Self-Love is kind of “the thing” right now. Have you noticed? And yet, for thousands of years, ancient wisdom traditions have been teaching that everything we think we need is already inside and available to us.
The belonging we crave? That’s available to us when we know how to love ourselves.
The sense of worthiness we hustle and work so hard for? We embody it in every cell of our body when we know how to love ourselves.
All of the abundance and love we so desperately try to manifest? We suddenly realize it surrounds and envelopes us when we know how to love ourselves.
Connection is available. Wealth is available. Expansion, beauty, total wellness, loving relationships, confidence, freedom, time, energy, vitality – it’s all available to us when we know how to love ourselves.
Great! So how do we DO that??
I gotcha covered. Here are 3 Simple Steps to Loving the Hell Out of Yourself:
- Be Amazed at the Wonder that you Are
Look, I know there are times in our life when we feel anything but Wonder-full. So, just stick with me okay? Because this step is super important (and we’ll talk about the parts that feel challenging to love in Step 2)
“The eyes through which we are seen become the eyes with which we see ourselves.” – Stephen Cope
It can be really hard to Love ourselves when we constantly remember the trauma of being criticized, corrected, and rejected. Parents, peers, siblings, and society and general. Chances are most of us didn’t make it into adulthood with a total set of Loving Eyes.
We’ve got to create them ourselves. Ready??
What do you love about yourself? What do you sort of kind of like about yourself?
Do you love your eyes? Awesome – TELL your eyes you love them.
Do you know you’re an amazing friend? Say it OUT LOUD! I’m an amazing friend and I love that part of me!
Claim it. Own it. Love it. Write yourself a love letter, dance it out, tell a friend. Allow yourself to feel silly, uncomfortable, and like a weirdo. And then love those parts too. Blow that Loving feeling up as big as you can. Fill your whole body with it!
No part of you is too small or too big. Find anything that’s available for celebration and LOVE it.
Have you accomplished something in your life? Love the part of you that:
- finished school
- quit a soul killing job
- can solve a Rubix cube
It ALL counts!
If you truly cannot think of one single teeny tiny thing that you can celebrate and love about yourself, then start with something more neutral until you can work up to Full On Celebration and Love.
For instance, you could celebrate the part of you curious and open enough to read this. That’s totally worth loving. Really.
- Make space for your Shadow
I hope you really went for it with Step 1 – Celebrating and Expanding on what you already Love. Because you’ll want to bring those Loving Eyes with you to this part of the process.
You know all of those things you love about yourself? They have a Shadow. They also represent a part of you that you’re probably scared or ashamed to see, let alone love.
Love your eyes? Well, to unconditionally Love yourself, you’ll need to look at what you hate too. The part of you that’s disgusted. And the part of you that thinks you “shouldn’t” feel this way.
Did you claim your Amazingness as a Friend? Time to look at the parts of you that don’t show up to the friendship party. Maybe you can hear in the back of your mind your mom’s voice saying “It’s not all about you, you know.” That’s the Selfish part of you. Yikes – that part needs love too!
Our Shadow is a little tougher to see. A great place to start this process is by paying attention to what you judge in others. Tack on three little words – just like me – to your judgements and you’ll quickly develop a tight relationship with your Shadow.
She’s so mean! Just like Me.
He’s so stupid! Just like me.
What an ass! Just like me.
Well, hell. Now I see the Shadow, but I feel like crap about myself!
That’s where those Loving Eyes come back in! There’s a part of me that’s ugly, mean, selfish, stupid, and an ass. And I choose to Love that part of me unconditionally.
The truth is – these Shadow parts are exiles. Wounded parts of ourselves that have been shamed, beaten, hurt, and stuffed into our subconscious because somehow we got the idea that these parts aren’t worthy of ours or anyone else’s love.
I like to put on my most Loving Eyes and invite these parts of myself to tea (large fancy hat not required, but encouraged). I imagine that I’m opening my home (my heart) to this wounded part of me that really just wants to be heard and loved. I ask this part to sit down with me and tell me what he or she wants me to know. I summon all the Love and compassion I can and I tell this part: I see you and I love you.
Which brings me to the 3 (and most important) Step
- Embody Your Love
Words have power – absolutely. Saying OUT LOUD you Love all these wonderfully rich and diverse and complicated parts of yourself is liberating and and empowering! And it’s a great and necessary first step.
Say it LOUD. Say it PROUD!
Want to take that Self Love thing up a notch and REALLY make sure it sticks though?
