This article originally appeared here on April 2, 2019
You only have one life to live, might as well take the time to love yourself!
It’s no surprise that women have caught on to the truth that learning to love themselves is not just a prerequisite for any kind of healthy relationship but for their overall health and happiness. Phrases like self-love and self-care are the subject of every second social media post, but how do you actually go about loving and caring for yourself?
Be more positive!
Drink more water!
Get a massage!
Take a mental health day!
Have a bubble bath!
These are the sorts of suggestions that frequently come up when women are asked on what they do for themselves in the name of self-care or how they go about loving themselves. Of course, I would be lying if I said I didn’t love massages and baths as much as the next woman but for most of us, building a relationship with ourselves grounded in love takes so much more than this. There is a need to redress the conversation around this topic because as much as we’d like it that way, pampering ourselves with bath salts out of maladaptive thought patterns and destructive behaviors simply does not work.
Self-love means becoming the expert on your needs, owning them and then taking the necessary steps to getting those needs met. Needs for love, compassion, security, safety, wellbeing, needs for love, companionship, support, healing and much more. When you’re living in a perpetual state of disconnection from your needs and yourself you are disconnected from your heart. A simple sign of this is when you even struggle at identifying what you need and how to get your needs met.
So, read on to learn about three needs women commonly neglect to meet which you can start working on to dramatically deepen your self-love from the inside out.
The Need to Know Your Authentic Self
The first step by far to self-love is developing your self-awareness and training it up like you would a muscle until you can clearly distinguish between what is truly “you” and what is the part of you that performs or pleases others for love. Only by cultivating self-awareness can you then deal with past wounds and trauma and learn to process your emotions in a healthy way. The better you get at being in touch with your true emotions, the more you’ll know who you really are.
When I first started diving into inner work, one of my defining a-ha! moments was learning to distinguish between my true authentic self and my shadow self. By “shadow self” I mean the wounded version of us that lurks within and rises up in response when we’re stuck with fear — the fear of not being enough, not having enough or not being safe.
If you have ever felt yourself chasing after unavailable love, reacting and wrecking relationships, with the opposite sex or friends, feeling insecure you begin to sabotage a dating relationship, acting vengefully, out of control with anger over something inconsequential, needy, obsessive, judgmental of yourself or others, desperate to control another or consumed and tormented by worries — then congratulations, you have met your shadow self ! It is undeniably the part of us we mistakenly think is the hardest to love and yet nothing could be further from the truth. Our shadow is the subconscious intelligence taking over trying to get our needs met when we don’t know how to do that from a more constructive place. When you realize and truly understand that, you see that our shadow is the part of us that is most in need of our love.
At The Embodied Feminine Woman Institute, one of the reasons our programs yield such fast results is that we show women how to tap into their authentic feminine essence and lead with this part of themselves more and more over time. The combination of authenticity, vulnerability and rock-solid boundaries make it impossible for them —and countless high value men — not to fall head over heels in love with who they are.
The Need for Self-Acceptance
It’s alarming that 70% of young girls don’t feel “good enough” regarding their appearance, performance at school, and the relationships they have with their friends and family.
That’s a shocking statistic! However, expecting someone else to accept us while we live from self-rejection is a recipe for trouble.
So what does it mean to truly accept yourself?
Personas like “the successful career woman” or “the sexually liberated woman that doesn’t care” just keep us stuck in self-rejection and performance and are never going to magnetize men and dream love the way that inner wholeness and congruity will. More importantly, we cannot learn to love a two-dimensional persona. Not only do we know it is a smokescreen but the reason we erect that persona in the first place is because we deem our real selves to be unlovable and unworthy.
It’s true that self-acceptance doesn’t come easily a lot of the time. We believe that in our authentic state of being we are too fat, too unattractive, too damaged, too emotional, too old, too poor — too much or not enough of something — in order to be deemed acceptable. Self-acceptance begins by accepting even what you do not accept at any given moment. “I accept I don’t like X and Y about myself.” That is when you stop resisting “what is” and start stepping into the freedom of acceptance.
In the present moment in spite of the resistance
we feel, actively engaging and understanding the root beliefs operating inside
the internal dialogue that tells us we need to wait for change to occur before
we can love ourselves.
Once you accept where you are, as you are right now, you open yourself up to recognizing your true inner value and you start creating space for true healing and growth.
While you can go into relationships searching for a sense of worth about yourself, it is a dangerous game to play. Once you learn to love yourself, you can love someone else for the right reasons. You can give your love freely, without the expectation of receiving that acceptance and self-worth from someone who can’t give it to you, even if they want to.
Spend Time with Yourself
There is a difference between spending time by yourself and spending time with yourself. At The Embodied Feminine Woman Institute we teach you to relate to yourself with care and kindness from the inside-out and develop intimacy with yourself, while also keeping you anchored and accountable. This is a lot easier when you have the support and guidance of a team of experts and a beautiful, supportive community of likeminded sisters to help you.
1 in 3 U.S. adults fears being on their own. We live busy lives. Even when we’re alone, we’re only the touch of a button away from human contact. However, we need to get used to spending time with ourselves, because it helps recharge, heal and uncover our potential, authenticity and true gifting.
Determine Your Own Goals in Life and truly go after them
What are your passions, dreams and longings?
Do you want amazing, connected, close lifetime partnership?
Do you feel alive when travelling to new places?
Do you have a gift to give the world that you’ve been waiting to?
Nothing is more loving to our own selves than getting clear on our dreams and goals and building the life we long for. Nothing is more depressive to the soul than hopelessness and meaninglessness and feeling we can’t move forward and go after our dreams.
Remember when you were a child? That child in wonder of the world is still there and dreaming of the life you are called to build, so go build it! — Published on April 2, 2019