The most loving thing you can do is allow your self-hatred. Anytime you resist your own honesty, anytime you resist where you are or who you are at any given moment, you are resisting yourself. You are saying “no” to your authenticity. It’s that resistance that is unloving. If you really love yourself or if you have the desire to, you will allow what is real in the moment. You cannot get to a place of self-love by resistance and judgment. You get there by honoring EVERYTHING that is there.
You can say “I love you” in front of your mirror and that might a healthy start if you were brainwashed to believe you were unlovable. It’s interesting to try it. It might make you cry and realize you’re not so bad after all. You can stop the self-deprecating self-flagellating language and create new language that matches what you really are at the core which is love and innocence. But after a while of this new positive self-talk, there may come a time where if you don’t actually believe the positive self-talk, you are doing more harm than good. This happened to me. If this happens to you, then you need to start being honest and respect where you are with yourself.
I hate myself.
I can’t do anything right.
I am trash.
I am nothing.
I am ugly.
I am fat.
I am stupid.
If the above feels right and you feel this self-hate as far as you can, you will notice that the love for yourself grows organically over time. Self-love happens through a process and for this process to even take place at all, we have to be real with ourselves and say out loud how we REALLY feel honoring our PRESENT state. We talk about living in the moment. If you hate yourself in the moment, run with it. See where it takes you. The pretense of self-love will only take you so far until you hit a wall and are forced to face your authenticity. And it’s that genuine respect for where you are in the NOW that facilities ACTUAL self-love.
Telling people to “just love yourself” does not work. There are no magic buttons we can press to make self-love without the emotional process and the authentic work to get there.
I love the song, “Creep” by Radiohead because it is exactly how I (a part of me) feels about myself if I am brutally honest. When I let this song in all the way, I feel a positive vibrational shift because this is where I am right now. And it is my duty to honor it because that is what love does. And that is how we should treat not only ourselves, but each other. We need to honor and respect where others are and you might even be surprised one day that the same person you were preaching to is actually where you are as well. So if we start to surrender to where we are, it becomes easier to surrender to where others are.
A checklist of how we know we truly love ourselves:
–You accept people as they are and where they are on their journeys. (This is not saying you should tolerate abusive people.)
–You have compassion for everyone — not just those who are like-minds.
–You don’t just appreciate those who are just like you, but you can appreciate those who are your opposite as well. (This is not saying you should tolerate abusive people.)
–You don’t condemn how you used to behave, think, feel, eat and live in general. You remember how you used to be and feel compassion and love for your old self.
How we feel about others is a perfect measuring stick as to how we feel about ourselves. When we love all parts of ourselves (even the parts we are ashamed of), only then can we appreciate all aspects of others including their own darkness and limitations. (This does not suggest you lose discernment in friendships!)
This process is tricky since we have more than one aspect to ourselves. And they might be conflicted with one another. We might think we like ourselves because intellectually, it makes sense, but another part of ourselves may not be on board. It’s one thing to think you love yourself and it’s another thing to actually EMBODY self-love.
Let go of the pretenses of self-love and learn to be OK with where you are.