A new understanding of self-love  

Over the past year I have been faced with the profound realisation time and time again that a life lacking in love for myself is not a life I have any desire to live. I can have money, relationships, opportunities to see the world and perceived “success”, yet if I cannot look at myself in the mirror and have complete appreciation for the divine being that I am, none of that can fully be experienced.

The concept of self-love is thrown around so much these days, with books & blogs wherever you look claiming to have the answers to love yourself. I spent years trying to figure this self-love thing out, thinking that if I said an affirmation in front of the mirror or drank a smoothie with kale every morning then this would do it. Soon enough I discovered that positive self-talk and a healthy diet could only take me so far, with all these efforts falling short of truly supporting, honouring and respecting myself.

Drinking a smoothie then having sex with someone to feel a sense of validation was not self-love. Looking in a mirror and telling myself “I am worthy of love” & then on the same day not allowing myself to go to the beach because I was “too fat” was not love. Following what someone else will tell you is a loving thing to do whilst completely neglecting to allow yourself to live a rich & pleasurable life guided from your own innate wisdom is not love!

Loving oneself is so much deeper than what we do in our external reality. There is no checklist, no manual and no “right way” of loving ourselves-we each have a unique journey of coming back to that place & only we know the way. And I don’t think it is enough for humans to be told that the pursuit of self-love is necessary. We are born into this world having deep, unconditional love ourselves yet overtime have come to believe it to be not be worthwhile or acceptable. Just like an addict does not need to be told that they must give up drugs/alcohol/junk food/porn, someone who is self-loathing does not need to be told to love themselves. I believe what those lacking in the self-love department require is a pathway of connection back to themselves-tools to connect them to all of who & what they are.

Self-love for me is about deep trust and connection with our bodies, our minds, our heart, our sexuality and our soul. All that we are is the most amazing gift to this planet and once we come to remember this, there is no going back. When we are attuned and connected to the divinity of our precious human life, we cannot help but be in a loving relationship with ourselves. Like any relationship, the waves of emotions and life’s challenges will come and go but what will always remain is the steady, infinite source of pure love that exists inside us & every being on this planet. This unwavering love is our power, our beauty, our joy and our radiance.

Once I discovered that nothing outside myself could ever satiate this yearning to feel loved & connected, everything changed. I have dreams, goals, wish lists and desires for things in my life just like any other being yet I know that the connection to myself is the foundation for a joyful, pleasurable and rich existence. For this reason, I commit to nurturing this connection above all else so that I can be a naturally loving being in this world.

Photo Credit: Ryan Henwood-White

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