Someone asked me about self-love this week, and it made me reflect on my journey.
I had been struggling with self-love for most of my adult life.
I’ve heard about self-love for many years. However, during those times, I only knew the concept in theory. I didn’t know how to practice it, let alone embody it.
Back then, I was very familiar with self-hatred, self-beratement, and self-judgments, sadly to my detriment.
Here is the question that I asked myself.
Why was it so difficult for me to love me?
The answer that I got was because something happened a long time ago and I saw that as one huge mistake. And therefore, a part of me punished me for making that mistake by withholding love.
It was like a part of me thought that I didn’t deserve love because I made that mistake.
Since then, I had learned to degrade myself every time I made other mistakes. I would even go as far as calling myself stupid just because I made those mistakes.
After years of degrading myself, filling myself with self-hatred, self-beratement, and self-judgments became my constant companions. There was never a day that went by without them occupied most of my inner thoughts.
Thirty years later, which was earlier this year, I was finally able to embody self-love.
It took me by surprise.
I was able to love myself with ease.
Even my husband, Bobby, couldn’t believe my transformation.
Self-love didn’t come easy for me.
What used to be a concept has now become my reality.
The journey that I took involved a lot of letting go of my stories about my past, countless energy clearings on several levels, and also doing the necessary inner work.
Do I treat myself differently now with regards to making mistakes?
I am not going to lie.
I still make mistakes. Big and small. Countless times. I make them once in a while nowadays.
The big difference between now and then is I am quick to forgive myself.
Any mistakes that I made, instead of blaming, shaming, and being mean to myself, I forgive myself, I learn from my mistakes, and I gently instruct my brain to remember to not repeat the same mistakes in the future.
I no longer condemn myself for making mistakes.
The energy and experience are definitely different from before.
It’s like taking a breath of fresh air.
I feel freer than ever.
How can one practice self-love?
Here are my suggestions if you want to undertake the journey to embody self-love.
- Make self-love a priority. Choose to love yourself all the time. Loving yourself includes being compassionate, being aware and choosing to stop any negative and disempowering thinking about yourself and other people. The time when you are mean to yourself, that’s when you need to love yourself the most.
- Practice genuine forgiveness. Genuine forgiveness comes from the heart. Forgive yourself, your younger self, and everyone who is involved in a particular event in your past. Forgiveness isn’t a one-time thing. Continuously forgive until you are no longer triggered.
- Do a lot of self-reflection. Reflect on events that happened in the past. Observe what happened without being invested. What insights do you get from watching the event? What can you learn from it? What are possible for you now?
- Letting go. There are so many things that we took on when we grew up that shaped our reality, whether they are beneficial or otherwise. Learn to question their validity and whether they resonate with your inner truth. If they no longer resonate with you, it’s time to let them go. Holding on to them will only hurt you whether it’s physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually.
- Energy clearing. Clear energetic blockages in your chakras. Clear your emotional body from disempowering emotional patterns. Release suppressed emotions from your emotional storage. Clear your mental body from disempowering thought patterns.
(Sometimes blockages and disempowering patterns may hinder a person from experiencing self-love)
Here is my take on self-love and my own struggle with it.
My struggle with self-love had shown me that this was the aspect of myself that I needed to learn and master.
As long as I haven’t learned to love myself, I will continue to have this unloving battle within myself.
For decades, I have been extremely good at hating, judging, and scrutinizing myself.
I had to go through the ugliest situations and circumstances to know what self-love isn’t.
I guess that I was fortunate that earlier this year was the time for me to make a big change.
It was time to love myself unconditionally.
My spiritual teacher shared that, “Things don’t happen to you… they happen for you.”
Whatever that you had experienced in the past that made you feel self-love seems impossible, you need to know that those events had to happen so that you can rise above them.
I absolutely get it if you feel those events seem rather cruel.
The fact of the matter is, they happened.
We can’t change what happened in the past. No matter how much we want to.
What we can do is have new empowering perspectives about those events.
And it is really up to you to empower yourself despite what happened in the past.
The question that you might want to ask yourself is are you doing everything that you can to overcome your struggle so that you can finally experience self-love for yourself?
Self-love is an internal journey.
It can only be achieved from within. Hence, self-love.
It is love for oneself, that is from within.
I’ve had a couple of vivid dreams lately.
They felt so real that when I woke up from my sleep, I felt like I was on a different reality.
Once I remember that I had those vivid dreams during the night or morning before, it finally sinking in that those are just dreams, and I’m still on the same reality as before.
I subscribe to the belief that our dreams are telling us something.
I’ve learned to decipher my own dreams ever since I learned energy healing back in 2011.
At first, I didn’t know what to make of these vivid dreams that I had.
They were odd, they also felt so damn real, and I had a feeling that they were telling me something. I just didn’t know how to decipher them.
What Bobby always says about dreams is that the images or stories are random, feelings, however, are real.
Every time I had vivid dreams, I always check in with myself.
I ask myself the following questions.
- What do the stories in my dream mean?
- What do the things that I see represent?
- Why did I feel the way that I felt in my dream?
- How are the stories relate to what’s actually happening in real life?
Bobby finds it intriguing that I put a lot of importance on my dreams. I only do because I believe what’s hidden in our unconscious mind can be revealed through our dreams.
Let me share my interpretation of one of my vivid dreams that I had a few weeks ago.
My old, outdated beliefs got dismantled. What's left is a beautiful foundation. What that I do and did in this world, there is karma associate with them. Sooner or later, I have to pay them so that I can move on in this life.
What’s the significance of this dream?
