What is all this talk about self-love, anyway?
Isn’t self-love just selfish, narcissistic, self-centered, navel-gazing? Or is it something important and life-giving, necessary, and a skill you can learn?
So many of us grew up with the message that even considering ourselves was selfish, self-centered, maybe even “unfeminine” or unkind to other people. We got the wrong message.
Still others have emphasized self-care as being something like mani-pedis, a massage, and a glass of wine… indulgence because “you deserve it.” That’s not the kind of love I’m talking about either.
What I mean when I say self-love is more like holding yourself in warm, positive regard. Being with yourself without judging yourself. Being, just being…in a state of acceptance of your humanity.
How good are you at that kind of self-love?
It’s the beginning of all good things.
Self-Love is KEY to letting ALL the good stuff in. It’s your gateway to the good stuff, baby. There is no point waiting around for other people to do this for you, when you are the one with the real power in this area.
Ask yourself: How good are you at allowing the GOOD to flow, at accepting the abundance that comes to you, at counting your blessings?
And yes, loving yourself is the KEY to Receiving the GOOD.
You might think it’s opposite: that loving OTHERS means then you can receive from them. Especially if we are not getting what we want in relationship, we think what we lack is BECAUSE of what he’s doing or not doing, what she’s giving or not giving.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What you are getting or not getting from others is really ALL ABOUT YOU and what you are open to receive. And if you don’t love yourself, you really won’t be able to receive the love others extend to you. CRAZY, right? But since it’s up to you, then that’s something you can do something about. You are in charge of how well you love yourself. But it takes actual practice.
Permission to love your self
First, you have to give yourself permission. Does that seem a little strange? But it’s the first part. Self-love is not selfish or self-centered, it’s not narcissistic, it’s necessary. For most of us, who were told (or it was drilled into us that nice girls help others, nice people give to others, it’s more blessed to give than receive…blah, blah, blah…) we have to give ourselves permission on purpose, intentionally.
It starts by just breathing and telling yourself, “It’s safe for me to love myself.” And “I can love myself.” And “I am lovable” And “It’s right for me to love myself.”
Start there and then actually do it.
Let the Love IN.
Next, you’ve got to “let the love in.”
Allow it. Receive it.
And when you get the taste of what that’s like, I bet you’ll want to drink it in, soak it up like a sponge, and bathe in it.
You should. Because you deserve it. You haven’t earned it. You didn’t prove your worth. And you don’t have to work real hard to obtain it.
LOVE is your birthright. All you have to do is let it in.
I can teach you how. Start with this:
Get comfy. Relaxed. (No need for a stiff-backed lotus pose or anything fancy.) Put your feet on the floor and take one deep, cleansing breath.
As you breathe it in, imagine LOVE coming into your whole body. Sip is down to your toes and let it fill up every cavity as the air fills your lungs. Then as you exhale, imagine that the LOVE has replaced all the greasy, gunky, toxins and just blow them out.
Repeat until peaceful. (or light-headed. Well, maybe stop before you faint, but just TRY it.)
I know breathing exercises can sometimes seem elementary or silly. But your breath is something you ALWAYS have with you. Use it to your advantage instead of just ignoring it. This one little change, done intentionally, can open your heart and your willingness.
It’ll make you a better receiver. And it’s an EASY way to let the LOVE in!
You give yourself permission to love yourself and then you sip it into yourself with your breath and let the love in. Feel what it’s really like to love yourself. Allow it. Bathe in it, if only for a moment, and ENJOY it. You were made for love and made to love yourself. You don’t have to earn it , prove it, or obtain it. Because you showed up on the planet, you have an ample supply of this ability and lovability.
I can’t emphasize enough you were made for it. You were made to give and receive love. The first place to start is with yourself.
What comes up for you as you try to do this?
Here are all the ways we can work together:
- One-on-one sessions for couples or individuals.
- Infidelity Treatment Fast Track, my 12-week program for women whose partners have cheated.
- SSS Life, my ongoing women’s program so you can FULLY heal from relationship wounds and create an amazing life and love story.
- Read my book, After the Affair: Healing for the Offender.