When I was 19, on my first big adventure abroad, I visited a little town in Slovenia with my boyfriend. I was halfway across the world, but I had taken all my “stuff” with me. I don’t remember what exactly incited this particular unravelling into self-loathing and angst (yes, I was angsty!), but my boyfriend wasn’t going to humor me. He could see how uncomfortable I was in my own skin and how disconnected I felt. I remember him finally saying, “Just look in the mirror and tell you that you love yourself.”
It felt so impossible. And when I finally did it, I was balling because I knew I was lying.
At that time of my life, I was in reaction so much of the time, blaming other people for how I felt. I was pushing away the emotional pain of really looking at myself, and I’d make my hurt about other people. My relationships were strained and I thought my value was tied to being “right”.
I couldn’t be wrong or I wasn’t worth loving.
My relationship with myself has totally shifted. I can’t exactly tell you the moment it changed for me because it’s been a long process, but I’m so glad I made that journey.
And it has been a journey, finding my way toward real self-love.
I noticed the difference recently when I was in a dance class and I saw myself in the mirror. My immediate response to my reflection was “I love you, I really love you.” It felt like that squishy way you feel when you see your best friend or your partner and realize how much you like them all over again. What a difference from that night in that little town in Slovenia where the idea of looking at myself and truly loving myself was beyond my capacity to imagine.
Now I don’t set conditions for loving myself or base it on the amount of approval I’m receiving. Now I can be right or wrong, fat or skinny, successful or unsuccessful and no matter what I love myself. If there isn’t that freedom to love yourself no matter what, then it’s not really love. I can now say to myself- “You can make the biggest mistakes in the world and I’ll still love you. You are mine, and in that, I really want to honor you and how you feel and what you need.” My desire to create now is not coming from a search for approval or recognition. It comes from my love for creating, designing, and dreaming. It comes from my desire to extend that love out into the world.
And if you can’t look yourself in the mirror and extend your love to that person you see, it’s worth the effort to figure out how to fall in love with yourself. It may not be an easy road (it wasn’t for me,) but it’s worth it. You deserve your love.
In my opinion, the most fundamental truth is this….
You are love, you are loved, you are loving.
PS – Starting January 11th I’m hosting a group energy work program called Love Rising that is all about helping you access your own truth and clearing the blocks in the way of finding our own loving self. I hope you’ll join me.