Love yourself

Most of us feel not enough as we are, we feel we need to do the next thing to become better, and somehow that next thing doesn’t fill the void, because somehow we still don’t feel enough. There is nothing wrong with wanting to improve things, as long as we’re not trying to fix ourselves. All we really want and need is to feel loved, to feel enough in this moment as we are, to feel supported and cared for.

What I have learned over the past years is that we can give ourselves what we want most, by being that to ourselves. We can love ourselves, be proud of ourselves, treat ourselves with generosity, we can be enough to ourselves. And if that feels like a stretch, you can love the part of yourself that feels the lack. You can say: I love the part of myself that feels unloved, that feels unworthy, that feels unsuccessful, that feels undeserving, that wants to eat that muffin for all the wrong reasons, or that wants to scream Get lost! And then love what comes up in that moment, don’t push it away as stupid or unworthy or whiny or scary, just allow it and hold it as you would a child that just hurt its knee, knowing that it hurts and that it will be okay, and when the crying stops you give it a kiss and let it run free again. And then you cherish the gift you have just given yourself, don’t brush it aside as if it was nothing, acknowledge the courage it took, be proud of your success. This is an ongoing practice, it’s like learning to play the piano: you practice, you practice, you practice. Not because one day you will play in Carnegie Hall, although if that is your dream by all means, pursue it with all you heart, but because you have come to the conclusion that it feels really good to play the piano and it would give you great joy to be able to play that piece by Rachmaninov, and you have decided to make it a reality, even if that seems completely unattainable at the moment. The same goes for loving yourself: you practice self-love because you have come to the conclusion that it feels great to be loved, to be enough as you are, and there would be nothing better than to give that to yourself, and you decide to practice loving yourself as long as it takes to feel loved and supported by yourself.

Love is the gift you give yourself. You love yourself by allowing yourself to be who you truly are, by not forcing yourself to be someone else or live up to someone else’s expectations. You love yourself by allowing yourself to be enough as you are, by not trying to fix yourself, because you aren’t broken. You love yourself by focusing on your capacity to love, tapping into your true nature, letting your inherent goodness emerge, not holding it back. By loving yourself, you allow Love to fill you, until it breaks through the surface and ripples outward. There is no greater gift you can give yourself and the world than to be loved by yourself. All you have to do is stop hiding your inherent goodness. Are you willing to do that? Are you willing to give yourself what you are longing for the most? Yes? Then how about a love challenge? Thirty days in which you intend to love yourself as you are. Thirty days in which you are kind to yourself, and patient with yourself. Thirty days in which you focus to your inherent goodness and allow it to flow. Are you in? Great! Let’s get started!

photo by Darius Bashar

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