Anyone who’s had the experience of falling in love will remember how it feels, and still recall the extraordinary lightness of being which accompanies that state. It’s as though a joyous space in the heart has opened and effortlessly pours forth from one’s the entire being into the world around you. Do you also remember that when you were in love, everything in your life seemed to flow; how you were “on a roll” for a lot of the time; and how so many things fell into place and felt incredibly easy? Love had so imbued you with warmth, happiness and radiance that your vibrations were sky high and rippled out into the universe affecting everything and everyone around you to the greater benefit of yourself and others.
Love has the ability to change everything……
What comes to your mind when you think about love, I wonder? Do you immediately get the idea of directing love out towards another person, a child, a family member or a beloved pet? Maybe you think about sending love out into the world in general? Or both of these things? Or do you think about sending or giving love to yourself?
Many people automatically think love is all about loving others and rarely think of giving love to themselves. Loving oneself isn’t something that a lot of people are comfortable with. Many folk have been conditioned to believe that loving oneself is selfish. Why should you love yourself when you’re so aware of all your imperfections? How can you love yourself if you believe you’re not good enough? And if by any chance you think you’re not loveable (because others have rejected you), do you believe you don’t deserve to receive love, or to give it to yourself?
Lack of self-love is one of the key factors in self-sabotage because it causes you to undermine your best intentions, dreams and plans. It’s the underlying factor behind not looking after your health and well-being. It’s the reason you carry on doing things which you know aren’t good for you. It’s the cause of not having enough self-esteem or belief in your unique skills and capabilities. Your inner critic is capable of ranting incessantly against all your efforts. It’s the reason you cop-out or give up. It’s the basis of saying: “what’s the point?” or “I can’t be bothered.”
Think about how you are when you love and care for someone. If you’re a parent, don’t you go out of your way to provide a safe and nurturing environment for your child? Don’t you always do the best you can for them? With loved ones, don’t you encourage them when they need it? Don’t you listen to their problems, fears and anxieties with kindness and understanding and try your best to help? Don’t you tell them that you’re there for them when they need you?
Yes! How can it not be this way? We all know how to give love to others, so why are most of us so bad at giving it to ourselves? Why do we always look outside of ourselves in order to receive love? And can we really give someone else true love when we can’t do it for ourselves?
Maya Angelou, the late and sadly missed poet and writer is quoted as saying: ‘I don’t trust people who don’t love themselves and tell me “I love you”. There’s an African saying which is: Be careful when a naked person offers you a shirt.’
For most of us, it’s easier to give love to others than to give it to ourselves. But why is it so difficult? Self love isn’t about thinking you’re wonderful or superior. It’s about caring, nourishing and supporting yourself in every way you know how. This extends from eating the right food, to exercising, to listening to your needs, acknowledging your weaknesses, appreciating your efforts and giving yourself the quiet time you need to accept and love your special talents, skills and uniqueness. It’s taking care of your health, and honouring your body (whatever shape it’s in); it’s about getting help when you need it and not putting yourself down when you can’t cope with something on your own. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It’s a sign of strength.
When you give love to yourself on a regular basis, things start to change. This is because as you feel better about yourself, so your energy will be vibrating at a higher level and therefore attracting more of what you want into your life. Certain things will be easier, your relations with others will be more in flow, but most of all, your overall health and well-being will improve. Giving yourself love promotes more relaxation, a greater ability to cope with stress, which in turn will activate your body’s own self- healing abilities. Yes, love really can heal! It can heal others, and it can also heal YOU. All you have to do is to give yourself some more love.
Don’t look outside yourself for praise and encouragement – try giving it to yourself instead. Change those limiting beliefs about yourself and start acknowledging that you are worthy of love. As best-selling author, Greg Braden (latest book:The Turning Point: Creating Resilience in Times of Extremes) says: “Belief is the programme which allows our consciousness to create conditions and circumstances in the world around us and the healing in our bodies and the abundance in our lives. Our subconscious beliefs govern everything we do and everything that unfolds for us.”
Last month I was talking about how the subconscious always wins. If you believe you’re not good enough, or unlovable, or that loving yourself is impossible, then that’s how it will be. Change that, start taking care of yourself and make a commitment to cherishing yourself, and that wonderful energetic spark of individuality and uniqueness which is you, will be instigating a vast healing process within yourself, the ramifications of which will extend into all areas of your life.
Why not try loving your uniqueness, your warmth, and your understanding, and embrace all of that alongside those qualities you believe you lack. Love yourself for how you are despite your imperfections, and then you’ll really start to know and become the real, authentic you. And that can take you into a whole new level of being…..