Three Keys to Self Love: Monday Motivation #30
I write a lot about love – specifically self love.
But really, seriously – what the hell does that even mean?
Short of the silly middle school definitions that my son and his friends make jokes about, what does it mean when someone says “I love myself?”
I thought maybe this week would be a good time to talk about what I mean when I say it.
I have done a lot in my forty four years – some of it I am proud of – some of it, less so.
But to love myself, must I be universally proud of everything I’ve ever done?
There was a time not so long ago when I thought so. I really felt like maybe I had SOME things to be proud of but certainly being proud or loving myself in spite of all the OTHER things that I’d done would be foolhardy and self-inflating. In my mind, if it wasn’t worth lauding, then it wasn’t worth anything… hence I wasn’t worth anything.
Then I went through a period of forgiving people who’d hurt me through my life (abusive step-mother, father who didn’t care enough to soften or change the brutal childhood goings on, ex-boyfriends/husbands, and so on).
That helped me be less constrained, less stressed, and even less defensive – but it didn’t help me find self love.
I turned my critical eye inward – this time trying to look with an unbiased perspective at the woman I am, what I’ve done, what I’ve been through, and who I’ve become.
And I found that I am not unlike anyone else in this world.
I don’t know why that felt like a revelation, but it did – and that simple realization lifted such a weight off of me.
- I have been through experiences (like everyone else)
- I’ve done some dumb stuff (like everyone else)
- I’ve been hurt by other people whether they intended it or not (like everyone else)
- In some ways I’m scarred (like everyone else).
And then I thought about how I treat everyone else by comparison to how I treat myself. I am far nicer, kinder, more forgiving, more welcoming; and when it comes to other people’s “baggage,” to the stuff they feel the most ashamed of? I don’t judge – often telling them (and myself) that in those circumstances, I most likely would have done the very same thing as they did.
So what happened when I applied the “other people rules” to the person inside me?
They add up to Self love
I found that I could accept my flaws, I could forgive myself for those things I’m ashamed of, that I could be proud of the woman I am today.
Of course, that process doesn’t happen in the snap of a finger and it isn’t “one and done.” It’s something that, for me, happens multiple times in a week (sometimes multiple times in a day).
I don’t mind it though – I like bringing my worthiness into my conscious mind and living in it for a moment or two; it is warm & uplifting and feels like a solid steel support beam.
I like looking back at the process of finding pride, forgiveness, and acceptance.
And there it is: self love means forgiveness, acceptance, and pride; in other words, self love means clearing away all the junk that gets in the way of me seeing my worth.
I have a slip of paper that’s an affirmation that helps me when I am feeling low or unworthy. I thought I’d share it this week.
I love you
For all the you ARE
All that you’ve been
& all that you are yet to become
Simple words that remind me what self love is and, wow, does it feel good to say them.
What do you say to make yourself feel good when you feel your self-love slipping? Do you have an affirmation or activity that helps? Please share in the comments.