It’s letting me know that the inner work and self-healing that I had been doing have paid off. It’s also a reminder that there is still more work to be done.
Since my old, outdated beliefs got dismantled, I can now work on having new empowering beliefs.
I should be aware that there is no escape in paying my karma. Therefore, focus on paying them along the way.
It’s a beautiful message even though the stories in the dream were somewhat apocalyptic and made me scared for my life.
I don’t always get vivid dreams. Sometimes I know that I had one or several normal dreams, but I don’t remember them after I wake up.
The ones that I tend to remember are the ones that I had a strong emotional reaction to them.
My thoughts on dream interpretation are it is subjective and the person who knows better with what is going on in their unconscious mind is the person who has the dreams.
If interpreting your dreams is something that you want to take on, you can start by asking yourself the four questions listed above.
For the past two weeks, I felt compelled to do a daily meditation.
Some days I managed to do it and some other days I didn’t.
Since then, every time I meditated, I received insights and sometimes words of wisdom that I hear during my meditation. (The daily words of wisdom that I share on my IG stories are a totally different thing. I will share a bit about that sometime in the future)
I’m always excited to share my insights with Bobby after he comes home from work.
Last Saturday, he suggested for me to write and share my insights.
He said my writing doesn’t have to be a long post. Write just enough to document my insights and what I’ve learned.
I instantly love the idea!
I love to write. And it’s funny that sometimes I struggle to think of what to write.
However, with Bobby’s suggestion, I have plenty of material to write and share.
When I think about where am I going to start, I started to feel overwhelmed. I need to organize my thoughts before I start this mini project.
I also had a dilemma. I wasn’t sure where do I share my insights.
I asked myself, do I put them on my healing website or my personal blog?
This morning I had the clarity that since I’m going to be sharing my personal experiences, then I will be posting them here.
The content of this sharing will be a mixture of my insights, words of wisdom, teaching moments, dream interpretations, spiritual journey, energy healing, and relevant personal experiences.
I want to be frank here. The content is not for everyone. I’m well aware that there are people who do not resonate with what I’m about to share and put out there.
If you don’t like the content, then just stop reading them. You may not resonate with the content but there are others who will. The content is for them.
Having said that, you are welcome to read them, you can use them to self reflect or you can just read them because you’re curious. I’m okay with that.
I can’t wait to start.
It can be frustrating and even depressing for entrepreneurs to not making money during these times.
I am one of them.
Let me clarify that I earned most of my income by teaching women to swim.
The moment swimming pools were closed, the source of my income was gone too.
While some businesses manage to pivot, I could not see how I could teach swimming without a swimming pool.
As a result, I became depressed for about a month.
Throughout that month, I was battling my inner demons every day. I even broke down in tears several times because I couldn’t deal with the mean, nasty voices in my head.
While I struggled to maintain my mental health, I had flashes of my past in which I had successfully handled my demons without breaking down.
I asked myself, “What happen to me? How come I cannot deal with it this time?”
It turns out I was out of practice.
I forgot that I shouldn’t buy into whatever stories that the mean voices had said about me regarding not earning any income.
Stories such as I was a failure, worthless, and useless just because I was unable to make money, etc.
The moment I chose to stop buying into the stories, I took back my power.
I also realized it was pointless for me to mull over the fact that I was not earning any income from teaching swimming.
I decided to accept that I would not be earning any income during the pandemic.
At the time of writing this post, it is coming to 5 months that I haven’t earned any income from teaching swimming.
Do I feel restless for not earning any income?
Once in a while, yes.
Whenever I feel restless, I reminded myself to be patient. I understand that the situation is not permanent. All that I can do is wait until things are back to normal.
This week, the government has announced that public swimming pools will be open starting next week. I admit that is good news to hear but the government has imposed several restrictions.
The pools are only open three times a week, only 30% of capacity or less than 50 people are allowed in at one time, each person has only one hour, and the pools are not open at night.
With the current restrictions in place, I am not yet able to teach swimming. The biggest issue that I have is almost all of my clients are available at night only since they are working during the day.
I will have to wait a bit longer for the government to lift all the pools’ restrictions before I can start earning from teaching swimming again.
Are there lessons for me to learn from these experiences?
I would say yes.
I learned that when I am not conscious of the voices in my head, that is when I am most vulnerable mentally.
I learned that I need to practice being conscious every single day. When I don’t, that is when I easily succumb to the mean voices in my head.
I learned that I need to address what is it that bothers me right away instead of ignoring the issue so I could prevent it from escalating and causing pain later on.
I learned that when things are not working the way that I had expected, I need to shift my focus. Instead of focusing on I don’t make money, I focus my attention elsewhere.
I learned that I need to be patient when there is not that I could do to change my current situation.
The funny thing is I have learned all these lessons before.
I have encountered situations that had let me learned the exact lessons.
I guess all of these experiences is to test me whether I remember them or not.
The gift of COVID-19
Despite not earning any income, I was still able to remain productive throughout my days. While some days I managed to do a lot, some other days, I didn’t do much, I spent my time binge-watching tv series.
Since I am not teaching swimming, I have been focusing my energy on finishing my book and creating content for my other business.
I have spent two months on rewriting my old ebook and completed a developmental edit on it.
I also took the time to update my other website that had been begging for a facelift. I finally have a fully functioning business website for my healing services.
As I am not earning any income from teaching swimming, I decided to open up my schedules for private one-on-one healing sessions.
I have to say that I probably wouldn’t be working on my book and created new healing programs if there was no pandemic.
I am finally able to appreciate how the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked my old projects that needed to be birth into the world.
I am forever grateful.