According to Oxford’s dictionary self-love is defined as “regard for one's own well-being and happiness (chiefly considered as a desirable rather than narcissistic characteristic).” When I reflected on my journey to self-love from self-judgement or self-rejection, it felt unfamiliar, confusing, and difficult. I was resistant because I needed/wanted to receive love from others instead. I had no idea or clue about giving myself love or compassion. I did not understand what it truly meant. I had been looking for love in the wrong places practically my whole life for as long as I can remember. This journey was painful.
My true love journey began when I read a book by Marianne Williamson, Enchanted Love. My first reaction to the book was, “What? This is what loving self can look like?!” At first, I felt a sense of shame, embarrassment, and guilt. I forcefully mourned for the way I’d treated myself. A great shift happened in my mind, a new narrative began to embed itself in my brain, heart, and soul. I discovered that self-love is truly magical. Why did I think it was magical? It was magical because it allowed me to:
Be free from clownery (I felt like a clown.)
Enchanted love opened a doorway to the most important courtship of my life. I began to literally woo myself. I went on movie dates by myself, Blade II in 2002. I began to read more books that helped me to understand about love. I had candle lit baths. I made a point of spending time alone. I began to appreciate the gifts that God, the universe, had given me. I began to honor my life and the lives of others. It was not an easy passage, but worth the time, life energy, and attention. I continue to be on this adventure 20 years later, finding more ways to be more self-compassionate and courageous to pursue life goals that inspire or support me and others.
This expedition that began 20 years ago, led me to meet my true partner in life. We have great love for one another built on self-love. I continue to strive and discover areas of my deep subconscious mind that there is still a lot of work that must be done. As we try to make sense of the world, love, and our place, the story that is running in our minds informs our actions and feelings. If we could pause for a moment and practice kindness to ourselves and others, how will that change your day? The journey to self-love takes time and life energy. To get you started, here are acts of self-love or kindness:
Forgiving yourself by realizing that there is not a perfect life, that we all make mistakes.
Accepting that you have much to learn and discover
List all the characteristics/personality that you love about yourself
List all the skills that you love about yourself
List all the features that you love about yourself
How would you like to be courted? Do that for yourself.
What would be a thoughtful thing to do for you? Gift yourself that