It has taken me a long time to love myself.
And I mean really love myself.
Ever since I started my journey, I have been a constant champion for Self-Love - from Metta (Loving Kindness) Meditations, to journal affirmations, to verbal affirmations, to inner-child work...you name it.
If there was a technique out there that remotely described self-love and heart opening, I was all over it. Preaching it left and right on my social handles and in person, theming my yoga classes and meditation classes around it - so much so that on two separate occasions I was told that I am literally love in human form (still the nicest yet most difficult compliment to receive since DAMN that pierced my soul to it’s very core).
And, for the most part, it worked. I felt all high-vibe, confident, and excited to be in my own body doing the things I loved and sharing with others what I loved to do.
But as the year went on, something felt missing. Sure I felt this warmth of acceptance and love for myself for what I was doing, but at the same time, I was nowhere near as confident in what I was doing to saying as I felt I needed to be. Not to mention I was constantly comparing myself to other people in the same space, other people doing similar things to me, and found myself in depressive spirals that lasted for days to weeks where all I could focus on was how I was not enough and didn’t have anything to offer the world or anyone else around me.
When I fell out of my routine of eating well, meditating every day, journaling, practicing yoga and working out...I found it almost impossible to love myself and loathed the person I was and the body I had.
Why was that?
Why is it so easy to love yourself when things are going well, but when things go south, you are the first person to take a metaphorical shit all over yourself?
Hell you 100% would not speak that way to your closest friends or your family, but, for some reason, the brain immediately turns on itself and lashes out in ways that make you feel worthless, unloved, and physically scared to open up.
Turns out I had subconsciously programmed myself to conditionally love myself - essentially only when the “times were good” was when I allowed myself to feel love and to do the things that I loved.
To take it a layer deeper, I was only loving the good parts of myself and completely ignoring this other side of me - my Shadow.
Shadow work will be an entirely separate post as I had some major breakthroughs on this type of work in Bali (which will also be an entirely separate post), but the main idea is the same - journeying deep into your soul to see the parts that you don’t want anyone to see let alone yourself to see.
Coming face to face and literally embody this aspect of yourself to feel the presence of the shadow and understand him thoroughly.
To see what he wants and why he’s there.
To give voice to this side of yourself that you have been ignoring your entire life.
To make it okay to let this side of you out consciously so that it doesn’t seep out into areas of your life unconsciously.
To love the fuck out of him since he is, always has been and always will be, you.
After-all, truly loving yourself is only possible after truly knowing yourself.