Loving me is the greatest gift I could ever give to myself. Without self-love, the world will always look bleak and unfriendly. Without self-love, the love of others will never be enough, and my heart will continue to scream out for more. Without self-love, I will not experience the fullness of my being, and feel what it is to be fully alive and at home in the world.
How is it, I wonder, that human beings struggle so very much with self-love? Is it limited to the Western world? I suspect not, although our focus on image and financial success surely can’t be much of a help when it comes to feeling good about ourselves. Self-love is so fundamental to our happiness, and yet there are very few signposts or tools to help us navigate this important life skill. Except of course for our emotional guidance, which is always pointing our way home to our own hearts. But by the time we realise the importance of this emotional guidance system (which is like a sort of internal sat-nav for the soul), we have often strayed far from where we want to be.
We wait and wait for someone else to come along and love us in the way that we wish, and deserve, to be loved, until one day we realise that the love we crave can only come from one person – us.
I want my own love and acceptance more than anything else in the world.
I want the best relationship I have to be that with myself.
And this means loving everything, not just the bits that look acceptable or worthy to others. If we leave any parts of ourselves behind, they will follow us around, feeling lost and alone, until we have the courage to look them in the eyes and say: “I love you”.
I love you me. I love you me. I love you me. Thank you for being here, me, and for coming with me on this journey of self-love and acceptance. I love you. (If you’d like more guidance and encouragement with the journey of self-love, consider reading Tara Love Perry’s book ‘I love you me’. Tara also has a website and a YouTube channel, if you wish to learn more about her work).
One of the hardest things for me to get my head around on the journey of self-love is the idea of what love really is, and whether there is enough of it in the world to go around! I know this sounds strange, but I think all too often we believe that love is ‘out there’ somewhere, in the hands of others who can choose whether or not to give us what we want and need. But of course, love is something we all experience. Love isn’t an intellectual concept – it is a feeling, and something that lives inside all of us. That rush of love we get when we stroke our pets, hold hands with a loved one, or look into the eyes of someone dear to us, is ours. The experience of love is something that exists inside of our own hearts, and there is no limit to how much of it we can feel, if only we allow ourselves. A good question to ask is: what barriers do I have to experiencing love in my life? Or – what beliefs am I holding onto which prevent me from fully opening my heart?
Something else to consider, if you are spiritually inclined, is that we are in fact all deeply loved and cherished, always. Furthermore, we are all one with this source of love. To me this just makes good sense, since we cannot surely feel loving towards ourselves if we believe ourselves to be separate from the very source of love we wish to experience. Make sense?
Self-love isn’t easy for those of us who aren’t accustomed to it, or simply don’t know how. In which case, a good place to start is to love the part of you that doesn’t know how! Start wherever you are, not where you wish to be. (For more on loving whatever arises, see the many wonderful videos spiritual speaker and writer Matt Kahn has posted on his YouTube channel).
Go forth and love your ‘me’.