SELF-LOVE IS BULLSHIT – HERE IS WHY.
And he said, “You are all about self-love so you say, but maybe your real issue is that you don’t know how to allow yourself to be loved.”
Up to this moment I would have told you that self-love was all about taking care of the self. Setting aside time for me, getting a massage, having clear boundaries and holding to them. I would have told you that I was strong, that I had it all taken care of and did not need anyone else, that I was independent and felt good about myself for the life that I had created. I knew that I was the manifester of my reality. Even after these words fell on my ears I wanted to fight with him to prove that it was not so. I wanted to point to all the areas in my life where I was oh so good at allowing myself to be loved.
I wanted to say, “I am good with receiving help at home, with errands and the kids.”
“ I am good with asking for something if I need it. Or saying no when I am not okay with it.”
“ I take time for myself. I take care of myself. I eat right, exercise, do the inner work, meditate, allow myself pleasure.”
I wanted to turn back and review my history of all the years spent where these things were not the case, where I focused on being the martyr, on always giving till I had no more to give and then resentment seeped in and caused me to act out.
The reality however, was he was right.
I did not know how to allow myself to be loved.
I was so focused on my definition of self-love, and being a responsible, strong individual proving how “good” I was at doing life alone that I stepped away from my human need of being loved and allowing myself the space to need love, to accept support and to give myself grace.
Even when I allowed someone to help me, my internal world was at war.
I was battling myself, telling myself how pathetic I was, how I “should not” accept this kindness as it would make me appear needy, or perhaps like I was trying to manipulate another.
I loathed myself when I allowed support, care, kindness and a showing of any coming together as a team. And this revealed that I had little to none of self-love.
You see we live in a world where we are sold on the concept of individualism.
Keep your individualism when you’re in a relationship, keep your distance in other words.
Stay in control so that you are not controlled.
Always, always look for the gotchas from anyone, including the one that you say you would lay your life down for so that you cannot be hurt or suffer any ill effects of being in a relationship.
If you look around our world, you can easily see how obsessed we are with the entity of self.
Self-love, self-care, self-made… love thy self so that you can love another.
SHE LOVED HER DAUGHTER DEEPLY – BUT NOT HERSELF.
I had a client a few years back come to me troubled by her reality as a mother, she asked of me,
“So I have come to terms that I don’t love myself. I actually really hate myself for everything that I have done and allowed to have happened in my life. I hear all the time that you can’t love someone until you love yourself. Does this mean that I don’t really love my daughter then?”
She went on to tell me about how resilient she was. How she had dedicated herself to making sure that her daughter would never go through the things that she had gone through, how she protected her, cared for her… how she was conscious of spending time with her and not putting her into any ill situations, to the point that she was not dating anyone so that there was no chance of a man creating any issues for her daughter.
What I heard was that she was using her daughter to avoid loving herself.
She was denying herself the gift of living because she did not trust herself and her own inner world and her self-talk was all focused on how untrustworthy and bad of a person she was. I also saw her great care and love for her child.
If she could only translate this love, acceptance, concern and support over to herself she would now be able to experience self-love.
WHY YOU LOVE TO SELFIE
In our world where we are marketed to the importance of self-love, self-care, and being self-made we also focus heavily and with much love on our “Selfies.” You cannot go anywhere these days without finding someone who is taking a selfie with the right effects to capture the right view of who they are.
Best view that is.
And that is what we do, we put on the effects that we believe will make us the most desirable, loveable, look the most successful, etc. We smooth out our wrinkles, illuminate our eyes or even change eye color, put twinkling lights around us and whatever else that appeals to us to mask us from our reality. Plenty of people would say. “ I am just being playful and creative.” The reality is that we adore these false images because they show us as we believe we should be to be lovable, if we just look in the mirror of reality our ego yells at us and quickly reminds us of all that we have done wrong and how badly we look, act, think, treat others, etc.
The land of the selfie allows us to hide from our true dis-like of the self and all that we find disgusting.
The concept of selfhood and being an individual is nothing new, it’s been around for all of time and every culture through that time has talked about it and acted upon it in its own fashion. The difference in today and especially here in western culture is that we look at the self as its own entity, something outside of everything and we lay great value on this entity of self, wanting to support it and protect it, heal it and make it happy, viewing its need to be part of something bigger than itself as a weakness. In all of our ideas and “support” of the self we also find much flaw in it and have a silent belief that it is not good enough just as is.
THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A SELF MADE PERSON
In any fashion, not with success, nor happiness in any area.
It’s true that you must look for happiness internally before you will appreciate it externally, just like finding peace within so that you can discover it outside.
We humans are communal creatures.
We need community. We need each other. We need to be supported and to be of service.
The concept of “If it’s going to be it’s up to me.” or “ I always have to do it by myself.” is an indoctrination to self-hatred and self-disrespect not love of the individual self.
If we loved ourselves we would pay closer attention to our self-talk.
