On the journey to self-love

Written by Amie on September 27, 2009 – 4:09 pm -

Begin the journey to self love

I want to share with you a process that was very helpful to me. It is a process that will hopefully help you on your journey to self love.  When I did this process for the first time, I felt weird doing it because I was not used to taking the time to discover things that  I love about myself.  I had picked up the message that I shouldn’t give myself compliments, somehow doing this was selfish. I soon realized that being selfish can be a good thing. My description of selfish is more along the lines of taking the time to discover who you are and what you love about yourself. It was more about giving myself nurturing because that is what I needed at the time.  It can be a reminder that self love is very important to our well being. This process also reminded me that I have access to love at all times. Inside each of us, there is a limitless amount of love.

Things I love about myself

I made a list of things that I love about myself, and things that I want to learn to love about myself. The first time I did this, the list was short. It was not an easy process for me the first time. I also made a list of attributes that other people have told me they love about me. This was not easy either, because I tend to be the person who doesn’t always believe the nice things people say to me. I have done a lot of healing work around the idea of receiving as well, but that is a whole other process to talk about!  After writing everything down, I merged the three lists together onto one main list. I rewrote each attribute so that they read, “I love……and I finish each attribute. I made sure to write the sentences in the present tense, as if they are already true. For example, “I love myself because I am sensitive to other people’s feelings,” instead of writing, “I want to love myself because I am sensitive to other’s feelings”. I read them over to myself once silently. Then, I read them out loud to myself. Yes, this feels funny at first, but I did actually start enjoying it! I liked hearing my own voice saying nice things to myself. I write everything as if it is already true, since it is already true, we just need to be reminded of what we have forgotten.

Beautiful video that pairs Louise Hay affirmations with a song by Barbara Streisand

The nice voice starts making it to the surface

There were many times that I repeated these messages to myself several times a day. There were also times when my negative voice jumped in to doubt the process. I learned to tell it to just shut up. It took awhile, but I soon started giving myself a pat on the back every once in awhile. I would do something that felt really good, and instead of the voice beating me up, I started hearing a small voice that sounded pretty nice! It was amazing. It felt really good! The negative voice tried to drown out the nice one, but after a lot of practice (A LOT!) that little voice got stronger and louder. The more I worked on it, the more the little nice voice starting getting to the surface before the negative one. Most of the time now, the nice voice wins out. I’m not saying the negative voice never creeps in, because it definitely does, but it is getting less and less.

Make a promise

At the beginning of my journey, I needed to do processes like this one quite often. I made a promise to myself that I would keep working at it until I felt self love in my body. It is an on-going process, but I still do exercises like this every so often. It does help that I aware of the negative voices that like to sabotage the whole process. It is a battle for awhile, but I kept the promise to myself that I would keep at it until the voices learned to just take a back seat. I wanted to share this process with you because it has been a really important part of my journey to self love. It has been a journey! The steps are not always clear, and I do still have bad days, but they are much less and also less severe. We are all capable of loving ourselves and feeling joy. This is just one way to re-discover the love that has been there all along.

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Remove your armor

Written by Amie on September 23, 2009 – 1:07 am -

Insightful read

I just finished reading the book called “Expecting Adam”, by Martha Beck, and I want to share a part of it with you that I loved. I actually loved the whole book, it was so touching, so insightful, I was sad when I finished it. She wrote this book when she was expecting her son, who has Down Syndrome. It was about so much more than just her pregnancy. I highly recommend the book! Anyway, here is a quote that I absolutely love, and I find so inspiring.

Go On Naked!
“The way back to my real environment, the place where my soul was meant to exist, doesn’t lie through any set of codes I will ever find outside of myself. I have to look inward. I have to jettison every sorrow, every terror, every misconception, every lie that stands between my conscious mind and what I know in my heart to be true. Instead of clutching around me all of the trappings of a “good” person, a “successful” person, or even a “righteous” person, I have to be exactly what I am, and take the horrible chance that I may be rejected for it. I can’t get home by cloaking myself in the armor of any system; social, political, or religious. I have to strip off all that comforting armor and go on naked”.

italian_knight_armor

The armor starts early

I keep thinking about how most of us have been taught to believe so many things that are just not true. Most of these beliefs are taught to children the minute that a child starts doing something that adults deem “wrong”. The word “no” starts very young. The child gets frustrated because she is following her heart, but she is getting a message that she needs to please the adult. I wonder when this rule started? If I examine some of the “rules” that many families have, I can see that most of them are in place to make life easier for the adults. It really has nothing to do with whether or not the child is actually doing anything truly “wrong”. I’m not talking about obvious dangers here. Most of the conditioning that children receive (the armor they start growing) is due to the fact that they live in a world where adults are in power. Adults get to decide what is best for the child, even if the child is clearly saying that it is not what their inner voice is telling them is right for them.

Shut down the inner voice

The child then grows up questioning whether or not what they feel inside is really right, or if what they are feeling is bad. This leads to the child internalizing the message that something is very wrong with them, because they don’t feel the same way that the parent feels. If the parent tells them a certain thing, it must be right. So, the child learns to put on more armor, learning to cover up their true needs. I know that this is not intentional on the part of the adult, it is simply repeating what they learned.

Strip off the armor to let your true self out!

The good news is that we all have the opportunity to get back to our  “real environment”. The real self that has been hidden behind the armor. The armor that we use to protect our tender feelings. The armor that we were forced to grow so that we could shield ourselves from our own truth. Our own truth felt bad to us because we thought that in order to be “good”, or “successful”, or “nice”, we must conform to what the adults around us told us was right. Well, I am here to tell you that it is time to strip off the armor. You don’t need it anymore! Your true self is the “right” way! Really, it is. Your true self is the reason you are here in the first place. You only needed the armor because you were a child and you didn’t know there was a choice. There is a choice, and you can choose to reveal what is under the armor.

Who you are is you

I want everyone everywhere to know that their true self is perfect. It is “right”. Your true self is what will make you feel alive. When you strip off the armor, sure, there might be some bruises, but bruises heal. You were born perfect, you really were. There is nothing wrong with you, there never was. The misunderstanding came in the form of others telling you stories about yourself that were false. The verbal or non verbal stories were all made up. They were made up so that you would be “socialized”, and made into a good little citizen. You internalized the stories and came to believe them as completely true. They aren’t true, and you are free to believe what you want about yourself. Yes, it is a choice, and the choice is yours! It is okay to love yourself for exactly who you are, this is the way it was meant to be.

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