The Ugly Truth About Self-Love (you’ve probably been thinking about it wrong)
I look back at times when I thought I had big beautiful principles down like surrender, and getting out of my own way, and unconditional love, and I am astounded at how I didn’t get it, at how much more deeply I get it now, and how I can probably “get it” more in the future.
Self-love, being authentic, and listening to my heart were conceptual for me, but not a way of being that filtered my life.
I still (unknowingly) looked to outside circumstances and relationships for my validity, happiness, and okay-ness in the world. I still chronically self-abandoned and ignored my inner Knowing. I still couldn’t stand for and navigate life from a deep, abiding place of personal Truth –– then trust that life would organically shape itself around me in supportive and nourishing ways.
And then, as if miraculously, after 17 years of living “awake,” the perfect storm of chaos, depletion, and being sick of myself ushered in downloads of insight, as Wisdom whispered in my ear: “it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself, it’s time to admit things to yourself that you haven’t wanted to look at.”
I realized that I had been consuming personal empowerment at the expense of getting intimate with myself and my most honest citizens: pain, shame, and fear. I realized that I was talking about “my stuff,” but that I was avoiding the discomfort inherent in healing. I realized that I still put the job of approving of me in the world’s hands, with its external cues of safety, security, and lovability.
And here is the really important part: I realized that just because I was living “awake” didn’t mean it was all rainbows and perfect love all the time.
Self-love doesn’t mean we won’t ever have to do anything we don’t enjoy doing again. It isn’t a shortcut to some pain-free grand finale. It isn’t a back-stage pass to a blissed-out fireworks show. It doesn’t mean an existence without any setbacks or heartbreaks or struggle. There is no spiritual formula that will make us immune to being human.
But there is one profound difference now, that had not been there before: if the truth was that nothing was going to “save” me or guarantee outcomes, or wash away my humanness, then what was the greatest gift I could give myself?
I could figure out how to fall in love with my life and with being fully human now. I could figure out how to get wholeheartedly intimate with all my darkness and face my pain without making it life’s job to soothe me or give me permission. And I could figure out a way to show myself endless compassion, even when my mind tried to tell me “things should be different.”
Everything is purposeful on some level. It’s all a journey into a deeper unfolding where we keep being shown more Grace, more love, and more light-filled truths when we act in ways that ultimately serve our own unique “spark of God.” (isn’t that beautiful? It’s from one of my most special friends Morgan Wade)
The big gift or secret we’re all looking for is a promise from ourselves to never abandon ourselves; to listen to our own knowing, to honor our unique Truths all the time, even when it doesn’t make sense.
Wholeness and self-love are not new-age paradigms you pursue to get the “gifts” of life or to outsmart your humanity. THE GIFT you get is union with your most honest self, so you can enjoy your human journey without having to wait for some love, some arrival, some status or some outside situation to let you know you are loved and you are okay.
Truth teller, Spiritual myth buster, Inner Relationship coach
My commitment is to be as human with you, as is humanly possible over the internet while I break down overly simplistic, reductive, self-help and spiritual teachings. Join me for monthly updates, stock my Instagrammeanderings, and get access to the Wholehuman™ tribe, a soulful support tribe for real-life healing, relationships, and self-love –– with a side of you’re a bad ass, we won’t let you forget it, and maybe some virtual booty dancing.