I often hear clients talk about self love as if it is a selfish choice. How, is that possible? In my opinion, it’s one of the most important, loving and nurturing things you can do for yourself.
Self love is much more than treating yourself to pizza after a tough day, it’s a deep and personal process of getting to know yourself which requires our conscious attention, discernment, new choices, and action.
Dictionary.com defines self love as, " The instinct by which one’s actions are directed to the promotion of one’s own welfare or well-being." However, so many of us have been socially programmed from a very young age to believe untrue judgments, to agree with unfounded shaming, and to accept the blame that others project upon us.
We have unknowingly agreed to believe that these beliefs are true without ever stopping to ask, “Who says or does this make sense for me?”
Naturally, as children we trust our families, churches, community groups, and government to tell us how to see things and what we should believe to be true. These “truths” are taught to us consciously and subconsciously in an effort for us to easily adjust and fit in to our society and families.
It is our job, at some point, to start fostering our own inner happiness and to ask if we truly believe what is being given to us as the “correct” answers or ways to behave. Asking do I agree with these statements, view points, or judgments and to no longer go on mindlessly agreeing with anything that isn’t in alignment with our own soul’s innate wisdom and knowing.
This is where diligent work comes in and everything you think you know to be true needs to be examined. I liken it to building a new foundation for yourself. Often times when I first started rebuilding my foundation, I would ask “Who says… I can’t, I shouldn’t, or I have to?” and my mother’s face would flash in my mind or the Catholic church, since that is what my childhood was steeped in. Then I would sit with that belief and decide if that’s what I truly believed or not.
It became very freeing once I gave myself permission to start examining all my beliefs and making my own decisions, taking the time to look at all the areas of my life. Anything that resonated with my core belief system was kept and anything that made me contract, feel limited, or didn’t feel in alignment with my spirit was tossed aside and replaced. The new beliefs I chose for myself became the cornerstones for MY foundation, allowing me to fully embrace who I knew myself to be.
Of course, this is a life long process, but it does become easier once the huge boulders of untruth are removed and compassion and understanding is allowed to wash over them.
So many of us are unknowingly defined by what others have told us we are, never questioning further. We have accepted how others see us and turn away from doing the deep inner work because once the door is opened it is very hard to go back to who we were before. Because it is scary, we sometimes put off starting the process or never start at all.
However, if you begin this journey of self-exploration and firming up the foundation of who YOU ARE, eventually you will arrive at the ultimate question of, "If I am not this (who I believed I was based upon misconceptions and stories from the past), then who am I?"
This is where the true journey of self love begins!
It can be a pretty bumpy road of changes, unrest, and new awareness’s but gradually it opens us to a new way of being which allows us to know ourselves, love ourselves, and give more of ourselves on the deepest levels.
My heart beams with joy for all the truth warriors who are on the path of unbecoming who they once thought they were. I celebrate those who have the courage to look in dark corners within and decided to create a new way of being for themselves, step by step and little by little.
Self love is only perceived as selfish by those who don’t want you to change and aren’t ready to change themselves. It takes courage to love yourself this much and there is nothing selfish about being your true authentic self.
So, I ask, "What are you waiting for?" Your heart deserves a home where it feels unconditionally loved and the world is waiting for YOU!
Written By: Catherine Jimenez,
Certified Life Coach and Shamanic Energy Practitioner
Jen Martin is a Mom, Medium and Movement Person. She uses her intuitive abilities and training in yoga, prenatal yoga, meditation, and business to help others appreciate and help themselves. If you have kids, like hearing from loved ones in spirit or enjoy taking heart-centered yoga and meditation classes, check out Jen's blogs.