When we think of self-love, we naturally think of massages and bubble baths.
And don’t get me wrong, I love a good soak and I adore being massaged.
But self-love, in my book, goes way beyond that.
And it might not look so fluffy and pink.
It might not be so pretty and perfect.
When I think about my biggest acts of self-love, they’ve involved true grit.
They’ve involved facing my fears and wrestling with my demons.
They’ve involved making mistakes and occasionally getting mud on my face (which is where the bubble bath comes in handy).
Without self-love, I wouldn’t have been able to finish and publish my book or to continue to write my novel (I have 60,000 words and counting – woo hoo!).
Instead, I would still be working in a profession that I no longer enjoyed, in a career that had once excited me but that had consumed me, drained me until I was empty.
Without self-love, I wouldn’t have found the courage to work through my love avoidance and attachment issues and to commit to a relationship and later a marriage (and believe me, my journey to love was a bumpy road).
I would still be single, finding fault with every man I met, always looking for someone else, for some fantasy Mr. Right, thinking the problem was entirely with the guys I dated rather than partially inside me.
I’d be undervaluing myself at every turn and then feeling resentful that I am not earning what I deserve.
Without self-love, I would have stayed silent and not voiced my needs and wants in so many situations, only to take my anger out on myself later, through over-eating or some other self-harming behaviour.
Self-love is the pink, fluffy stuff, yes.
Self-love involves massages, bubble baths and moisturising our skin; walks in the sunshine, days on the beach; delicious, nourishing food, retreat days, spa weekends, phone calls with amazing friends.
Self-love is self-acceptance, self-compassion and gentleness.
And I still struggle to be gentle with myself, to go easy on myself, to show myself compassion.
I am a work in progress, so much better than I used to be and still quite a way to go.
But self-love is also the bold, courageous, dream-making, vision-realising stuff.
At least it is in my book.
It’s when we speak our truth, stand tall as our authentic selves and go all out for our deepest desires.
So let’s start with the baths and the massages.
Let’s wrap ourselves in fluffy dressing gowns.
Let’s buy ourselves flowers.
Let’s take long breaks from work.
Let’s walk in the sunshine.
Let’s build a strong foundation of self-love – the strongest we can possibly build.
Then let’s use this foundation as a wonderful, stable, solid platform from which to launch ourselves towards our dreams, whether they be dreams of a loving relationship, a healthier body, a more authentic career or a more fulfilling life.
*** Self-Love Workshop This Sunday February 13th ***
Join me this Sunday, February 13th, at 5 pm UK time (12 noon EST) for a special self-love session with a special group of women. This is an interactive online session designed to support you to understand why you sometimes struggle to love yourself and how you can deepen your loving relationship with yourself. Email me on firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about the workshop. Join here.
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