Had you asked me just a few years ago if I loved myself, I would have scoffed and turned my nose up at you.
“Of course I love myself. Do I look like a woman who doesn’t love or value myself?”
Well, no. On the outside, I didn’t. I exuded confidence, took good care of my emotional and physical well-being, and had a healthy self-esteem.
The truth was, until I delved deeper into my spiritual practice, I wasn’t even aware of all the ways that I put myself down, didn’t honor my needs or boundaries, and failed to take a stand for myself because somewhere underneath all that forced confidence, I felt “less than.”
When I was doing some deep healing work during my divorce, my best friend often challenged me when I was upset over another incident in my life that I felt was “wrong” or “unfair.” She would put the ownership back on me and say one of these phrases:
“When you really learn to love yourself, you won’t need anyone’s validation anymore.”
“When you truly learn to love yourself for everything you are and everything you aren’t, you won’t be in this kind of pain.”
I would argue with her that I did love myself, dammit! But it wasn’t until I did the more intrinsic work, spent a lot of time alone, and stopped giving my power to someone else or asking for their validation to make me feel okay about just being me that I truly started to love myself.
Sometime in the past year, I saw how far I’d come and all the areas of my life where I had finally learned to step up and meet myself fully.
Now, when I work with clients and I see where they’re struggling, more often than not it’s directly connected to where they aren’t loving and honoring themselves that is creating the pain and suffering in their lives.