Self Love is where I feel true healing begins. When I heard about Evelyn Lim of Abundance Tapestry‘s ebook project on self love – I knew I had to be a part of it. 17 amazing bloggers share their experiences, thoughts and wise words in this free ebook. I would like to share my post and encourage you to go to Evelyn’s site to download the entire ebook which has some of my favorite online writers featured.
SELF LOVE – by Jenny Mannion
We are truly mirrors reflecting to others what we deeply feel about ourselves. This reflection shows people how to treat us. It took me a long time to understand it was not only “okay” to love myself but NECESSARY to love myself if I was to truly be happy. Is it something I have gotten all figured out? Nope. I can say with confidence I DO LOVE MYSELF now (THE MAJORITY OF THE TIME) but UNCONDITIONAL LOVE 100% of the time? THAT is something I am still working on. 🙂 Falling in love with yourself takes time and some de-programming of past messages. Most of all it takes patience and forgiveness as you begin to peal off layers and reveal the true you waiting to be discovered.
I spent the better part of seven years ill and diagnosed with several diseases. Most of that time I was in chronic pain. It was not easy to love myself when all my messages to myself were of what I could NOT do, COULD not BE and the COUNTLESS WAYS I was failing the people who loved me. Yet if I had friends that were ill or in some distress I would always treat them kindly and remind them to be nice to themselves. How is it we can be so loving to our friends and family and yet be our own worst enemy? Doesn’t it make us angry, uncomfortable or sad when we see our loved ones doing the same thing to themselves?
The messages went on and I not only was NOT feeling self love for myself but was pretty close to self hatred. Definitely “self-dislike”. “I am weak” “I am sick” “I am a burden”, were just a few of the messages I was replaying in my head. When we begin to awaken we KNOW at soul level we are all perfect… our soul never doubts our perfection. It is our messages we have received since birth from society, our “tribe”, neighbors that form our self esteem and worth. Most of the time we are repeating these messages to ourselves in the background and we are not even hearing them much less experiencing what it is doing to us inside. We might not even consciously believe these messages but it takes HEARING them first to begin to question and then dispel them.
Healing and Falling in Love with Myself
One of my FIRST tools for healing was forgiveness and that HAD TO BEGIN WITH ME. I hadn’t TOLD myself consciously to become ill or MEANT to get sick. I repeated the Dr. Deepak Chopra quote often, “You must realize everyone is doing the best they can from their own state of consciousness”. That meant ME TOO. Consciously I wanted to be well yet I was always repeating these messages saying how sick I was and all I could not do. I had to forgive myself for whatever caused my illnesses and for not feeling like I was living up to some absurd standard only set by myself. Forgiving yourself for things you have said, done and/or felt is SO freeing. I had a very difficult time with this at first and actually needed tools like mantras such as Deepaks and I also practiced the very easy tool of Ho’oponopono to get me there.
Embracing gratitude was my second tool for healing and loving myself. I needed to tell myself I was grateful to myself for ANYTHING. I knew all the things I did not like – my aching legs, not being able to drive sometimes, passing out in pain, missing family events and not always being able to take care of my kids the way I wanted.
What COULD I do? Well, I always showed my kids I loved them and read to them if I could not get out of bed. I was hugely grateful for my family who helped and pitched in. I was grateful I still found my smile even if not as often as I wanted. I was grateful for my friends, my house and that some days I COULD get out of bed and be in minimal pain for a few hours. Writing a list of things I DID like about myself and was GRATEFUL for – for being ME helped me tremendously.
Being Kind and Loving to Ourselves
We can all do wonderful jobs of punishing ourselves. “Oh, I shouldn’t have said that”. “Oh boy did I HAVE to eat that extra cookie – look at those extra pounds coming on” “Really, what a stupid way to react/feel/think”. I don’t think we would say any of those things to our best friend or a loved one or belittle them for ANYTHING. Practicing self love means cutting yourself some slack. Telling yourself life is to be experienced not perfected in some way we have told ourselves is the “right” way. If we never “messed up” (according to us) how would we ever know what it meant to feel sorry and ask forgiveness? If we never got angry and had an argument in our life – we would never know the pleasure and joy of making up. It is ALL perfect and our soul (inner or Higher self) ALWAYS knows that. We need different experiences to LIVE and LEARN.
I have learned to be kinder to myself (MOST of the time). 🙂 When I do get in a funk of some sort I know it will be short lived and I tell myself that. I experience the emotions, like one of my favorite poems, Rumi says in the amazing poem “The Guest House” and try and understand why I am going through what I am experiencing and what I can possibly learn from the situation. Sometimes I just let myself sink into that emotion even if it is sadness to EXPERIENCE it. We are meant to experience emotions not judge them. Not be ruled by them unconsciously either. Life changes when we can consciously observe what we are going through rather than be swept up head under water by the current of high tide.
In loving ourselves we attract more goodness and good people to us. In loving ourselves we KNOW we are worthy of all the abundance life has to offer. By loving ourselves we show others how to treat us. By loving ourselves we can move into our full power and be an example to others of how easy and in flow life can really be. Be kind to yourself, know it is all perfect and everything changes in your life when you fall in love with yourself.
I highly encourage you to pick up Evelyn’s amazing ebook compilation of self-love articles. Lance Ekum, from “Jungle of Life” also helped her compile these amazing articles. Lance and Evelyn have been good friends online for a long while now and I have even had the pleasure of meeting Lance and his beautiful family in person. Lance and Evelyn exude love and kindness and I am very grateful to have been a part of this project. Please visit Evelyn’s site and download a copy now. Thank you. 🙂