Are you able to look in the mirror most days and genuinely feel love for the beautiful person looking back at you? Are you able to love the heart expressed through those eyes? Are you able to feel complete forgiveness and compassion for that dear person? Are you able to look at them and smile?
This is what self-love is about. So often, too often, it is mistakenly called selfish. What is selfish about feeling positive and loving towards the person you see in that mirror each day? Nothing. Nothing!
To reach a place of such peace takes many tears, much soul stretching, the shattering of conditioning, and the courage of surrender. To ride that boat through the storms to reach such tranquil waters on the other side can be hard work.
There is nothing selfish about it. It is courageous. It is also essential. Yet self-love, sadly, does not come naturally to many adults, despite it coming naturally to children. You were once one of those too. So there is a place within you that does know how to love yourself unconditionally, to cheer yourself on, to believe in yourself 100%, to honour your own needs.
A place exists within that is your true home. It is a place of peace. When you dwell there, you feel gratitude for being who you are, for being able to create and honour the life you are called for. It can take years to strip back the layers of conditioning, to unravel how your subconscious mind has translated past reactions into belief systems.
It doesn’t actually matter how long it takes. What matters is that this is the destination you shape your life around. Every conscious choice in the direction of your heart’s calling is an act of self-love. One gentle step at a time is fine, more than fine. It is perfect. Move at the pace that fits your readiness. But move, none-the-less, in the right direction. Make choices. Take steps. And little by little, you connect more strongly with that core of peace within. It is calling you home into yourself.
When you feel that shift and start to feel more at ease in giving to yourself in this manner, confidence grows and the opinions of others lose importance. Once the voice of your own heart is heard, there is no silencing it. In fact, the more courage you show in honouring it, the clearer it speaks. It comes alive with excitement, knowing that at last, you are on your way, you are moving in the right direction.
There are bumps along the road, sure. There can be some pretty big pot-holes too. But the destination becomes more and more enticing. Each glimpse of light radiating from your heart offers a beacon of strength.
Along the way, without there necessarily being a specific moment noticed, it also begins speaking about serving others. The heart wants to serve. But it doesn’t want you to do so unless you first learn to serve yourself with love.
Your heart’s calling will always include the desire to make a positive difference in the lives of others. To do so authentically and in a balanced way, though, you do need to learn how to genuinely honour your own needs first. This not only ensures that you don’t end up in a heap of emotional and physical exhaustion, but that you serve with ease and joy.
Ease and joy – that is the both the destination and the reward of the path of self-love. Ease, because you are treating yourself lovingly, moving forward more gently without pressure. And joy, because you are then able to serve others from a place of peace and balance, in a way that your heart guides.
The path of self-love is the way home into yourself. It is a brave journey of gentleness and surrender. It is a destination of peace.
I wish you courage.
I wish you peace.