So, What Does Self Love Really Mean?
Updated: Jun 8, 2020
So what is #SelfLove all about? I’ve definitely embraced the bubble baths and candles that smell like warm pancakes trend- and that’s great because creating spaces where we feel sacred and treated as the divine beings we are is an essential part of loving ourselves. But just like there is far more to friendships than just girls nights out and much more to loving a partner than fancy dinners, there has to be a lot more involved in true self-love than simply treating ourselves to material luxuries. Self-love is a balance. Sometimes, self-love is about embracing our shadows - the parts of ourselves we have a difficult time looking at - the parts of ourselves that require discipline, painful healing, and correcting harmful behaviors. Other times, self-love is about celebrating with brownie batter and face masks. It’s all about balance!
So how can we create a better self-love balance? Here are a few of my favorite places to start:
Dive DEEP and see yourself
One of the most liberating things I have ever done was simply witness myself. I witnessed my negative self-talk, my fears, my patterns that hurt myself or the people I loved. When I say “witnessed,” I mean I saw every part of myself without judgment. I witnessed the parts of myself that I was previously ashamed to even acknowledge and said, “Okay, yea, I still love you.”
Witnessing these parts of yourself also allows you to witness future mistakes more lovingly, which creates a level of comfort that allows you to take more risks without fearing the judgment of perceived failure, which leads to much more satisfaction in your life, which surrounds you with positive energy, which attracts more wonderful things into your life, etc. Accepting your flaws, witnessing your shadows, and loving all your parts, creates a beautiful ripple effect throughout your entire life.
A great way to start diving deep is to create simple factual statements about what you think are your not-so-great qualities.
“One of my greatest fears is becoming dependent on someone and losing my sense of self. Sometimes I push people away because of this fear.”
“I frequently compare myself to other women.”
“I grew up in chaos so I am addicted to adrenaline. Sometimes I find myself recreating chaos in my life to fill that addiction.”
“Sometimes I use life coaching techniques as a way to analyze my feelings instead of actually feeling them.”
“I put a lot of pressure on myself to appear confident and collected at all times.”
“I shut people out when I need alone time.”
“Sometimes I change my tampon in my car and forget the old one in my cupholder.”
Stating these qualities so simply removes fear, shame, and guilt that wasn’t even warranted in the first place. Once you stop hiding these qualities in the darkness of shame, the light reveals that they aren’t nearly as bad as you thought they were.
Now, repeat these same statements but finish them with, “And I still love me.”
“I frequently compare myself to other women. And I still love me.” This is POWERFUL. You are saying to yourself, ‘Gurl, I SEE you - all of you - and I love every part.”
Note: You are not excusing hurtful actions or ignoring patterns that need to be healed. You are simply allowing yourself to witness them, without judgment. This will create the loving space required to begin the healing process when you’re ready. (Get started with your free Discovery Call today).
Become everyone you think you need
We all have voids that have developed as a result of not receiving something we needed at some point in our lives. Perhaps we grew up in an unstable home and we’ve developed a “safety” void as a result. Maybe we were rejected by someone we loved so we now have an “I’m not good enough” void. These voids can create feelings of emptiness that we often instinctively attempt to fill with other people such as partners, father/mother figures, or friends. Our voids are caused by wounds that only we are capable of seeing and healing. When we look to other people to heal that emptiness, we will always end up manifesting unhealthy relationships that reveal the need to heal our voids even more loudly than before. Become everyone you think you need to heal your voids.
Become your best friend, your nurturing and caring mom and dad, your most romantic loving partner. If you find yourself longing to have a loving, nurturing conversation with a mother, wrap yourself in blankets, get cozy on your couch and talk to yourself in the gentle manner you wish a mother would. If you want to feel seen and loved by a romantic partner, be that romantic partner. Take yourself on the most romantic date you can imagine and shower yourself with compliments about your inner and outer beauty.
I am not implying that having supportive, love-filled relationships in your life isn’t essential - social connections is a health necessity for us as humans. I am simply stating that we often believe that other people are the only source of certain energies we wish we had in our lives, when in fact, we embody these energies ourselves and can access them at any time.
Listen to yourself
You already have all the answers you seek. Once you accept this, the world will open up to you. All you have to do to access these answers is listen.
We hear the word "intuition" so much that we often forget its significance. Our intuition is an all-knowing divine wisdom passed on to our souls through life experiences and ancestors. You hear the guidance of your intuition constantly because it’s always there. Now, you simply have to listen to it.
A great way to start is to check in with yourself. A few times a day, stop what you’re doing and simply ask, “How are you feeling right now?” This may seem simple but, I can tell you, it is a powerful practice. There have been countless times when I am running around, checking things off my to-do list and I think I feel great. Then I check in with myself and ask, “Katie, how are you feeling right now?” And I realize that I feel exhausted or sad and I’ve just been trying to distract myself with productivity.
Your body also speaks to you. When you feel exhausted or become ill, your body is telling you to rest. When you’re hanging on to pain, trauma or resentment, these unhealed emotions will manifest as physical pain in your body. Learning to listen to these physical and intuitive cues will take you to a whole new level of self-love.
Discover what type of self-love fills you up
Don’t sip wine and eat chocolate just because that’s someone else’s definition of self-love. Take time to discover what fills your spirit with love and joy, then make time for it.
Maybe it’s greeting yourself in the morning with a long string of affirmations, “Good morning you beautiful warrior goddess, mermaid, award-winning author, queen!” (Can you tell that’s one of my favorites?) Maybe it’s making your favorite dessert, lighting candles and watching your favorite movie. Maybe, it’s trying a new class or making time for your favorite workout. Discover what type of self-love fills you up, then make time to treat yourself.