We would never allow someone to speak to our children or a loved one the way that we consistently choose to speak to ourselves. Yet, we fall under the idea in this same statement that it’s okay to speak to ourselves this way because we are trying to make ourselves better.
We also believe that by giving ourselves the harsh containers of “personal boundaries and non-negotables,” the things that we will not accept from self that we are being loving to ourselves.
We are workaholics, killing ourselves for the dollar.
We are exercise freaks and diet jumkies, abusing our bodies in the pursuit to love our bodies, and make them into their best version.
We spend precious time, energy and resources on education that is outdated by the time that we are done learning it in order to prove that we are smart, can learn and that we love ourselves so much that we are willing to invest in what we don’t really have an interest to take care of the self.
We problem solve ourselves into drinking and casual drugs, attempting to fix what we deem not good enough, only to mask and hide ourselves from what we really need to offer the self.
We go on spiritual pilgrimages and explore our souls to the deepest of known levels in an attempt to make peace with our humanness.
WHAT YOU NEED IS GRACE, COMPASSION AND A SHOULDER TO LEAN ON
I could go into great depth about these above topics, I could share insight and views that you may or may not agree with or see in yourself, however what I want for you to take away from this article today is that the answer to you being able to love thyself, is in your ability to allow yourself to be loved.
This means to start viewing self-love not as the actions that you take to present an image that you feel is more fit for the world around you and to mold yourself into some idea that you believe is required, but instead to be able to allow for your faults and mistakes without consistently beating yourself into the ground about how you messed up again and how worthless you are. You would cringe at hearing your child, your husband/wife or best friend say these things about themselves, yet you most likely speak these things to yourself daily. Allowing your inner critic to sabotage the beauty of you being human.
You may believe that all you need to do is to learn to love yourself by yourself. And perhaps that is what the universe is trying to teach you by not allowing you the support of your fellow human beings, by keeping you just out of arm’s length of a good relationship, always having people “use” you and lie to you, by repeating to you how you are not lovable because everyone “always” walks away from you. The reality is that this is not the truth. It may be the truth that you are telling yourself, however truth is subject to your perception and to what you allow for, it’s often not reality though. The reality is that if you are going to learn how to love yourself than you need to apply grace for your mistakes, compassion for the reality that you are human and come with all the typical human issues and needs and forgiveness as well as allowance of the actuality that sometimes you just need a shoulder or ear to lean on and listen, you simply need to crumble and fall apart, to not understand something, to make a mistake and to know that you will make it through it.
Self-love is about not allowing ourselves to step into the abyss of contempt just because we act human.
It’s about allowing ourselves to explore this thing called life and not beat ourselves up for not always getting it right, not belittling ourselves and regretting ever trying, just because we fail.
Self-love is not bullshit!
Our modern concept of it is however.
It has turned into a marketing tool that sells us skin care, exercise equipment, diet products, travel, and anything else all on the premise of “If you really love yourself, prove it. Buy this.”
The concept that if you want to really love someone else, find your soulmate, be a good parent or friend, be a success in life that you must first be good at loving yourself (through the purchase of these products). You must believe that by having, doing and acting a certain way that you are loving of self and making sure that the evil world around you will not harm you, so keep your individualism strong and don’t fall prey to being in need of community, because you can’t love them authentically anyway until you learn how to love yourself by yourself.
Now, THAT is bullshit!
You learn to love self by hearing and absorbing the love of those around you.
By allowing yourself to hear what others think and view you like and by working against the sabotaging ego statements of how bad you are in your own head as they sound off while your lover tells you how amazing he/she finds you.
You need others as do I, and by becoming vulnerable and embracing this fact you gain true strength and understanding of self.
You end up being able to smile at your faults and know that you are unique and imperfect and that makes you perfect.
Ask yourself these loving inquiries today to practice true self love and awareness:
- Can I release shame around not doing something or following through on my word so that I can reach out to this other person now?
- Can I take responsibility without blaming myself?
- Can I practice regret without falling into contempt?
- Can I acknowledge that I made a mistake without believing I am broken?
- Can I receive an act of kindness or a gift without feeling guilty?
- Can I accept help from someone without assuming that they are only doing it to get something in return?
- Can I accept that I will be okay, even if I never get closure around something that hurt me or caused me trauma?
- Can I allow myself to be strong in who I am and what I believe and/or feel even if I am not validated by another?
- Can I laugh at my immaturity and innocence and instead embrace myself with compassion?
Self love is a powerful healing tool.
It is a gift that only we can ever offer ourselves, and it transforms our lives, relationships and outcomes.
Ready to embrace yourself and learn the skills of self-love today?
How to overcome the inner critic who is trying to protect you from life by supporting you with suffering and separateness? Reach out to me today for a consultation and ideas as to how coaching could support you on your journey to self-love and awakening.
Be all of you!
In loving service,
Stop Existing & Start Living
“Coaching for Grown A*s Believers”