One of the most common issues I come across when doing shamanic and coaching work with people is a lack of self-love. It seems that many of us love and give to others, and yet we struggle to love ourselves. We put ourselves at the bottom of the list.
The reasons are endless:
- “I don’t deserve love”
- “I am not lovable”
- “My parents didn’t love me”
- “I hurt someone else” (whether intentionally or unintentionally)
- “I am too fat, skinny, short, tall, ugly, pretty, stupid, smart, old, young”…the list goes on and on.
And yet, we can look at other people in our lives, and can see through the falsehood of all of these statements and love them.
So what does it take to love yourself?
First and foremost is self-forgiveness. We are all human. We all make mistakes. Many of the situations that we turn and use against ourselves are, in fact, life lessons that can help us evolve spiritually. Yes, forgiveness can be difficult. But the rewards are immense: Through self-forgiveness we release the burden and shackles of guilt, anger and pity. We give ourselves permission to learn, grow and change. And we open up the door to sacred ground – and can feel the workings of a Higher Power and Consciousness working through us. What prevents you from forgiving yourself for being human and continuing your lifelong journey of learning, growing and changing?
Second is self-nurturing. We’ve all heard the airline safety announcement that states to put our own oxygen mask on first before helping others. There is no sin or crime in taking care of ourselves first. Each one of us is a divine, light being. We are tasked with letting that light – our love – shine out to the world. But it is difficult to do so if we cannot stop and take care of our own needs first. Once we are whole and complete, and filled up with our light and love, we can shine out to others and serve. How can you begin to show yourself that you are as valuable as everyone else in your life?
Third is self-acceptance. We cannot love ourselves if we cannot accept ourselves completely, including our faults, foibles and differences. This doesn’t mean that we can’t continue to work to improve ourselves; rather, it is about stopping the self-judgements. Can you look at yourself in the mirror every day and say “I love you” with complete conviction?
Only by moving forward in these three areas can we truly love ourselves and begin to live our life purpose.