Wow, mind blown!
Now I get it.
All this time, I didn’t understand why I got so uncomfortable talking to others about how I love myself. Each time I mentioned it I felt like throwing up a little in my mouth. It gave me this huge sense of embarrassment, as though I was gloating (and gloating doesn’t feel good or genuine to me). And that’s pretty embarrassing to admit since I happen to teach self-love as a practice.
My strong reaction confused me because I knew it was true; I really do like and love myself. So why then was I having such a hard time saying it?
It turns out that each time I described what I love about myself, I was missing a huge piece…Why did I like and love myself? Really, why?!?
I first understood self-love in a meditation, which I lead people through commonly. The meditation helps a person become aware of their core essence and start to communicate with it. On that level of self-intimacy, there is an indescribable sense of peace and acceptance towards oneself. I know I’m getting a little “out there,” but stay with me, it will be worth the “aha” at the end, I promise!
In that place of divine self-acceptance, love blossoms like a sunset on fire! But I had a huge disconnect. I knew that I loved myself on this higher conscious level but I hadn’t connected the dots of how it applied in my daily life. So here it goes (gulp)!
I love myself because I don’t mind getting dirty when I hike mountains fresh-faced and makeup free. I can hang with people in their toughest moments; and because I appreciate flowers, the smell of redwoods, and the sea. I love myself because even if someone has hurt me to my core, if they fell (emotionally or physically) and asked for help, I would help them. It’s because I live with this perspective: it’s not about their response to what I did, it’s about how I feel about what I do.
That’s what makes me, me. I like me because I’m doing my best and I know it. I am freed to be curious by my “doing my best” reality. Since I know I’m doing my best, it doesn’t sting that bad when I learn a better way (just remember, “learn a better way” can also sound a lot like “i fucked up and caused someone discomfort/pain” if you’re in a self-degrading state of mind). I understand that I was doing the best I could, given what I knew at the time. The only thing left to do, then, is to learn a new way.
I know I love myself because when I think of me, I like the tender, authentic person that I show to myself and strive to show others. And I worked darn hard to become her, which makes me love her all the more. The key to loving myself is to fall in love with who I’m becoming.