Journey Into Self-Love
I never heard about the concept of self-love until much later in life. I didn’t understand what it meant, even less how to practice it. It wasn’t until I embraced my spiritual journey over 20 years ago that led me to embrace self-love, what a beautiful experience it has been. At first, it was an internal fight. I began my self-love journey with the queen of them all, Louise Hay. She spent her life teaching people how to love themselves more deeply and created a successful self-help publishing company leaving a beautiful legacy when she died at age 90.
Hay wrote many books, the most powerful one: You Can Heal Your Life. She outlines in the book a journey to self-love. I often give my clients a handout titled: “Louise’s 12 Commandments.” They are reminders on how to be more kind and loving toward ourselves because that is the only way we can be kind and loving toward others. The first two commandments are about stopping all criticism and encouraging us forgive ourselves and others who may have hurt us. Learning to live a life free of judgement can be quite a challenge and forgiving others even more difficult. However, if forgiveness doesn’t take place the judging will never end. I like to remind myself that living life on earth is a schoolroom for my soul and all the experiences I go through are for the enrichment of my spiritual experience. Therefore, all experiences are part of the journey and it’s not up to me to decide what belongs and what doesn’t belong in my journey. I am a co-creator with God and often God knows better about what experiences will benefit my spiritual journey and I need to practice surrender and acceptance with those experiences.
Hay also invites us to accept ourselves exactly how we are now, in this moment, and to let go of the past. Self- love requires that we are kind to our minds and that we don’t scare ourselves. Our mind is wired for fear because of our need for survival and it is always scanning for potential danger and that triggers us to be more fearful than what we need to be.
Self-love in not empty praising. One of my clients shared about the “empty praises” he received growing up. He recognizes that it hurt him more than it helped him. His mother believed he could do no wrong. The truth is that he was doing wrong, he ended up in jail for it. This type of praising doesn’t build self-love, it feeds insecurity and neediness for reassurance. He is now embracing a true sense of self love in his life and he can see the difference.
We can only serve others when our self-love tank is full and that requires practice. It has taken me many years to embrace and accept self-love as part of my everyday life and it requires daily reminders.
As the year is coming to an end, I want to encourage you to take a review of how you are doing inside you, deep in your heart, and begin cultivating true self-love. That could be the greatest Christmas gift you can give yourself. We can help our community and the world at large when we come from the loving space of our hearts. Merry Christmas and Feliz Navidad. May you be blessed with much love and happiness, wellbeing and abundance. You truly deserve it!