Self-love is an elusive and yet important skill. It is what we may refer to as self-respect but it goes much further than that.
Self-love is the absence of any negativity towards the self. It is opening up the lungs of your understanding of self to breathe in your worthiness – a worthiness sent to you by the Universe**.
Self-love is ACCEPTING this worthiness as being true. It is erasing all self-doubt hat the Universe pays close attention to you, to you who are so special and so dear to Them. To you who are their divine child. It is releasing it and letting it go and receiving the love of the Universe.
Self-love is building this same full hearted, unconditional love for yourself. You are the self whom you will be with for all of eternity so you need to learn to live with and, over time, love and cherish yourself.
Self-love requires overcoming the conditioning of a lifetime – one passed down by family, taught to you by society and that you created in your own head. Conditioning that made you believe you are not worthy of love.
Self-love allows you to realize that being your harshest critic is not your job – society and other people do that job very well already. You are to be your biggest proponent, defender, lover, adorer and cheerleader. You are to align yourself with and begin to exude towards yourself the love that the Universe has for you. The Universe is so very touched by and adores you – even with, or because of, your imperfections, regrets, secrets, insecurity and self-disregard. It wants only for you to be as happy with yourself and accepting of yourself as They are of you.
Self-love may be the work of a lifetime or it may happen quicker – your work is to let go and accept the love of the Universe for you. To learn how to mimic this love by speaking to yourself the way the Universe speaks to you – with nothing but love, tenderness, care, concern, rapt attention and joy!
** I use the phrase the Universe/They/Them to speak of the unknowable divine essence who created and cares for us, but please feel free to replace this with God, Allah, Jehovah, the Almighty, the Great Spirit, Goddess or whatever resonates the most with you.
"This next week, pretend you are complete. There is no need to expect anything from yourself or to criticize or judge or change anything about you. No need to compete with anyone, no need to be more than you are (or less than you are).
Note your experience. Notice how much pleasure, kindness, and patience you can allow yourself to have with yourself."
The Yamas & Niyamas: Exploring Yoga’s Ethical Practice, Deborah Adele