My journey to self-love has been a lifelong quest.
I’d always known myself to be critical and hard on myself, yet I also remember writing in my journals, “I just want to be happy!”, yet again, secretly envying the “happy girls”. Although I found much about myself to be unhappy and dissatisfied with, I needed to learn how to ease up and allow myself some room to grow and become. We are all presented with the opportunity to choose to love ourselves while we’re here on Earth and apparently, I had had enough of “hating” myself and started seeking answers.
One morning in July 2011, while I was in bed still waking up, I became VERY AWARE of my heartbeat that I could hear beating in my ear. It was loud and clear, and I began to hear it “tick” like a clock. It was getting my attention, waking me up, until suddenly I kind of shook my head and said to myself, “I can’t live like this!” At the time, I didn’t quiet see what “this” was, but I knew it felt bad and I knew I wanted OUT. Looking back, “this” was a constant state of self-loathing and inner conflict that was wearing down on me.
For at least a decade prior to that moment of awakening, I was experiencing various levels of depression and I secretly “hated the world” and myself. (I really don’t resonate with the word “hate” now, but it’s how I felt back then.) I was feeling pretty miserable on the inside, and my soul had finally caught my attention.
In September 2011, the week of my 28th birthday, I was guided to visit a free group meditation class about 30 minutes from where I lived. It was so not like me to venture out like that and try new places on my own, but it was through MeetUp, and I liked the topic they were planning to discuss after the meditation. It was on the book “7 Myths about Love Actually!” by Michael George, who was also visiting the meditation center at the end of the month to answer questions we had about the material.
After my very first session, I walked out of there, I floated out of there with the realization that I AM THE LOVE I SEEK. It has never been about anything external; everything I was ever looking for on the outside has always been within me. That was the first shift towards loving myself, and there were many more to come. I had some thick walls to melt around my heart.
Some years later, I was intuitively guided to do inner child work.
She had made her presence known in my life (in many ways I was still acting like her) and it was finally time she and I connected. I opened my awareness to her and the dialog between us. I asked her where she was hurting; she showed me. From my adult perspective, I began to explain to her in the simplest terms a child would understand the truth about the painful experience that had come up. I helped her see what was really going on from the highest truth I had access to. I showed her a better perspective that allowed her to feel happier and in flow, and with that, she began to trust me more. She began to listen to me and cooperate with me more, and she even volunteered the limiting beliefs that she no longer wanted to hide from me.
By talking to my inner child, I gave myself the love and attention I’d been craving from external sources all my life, and I freed myself of secretly criticizing those sources for being unable to meet my expectations. All of my friends and family do their very best to love me, but I learned no one can love me the way I can love me. And this is true for ALL of us! Only you know how to love YOU the best, AND you are most capable of fulfilling your own inner needs.
By finally paying attention to my inner child and her needs, desires, opinions, and feedback, I was able to see the fearful little girl inside who just needed the attention.
The attention of someone who knows and understands her completely, someone who will listen without judgement, and someone who can explain life to her in ways she understands, rather than the dissatisfying, vague, blanket statements she heard growing up. She felt heard, honored, and taken care of. She stopped worrying so much with her new “guide” by her side.
Once I could get in touch with that innocent side of myself who didn’t know any better, I was able to feel more compassion for myself, with the understanding that, I didn’t know back then and made the best choice with the information I had. I began to see life as one big learning experience and realized, it’s totally natural to make mistakes while I’m learning!
I began to see myself as my own pupil to guide and it became very easy to forgive and ease up on myself with that new awareness. I encouraged myself and kept the inner dialog more supportive; even when it was destructive, I was able to see it and turn it around more quickly.
It all started with my inner child. I needed to go back to the deepest hurts and give them the love they deserved so they could heal. Those hurt parts of me needed to hear that they are still loved anyway, by me and a much Higher Source.
This journey to self-love has changed my life and the downward direction I was heading.
I couldn’t imagine my life feeling so negatively about myself, but I lived through it. There’s so much more to this journey, though I can honestly say, from my heart, that I love myself for all I am, all I’ve been through, and all that I am to be.