
Do you value exploring your creative nature enough to make the time …or do you have doubts about your abilities to do ‘xyz’? Is there self-judgement, do you come up with a list of excuses why you couldn’t possibly do what your inner voice is prompting you to do?
Self-love is about being authentic and expressing yourself in the world.
It’s about honoring all aspects of yourself, the creative part, the part that needs alone time and pampering, the part that wants to connect to others and be seen, and everything in between. I encourage you to watch your self talk, your inner voice, and notice when you are being “less than” honoring to yourself. Notice when you are putting others first. Is it just habit, rather than necessity? Once you do, you can begin to change the patterns you’ve developed, little by little, one action at a time.
Once you start to value yourself more, you will see it clearly, and you will be amazed how quickly the universe will support you honoring YOU.
Self-love is a beautiful way of Being authentically You.
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