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Updated on February 16, 2023
Self love is one of those terms we hear a lot about but might not fully understand. There are many misinterpretations of what it means, too.
Many people believe that self love is something you acquire, when you’ve got all your shit together and you’re at your best self. Self love isn’t a destination it’s a journey. Let me explain…
Self Love Is A Way Of Being
Self love isn’t a place that you arrive to once you’ve done all the inner work. Sure, we embody self love much more once we’ve gone in and done the work but self love is a state of being that we need to learn to drop into as we’re doing the inner work.
Self love doesn’t just show up when we’re happy and positive and feel good about ourselves. It shows up most especially when we feel like crap. When we’re down on ourselves is exactly the moment when we need to call upon self love so that we can feel that: no matter what we’re thinking, feeling or experiencing, it’s ok.
Self love says, “No matter what, I love you, I’m here for you and I want you to know that it’s ok to be you.”
It’s About Non-Judgment
Self love is ultimately the practice of not judging ourselves. We’re very used to being self-critical and that stems from the majority of us (I’d say 99% of my clients) carrying this belief that we’re not “good enough.” If we feel not good enough or unworthy, it’s only natural that we would judge and criticise ourselves. So self love is the part of us that is gentle and kind and doesn’t judge us no matter what we’re going through. It’s the practice not only of not judging ourselves, but giving ourselves love.
It might sound simple but we haven’t been taught how and we’re certainly not in the habit. So though the practice actually is simple, the challenge is in continually showing up for ourselves in a new, more loving way.
Love As The Container
What if love were the container? Because love can hold anything and everything. It can hold you when you feel sad, angry, depressed, tired, like you’re failing at life. Love, just like we’d like to imagine our mama’s arms, can hold us in all of it. The tears just as much as the smiles.
When we move through the experiences of our lives and hold them in the lap of love, there isn’t any judgment. There’s only the experience and the opportunity that lies in that experience to learn, heal, grow and evolve.
When we place love as the container for our experiences, there is no right or wrong, good or bad, success or failure. That alone relieves us of so much suffering and encourages us to be more loving with ourselves through the hard times.
Let Self Love Be Your Best Friend
The easiest way to often connect to the state of being of self love is to learn how to talk to yourself the way you’d want a best friend to talk to you. With love, patience, presence and kindness. A best friend listens and tries to understand our experience with empathy. Wouldn’t we want to do this for ourselves? To know and feel that whatever we’re going through, we’ll be there by our side, loving us through it?
That’s the practice: Keep showing up with kindness. Listen to yourself. Give yourself what you need. Stop judging yourself and let yourself know that there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re human and being human is a vulnerable kinda thing. Hold yourself like you’d hold a child. Love yourself like you’d want a parent to love a child. It’s ok, you’re perfectly imperfect as all humans are.
The greatest gift you can receive in this life is to be uniquely you! Accept your full self and you’ll find that self love will be there to hold your hand along this crazy ride we call life!