The journey to self-love can be a tumultuous one.
It is about creating a sacred relationship with yourself. Embracing all parts of yourself - the light and the dark. That who you are - every bit of you - is a beautiful expression of yourself.
Connecting with our ability to self love can have many roads and none of them are wrong. You have to pick the path that feels right for you and your journey.
I began my journey in my early twenties when I began learning about spirituality, energies and doing the deep dive into shadow work.
Self love - like any other intimate relationship you will be in - you have to choose yourself everyday. It is a relationship that is always evolving and growing, with the more time and effort you put into it the more you will receive.
Our ability to love ourselves is something that is taught/shown to us by those who have looked after us and us raised us while we were young.
I will add a note that this is not to lay blame at the feet of our parents and caregivers. They will have had their own stories and will have very likely been doing the very best that they could with what they had at the time for you.
As a young soul we will absorb everything around us and put an interpretation on this information. This can include how we feel about ourselves, our worth and how loveable we are.
So initially with self love it can be about looking at what it was that we were taught about ourselves, what ideas and thoughts we created about our worth and value as we grew and where we are at now with our thinking. This can allow you the power to change your narrative. Change the script.
You may find during this process there is some tears or anger, some resistance from you as you begin to look. This can happen as our inner child - the one that worked so hard to keep us safe when we were young is striving to protect us again. Make sure to hold their hand, tell them that they are ok and that you are looking after both of you now, keeping you safe.
Look at how you living your life each day. Are you kind to yourself? Do you make sure that you create time and space for yourself? Are you putting others needs before your own? Are you feeling exhausted as you overstretch yourself at work and at home? Do you find yourself eating foods that you know dont agree with you or overeating/undereating to cope? Do you find yourself partaking in other behaviour's that leave you feeling unwell, drained or tired? Do you find yourself feeling disconnected from your body as you are uncomfortable when you are there? Do you push yourself when you should allow yourself some time to rest and repair? How often are you pushing aside your own emotions and feelings to make others feelings to be ok?
Start small - where can you love yourself throughout your day?
What I can share with you is that walking a spiritual path requires you to be grounded and present in your human experience to get the most out of that experience. This means that everything that you do in human form is an expression of your spiritual self and spirituality. In spiritual form we are all connected and all one. Allow yourself permission to be kind to yourself - to love yourself. You are the one that has to live inside your head with you (some of those conversations can be interesting!) You are also the one that has to experience yourself with the body that you have - it is a much nicer feeling when you are loving yourself.
When we neglect to love ourselves and our body we can end up experiencing physical symptoms that reflect this. Consider where if you were kind to yourself how would this ease up some of your physical discomforts?
Look at how you are talking to yourself each day. Would you talk to others in this way? Generally speaking that answer would be a no! of course not. If you wouldn't talk to others this way then you should definitely not be talking to yourself this way. I have found envisioning myself at a young age and asking if I would speak to her that way has helped me change much of my inner dialogue to one that is much more pleasant.
Our feelings of love for ourselves and others sit within our heart chakra. Working with this chakra can help you with deepening your relationship with yourself, making it easier to choose to be kind to yourself each day.
You may find that when you sit quietly either in mindfulness of your body or in meditation, you may feel a heaviness in your chest or heart chakra region. You may find that your breathing is shallow. That there is an ache that sits in your chest. Additionally, you may see greys or darker colours that can indicate blockages within this area.
You can work with crystals to help with releasing and shifting some of these blocks. Rose Quartz is gentle and calming. It will help to transmute energies into a loving vibration. Malachite can help with drawing out deep wounds within the heart so that you are able to work with them. It will help to bring clarity to the emotions that do come up for you. Make sure to cleanse this crystal often when you are working with it for this type of work. You can give it a gentle wash and pop it out in the sun or under moonlight to allow it to recharge. Rhodochrosite is the grandmother to Rose Quartz and it helps to restore balance as well as helping you to attune to the higher vibrations of love.
Spend time sitting with these crystals (ideally one at a time - overwhelm of emotion is not always pleasant), you may like to journal your thoughts and feelings as they come through to help you work through them. They may help you when you are having to look to see what thoughts and feelings that you have around your self worth and how you love yourself are holding you back as they can bring clarity.
We can only love others and allow them to love us to the degree in which we love ourselves. Self love is not egotistical. It is a beautiful and humble. Give yourself permission to love yourself, to be kind to yourself. Releasing any thoughts of being unlovable and unworthy of being loved.
By practicing Self Love you are enhancing your spiritual practice and your connection with the world around you. You are so worthy and deserving of love. Allow yourself to receive.