Question: Recently, a very heartfelt and beautiful woman asked me, “I know that I am supposed to love who I am, and I try to take care of myself and my body, but how do I really feel the love…like, feel it deep down inside?” This incredible woman shared with me that she was a wife and the mother of a young child. She felt like her identity was so wrapped up in being a wife and mother that she hadn’t discovered how to love herself, how to learn who she was, and how to feel completely fulfilled in her life as a woman. I was so appreciative to her for asking this question, as I know this is a question many of you have, and a question I had for a looooong time myself. So….here’s the best answer I’ve got…
Answer: Loving yourself is about a deep appreciation for your life. It’s about forgiving yourself…letting go of the ought-tos and the shame. It’s about unclenching your fists and letting go of the idea that things could have been any different. Loving yourself is about being honest with yourself, and welcoming in all the parts of yourself that you have previously hated. Self-Love is about giving your 18-year-old self the microphone and listening to what she has to say to you, even if it is painful. It is about saying “I’m sorry for abandoning you” to yourself for all the times you left yourself out to dry.
Now that I have told you what loving yourself looks like…let me tell you what loving yourself feels like.
When you love yourself, you feel a warm body buzz, an aliveness that radiates from your core outward into the space you are standing. It feels like you just got back home from a long and exhausting trip, the relief is palpable. Loving yourself feels like you can finally stop searching for that “thing” you’ve been missing forever…because you found it in your own body, in your own heart. Loving and appreciating who you are, just as you are, feels like you are perfectly balanced, perfectly aligned, and perfectly honest in that moment.
Now that I’ve told you what loving yourself feels like…let me tell you how to feel it.
You feel self-love by actively forgiving yourself. Loosen your grip on what you think should have happened, on how you should look, what type of job you should have…loosen your grip and begin to let these things fly away. Once you can see them floating off into the distance, what is left is you, just you..and you are love. Once it’s just you and love…you can begin to feel the love...and before you know it, you are making decisions throughout your day that are being decided from a place of love and abundance, instead of from a place of blame, scarcity, and lack. Your perspective has changed; therefore your entire life has changed. Watch what happens!