Self-Love. It’s so much deeper than we’re led to believe. I see a lot of people teaching acts of self-love from an external point of view. For example, they tell you to do things like buy yourself flowers, take an aromatherapy bath, make time for meditation or prayer.
And yes! All of these are empowering, self-honoring things to do. However, the acts alone are not the magical solution! The acts need to be accompanied by a deeper understanding, by reflective inner work.
In my experience, true self love comes from within. It’s spiritual. It’s deep. It’s soulful. It’s that part of you that’s always there, yet it’s been covered up by the many layers of life’s trials, tribulations and challenges.
Our work, as individuals seeking growth, expansion and greater self-love is to uncover or remove the layers that have built up over the years.
The truth is that the love is already there. We are love. Love never left us. Rather, it is us that walks away from love.
I admit there have been many times when I’ve left love. For example, when I choose unhealthy eating habits over healthy ones, I’m not choosing love. Instead, I’m choosing to numb my emotions or frustrations with food. Likewise, when I choose to be a couch potato instead of getting up and moving my body in loving exercise, I am withholding love from my body. I am choosing to avoid the stories in my mind instead of dropping down into my body and loving her. I also do this when I choose anger over calm, when I let people run over my boundaries instead of standing strong. The list goes on.
I could go on and on, but the point is not to cover up these moments where you withhold love with moments where you love yourself. It’s not a balance sheet. “Oh I ate chips this morning, I can counter that by purchasing flowers for myself this evening.” When, we treat self-love like a balance sheet, we are simply putting a bandaid over the true misalignment.
Instead, deep, soulful, purpose-filled work is needed to excavate your way back to love. It’s like Marianne Williamson’s book Return To Love, Love hasn’t left us. We just need to do the (sometimes hard) work to return to love.
With this in mind, if you’re to remove the layers of strife and self-hatred from your psyche, then you need to dive into the moments of self-loathing and excavate the deeper limiting belief. For example, you can ask yourself the following:
- What thought is causing me to need to self-soothe with crappy food instead of nourishing food?
- Sure, I’m exhausted, but how did I get to the point where all I can do is lay on this couch like a couch potato? What boundaries did I let others cross?
- Why am I choosing to respond with anger? What really has me upset?
Once you start to ask these questions, then you can start to take more self-loving action – action that will have significant results because it is where you personally feel most wounded.
For me, I ask myself these questions when I journal. Morning pages and night pages have become a lifesaver for me as I reflect and recommit to self-love on a daily basis.
How about you? What deeper questions would be good for you to start asking yourself?
What is the best way for you to reflect? Do you like writing? Or talking it out with a coach? I’d love to hear from you below.