Embody your Love. Find a way to put your Love into Action.
Here’s what I mean…
Having some trouble loving your Body? DO something really loving for your Body – LISTEN to your body and do what it asks.
Now, skooch closer, cause this part is important…
Don’t do what you think you “should” do to love your body. Don’t immediately head to the gym or meal prep boiled chicken and broccoli for the month.
Stop. Take a few deep breaths. And ask your body: What would be the most loving thing I could do for you right now?
Then do that.
It might be a massage or dancing in your living room. It might be a nap! It might be a good cry. Don’t question it, just do it.
And then do it again. And again and again and again. Set the intention to check in with your body and do what feels most loving for it.
I see clients squirm a little when I suggest that we continually tune in and DO what our bodies or these exiled parts are asking for. We’re used to “whipping ourselves into shape.” We buy into the idea that, left to our own devices we will naturally misbehave.
This shows up as one of our Blocks (I said this was simple, not easy) Don’t worry. I’m going to talk about what keeps us from Loving the Hell Out of Ourselves.
Okay, that’s it!
3 Simple Steps to Loving the Hell out of Yourself!
But if it’s that simple, why isn’t everyone Loving the Hell Out of Themselves all the time??
Because most of us have some blocks that get in the way of these Simple Steps.
Block #1 – We’re running old programs that tell us parts of us are Good or Bad.
From an early age, we’re told our behavior is Good or Bad. Our emotions are good or bad. Our attitude is good or bad. Our taste in music is Good or Bad. Sound familiar?
Even the so-called enlightenment or spiritual gurus out there have a disturbing tendency to categorize parts of us as Good or Bad. They really love to tell us our Ego is bad. It’s not, by the way.
If we can liberate ourselves from this dualistic thinking, we can relax into the Truth of what we’ve come here on earth to embody: Pure, unconditional Love that includes ALL the parts of the WHOLE.
Block #2 – We can’t see the parts we don’t want to see.
This is the Shadow. As the name implies, it’s tough to see. The parts of us in exile are hanging out in the subconscious, which is, ya know, below our awareness. To find all the parts – to really KNOW yourself – you’ve got to do a little spelunking and bring these parts into the light of your consciousness.
This can be, to put it mildly, an uncomfortable process. It helps to have those Loving Eyes we talked about earlier. And if you can’t get your Loving Eyes to see your Shadow, you might have to borrow the Loving Eyes of a coach, a loved one, or support group.
One of the most profound and powerful tools for Shadow work is playing with your Dreams. Your dreams come to you every single night and offer an invitation for you to love another exiled part of you back into the whole. Sharing your dreams with a mentor or a group has been one of the most transformational pieces of work I’ve encountered. You can’t hide when you do Dream work. Your dreams don’t bullshit a bullshitter and witnesses to your dreams will lovingly hunt your exiled parts down and invite you to step into your Wholeness.
Block # 3 – We don’t put our money where our mouth is.
We skip the embodiment piece and rely only on the Think System (cue the Minuet in G). To Know Yourself and Love the Hell Out of Yourself, you’ve got to literally reprogram your body. You’ve got to wear new neural grooves in your brain.
You’ve got to release the issues from your tissues. Our body is the container for our Story. All your beliefs about who you are and whether or not that person is loveable is stored in your body.
When you Embody your Love, you are reprogramming your CELLS. Your cells!
If that’s just a little too much for you to buy into, let’s just leave it here: Until you ACT like you love yourself, your brain will call bullshit no matter how many times you give lip service to Self Love. Your system will keep running the unconscious behaviors that reflect what you REALLY believe. And the cycle continues.
For this block, I find it helps to create a Plan – I love me a good plan! We habitually act out our unconscious beliefs. To change that, we have intentionally act out our conscious beliefs. How do I do that? I decide on an intention, make some space in my life to bring in something new, and make a plan to follow through.
Getting support and encouragement with this makes it so much easier! Find an accountability partner, a coach, or a Master Mind group that’s willing to lovingly support you in your Plan to Love the Hell Out of Yourself!
There’s no shortage of information out there on how to Love Yourself. You probably have some answers bubbling up inside you right now. The tough part of this whole journey is the navigation between Doing and Allowing, between Courage and Vulnerability, between Loving Yourself exactly as you are and asking parts of you to step up and Love yourself more.
If you could use some help and support with this part of the equation, Check out my 3 Week program Find Out What You’re Made Of PLUS.