This Is How We Allow Ourselves To Heal.
We carry collected pain from so many moments.
We lost ourselves in the transition to adulthood, parenthood or somewhere else along the way.
Or perhaps we are experiencing pain from the present moment as life is unfolding in a way that is different from what we had planned.
We all have these moments.
Some we continue to know because the wounds remain scabbed, fresh and open.
Others are faint scars that have healed over the years.
Perhaps we are familiar with the sting of shame that presents itself in a wave of heat taking over our body or knots in our stomach from feeling unworthy or never enough.
We all carry the pain from the heartache of lost love.
Whether that loss is from an imagined life dream, intimate relationship, friendship, goal, pet or a family member.
Our bodies store the emotions we experience and our minds collect all of the words that we consciously or unconsciously think.
The sum of all of these experiences equate into who we are in this moment and sometimes the present moment is messy.
Sometimes we have mascara running down our face or we push back tears of frustration that we have been fighting for far too long.
And while the present moment can feel like too much to endure, endless or unbearable we often feel forced to pull it all together with a smile on our face because showing up honestly and openly feels too revealing and uncomfortable.
Perhaps through increased alcohol consumption, restrictive eating habits, self-harming behaviours or spending time with people who only pull us farther from our goals.
We cover up insecurities through mistaken gestures of love or lose ourselves in misguided attempts to find happiness through busyness, people pleasing, productivity or materialism.
We search for reassurance, validation and self-worth through other people’s approval, the numbers on a scale or they way our clothes fit us.
And still something remains missing.
Whether it be in large or small ways, these little bits of darkness that accumulate along the way begin to cloud our hearts and chip away at our self-worth, self-love and inner light.
But the truth is the world needs our brightness.
I know this because I know what it feels like when we go dim.
Our insides start to feel like a deserted musty old attic room that aches for a little sunlight and fresh air.
We start closing doors and boxing ourselves in.
We begin to feel like we are living in a way that is smaller than we actually are.
Maybe we have heard the little whisper in our heart or ringing softly in our ears reminding us that we are so much more than the present moment.
That our life and our deepest radiance is one of greatness and eternal love.
And if any of this holds true for us then we haven’t lost who we are and we are just finding our way.
Self-love is a fluid process that ebb and flows because it is changing and it is something we must work on daily.
If we aren’t familiar with the shift from inner criticism to celebrating our worth, there are many ways to start.
• We can start by honouring who and where we are.
Begin to learn about the messages we tell ourselves and gently consider where we find our worth.
Perhaps it comes from the attention we receive from the people around us, in our productivity, accomplishments or ability to please others.
Get curious about our sadness, internal pressures or constant worrying and perfectionism.
Maybe it is about making a decision to stop allowing our past to dictate our future while still honouring where we come from.
We can start by allowing ourselves to be exactly who we are in this moment without calling for a need to change or be anything different than we are and begin to know that who we are is enough and that we have everything within us to become everything we aspire to be.
• We get curious about who we are and who we pretend to be in order to meet other people’s expectations.
We start observing the comparisons we make or the put-downs we mutter about ourselves or others.
We watch our unkind judgments and assumptions of strangers and recognise that out perception of others is often a reflection of ourselves and the way we are feeling.
And during this process we give ourselves permission to gently exit people from our lives and make peace with the fact that some relationships and people are not meant for us.
We recognise that perhaps inner growth will take place in the letting go and the moving on.
It means we lean into the guilt we experience when saying no to others so that we can start to say yes to ourselves.
• We improve ourselves through kindness.
kindness towards our body and love to our soul.
Self-love is a practice that includes the way we view ourselves when we look into the mirror, the way we talk to ourselves in the secrecy of our mind and the way we nourish ourselves throughout our days.
The movement towards self love is showing ourselves the same compassion, understanding and kindness that we would treat our dearest friends.
It is a process of forgiving flaws and owning up to mistakes.
Maybe we are kind to ourselves by taking a nap in the middle of a sunday afternoon when the sun is shining into our window just right even though we have a million other things that needs to be done.
It is recognising that we are worthy and deserving of the happiness that comes our way and not allowing our mind to rob us of the joy, gratitude and contentment of the present moment out of fear of future what-if’s, anxieties and catastrophes.
• We practice things that brings us joy, calmness and energy.
We start listening to the quiet inner voice that knows our heart and the sweetness we need.
We begin prioritising our well-being and understand that we are capable of offering the purest love to others when we develop that same love for ourselves.
I honour my need for personal time and get curious about times when I feel anxious, incompetent or upset.
I share my insecurities and ease in to vulnerability.
When we practice self-love we become selective of the way we spend and give our time.
We stop collecting other people’s negativity and make a decision to be soft and patient with ourselves.
• We allow ourselves to heal even though healing can be uncomfortable.
Our individual experiences of healing will take different paths and different amount of time and all of it is necessary to our journey.
We welcome the raw and truthful expression of emotion and we promise to be gentle with ourselves as we grow.
There is no time limit on healing and we allow ourselves to take as long we need.
It will be a long and windy road filled with detours of disappointments or a return to old behaviours but we continue to try.
Sometimes self-love is about allowing ourselves to face our sadness and to sit with our feelings.
Sometimes self-love is recognising all that we have endured and looking for those little glimmers of hope that present themselves to us in the darkest moments.