Warts and all

I’ve always been curious about self-love and wondered why it didn’t come easily to me. Quite frankly, I’m not sure that self-love comes easily to anyone. Unfortunately though, spending time in shame, feeling deeply unworthy and undeserving is how too many of us walk around and it doesn’t exactly propel us into the life of our dreams.

The most important tool I’ve found to move gracefully into self-love, is acceptance. Being able to accept ourselves in totality is critical. Mistakes, wobbly bits, warts and all. By accepting our unique life experience, no matter what that entails, is a gentle and crucial step in gaining peace.

Sometimes I get caught up in what went really wrong. Then I find myself on a scary mind loop of blame, pain and grief and that little mouse on the wheel keeps going around and around until I finally tell it, for goodness sake, enough already…

We all get it wrong at times, but we are only ever on our way to getting it right. We need to focus on being courageous and not fearful and still allow ourselves to be open to opportunities regardless of the outcome.

To embrace self-love you have to acknowledge that no matter what you do or what happens, everything about you is still very much spot on. Our worth is unchangeable. By affirming our worthiness as often as possible it becomes second nature. Then we are less likely be moved by what someone else may think of us, or moved by a mistake that we make or anything else that threatens our sense of self-worth.

We all feel the disconnect when circumstances don’t go our way. When others dislike or don’t approve of us, we of course take it to heart. But if we add it to a low opinion that we already have of ourselves, it can be crippling. We need to learn that the good opinion of others is just that, and not to let it shape how we perceive ourselves.

On a walk with my son the other day I gave him a stern talking to about how we need to transform our challenges into a giant coating of invisible armour and feel it’s strength all around us. I told him to add every criticism, every hurt, every poor or unfair treatment carefully to the coat until it is so thick, that eventually it will begin to repel the nastiness like Teflon. He’s only ten months old and couldn’t care less, but I hope one day he’ll get it.

We don’t want life to harden us, but often we need to toughen up a little.

Before I suffered my greatest loss, a small wind used to blow me over. I’ve never coped well with bullies and difficult personalities, but then again who has? Of course they seemed to be attracted to me like flies to you know what. I know that these people were put there to strengthen me, but it took me ages to figure that out. Once I finally did though, they quickly left my life.

Our biggest hurts are our best opportunities to develop greater self-love even though it completely sucks. These tests help us to sharpen our strength and turn us into warriors. We have to try to understand the role that these situations play in our lives, and respond to the circumstances with kindness and integrity, especially towards ourselves.

Hurt people will often lash out at us because they are in immense pain. That doesn’t make it ok, but armed with this information we can be more empathetic. It’s important that we don’t allow someone’s negative response to us to threaten our own security. Therefore, we have to have a very healthy amount of self-love because people in pain are a bloody epidemic.

We all know that not a single one of us is perfect, but that doesn’t matter even in the slightest. We are perfect for this life and for the people who are around us. We all thread and weave our way through each others lives and make a big or small impact and it’s a dance that we all agreed to take part in. We just need to remember to be gentle with ourselves, and not get too caught up in the game. Hopefully then we can retain some sanity.

Let’s love who we are despite everything, because it’s from that place that we can really live the abundant, real and joyful lives that we came here to live. We are all wonderful beings worthy of great love from ourselves and from the people that surround us. The quicker we can digest and really apply this concept, the quicker we will find ourselves living the life we have always dreamed of.

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