Self-love and care are essential to healing. Why? I think the things that we need to heal most, are the parts of us that were unloved, neglected and harmed. If that was our early life experience, then we inevitably internalized the absence of love or acceptance. Those imprints unconsciously shape us. As adults we tend to make decisions about ourselves that are founded on these imprints and take us deeper and deeper into disdain for ourselves. We decide that we can’t be loved because we weren’t or didn’t feel loved.
The antidote to this, I’ll be daring and say, the ONLY ANTIDOTE TO THIS IS SELF LOVE. We are the ONLY ONES whose love can reach the part of us who was left feeling unworthy in our history. The biggest challenge to this is DECIDING TO MAKE THE EFFORT and doing the learning that healing requires. Deciding to make the effort is AN ACT OF LOVE FOR OURSELVES.
The journey to wholeness requires commitment, care and devotion. Devotion not to the ego, or the external things that we often define our value with, but to the essence of who we are. It is an act of devotion for our deepest, most hidden places. The places we hide from others and from ourselves. It is devotion for the parts of us that we keep in the shadows, sometimes because we feel ashamed of their vulnerability or “ugliness “and other times because they are the most beautiful parts of us. We hide them out of fear. We are afraid of the parts of us longing to be recognized and loved. True healing requires acceptance and loving embrace of these parts of us.
Self-care isn’t about tending to our outer shell. It’s about actively loving our under belly, our vulnerability, our wounds. Loving ourselves not despite these parts but because of them. Self-care manifests in the practical action, in how we treat ourselves and allow others to treat us. It expresses itself in how you feed yourself, in body, emotions, mind and spirit. How you treat yourself will set the tone of your life and state of being.
When we refuse to invest in our relationship to ourselves, we refuse to spend time with the parts of us starving for love, presence and care. We feel empty, like there is a big hole within us. We become desperate and needy or over givers, drowning in co-dependence, constantly care taking everyone in an attempt to get filled up. In either case, we abandon ourselves. This gets us nowhere. It leads to bigger distress and more hunger. We don’t feel fed in our relationships because our satiation can only come from ourselves.
Once we begin to give to ourselves, tend our needs, wounds and beauty, we are then able to receive from others. Our relationship to ourselves is the ground on which all of other relationships are built. As we cultivate self-love and knowledge, we discover what will add joy to our lives. Armed with this insight, we know what to say "No" to and what to say "Yes" to. Gradually our fulfillment and higher good emerges. To know what you value, what you want, what will make you happy you need to know yourself. To be able to receive it, take it in, you have to heal the part of you that was wounded.
There is a Love much more profound than love that is based on the need for another. It is the love of the wholeness of Self.
In my experience, when we are present with our inner world, when we choose to be with ourselves at the times we can’t stand ourselves; it is in those moments that we stumble upon this quality of Self-love. It arises when we're not looking for someone or something else to save or fill us. In that space, the awareness of wholeness and access to what we need emerges. The experience of being loved is felt and known.
The hard work of self-care, love and healing introduced me to this state. My experience of it is one of being in connection to everything around me, and that connection is fulfilling and wholesome. This process is in a never-ending movement. Like everything in life, it comes and goes. It is not a destination but a journey. The gateway into the state of interconnection, being part of the larger wholeness of life, is self-care, self-love and presence. As we treat ourselves with sacredness we honor our wholeness.
I invite you to treat yourself with kindness and care, with the same consideration you hold a child that you absolutely love.
Let's explore this together: Self-Love Reiki Workshop