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.