Updated: Jul 10, 2020
Self love might feel selfish. Or contrived or weird. But it's actually a crucial component to healing ourselves from pain and trauma. It is the key to worthiness, conscious living, connected relationships and is how we get to overall happiness and fulfillment in life.
What is self-love exactly? When you honor and really see yourself, you view your vulnerabilities with compassion rather than self-doubt and shame. You accept the pretty parts and the not so pretty parts and embrace them fully as the beautiful unique whole that makes up you. When we chose to dissolve shame with understanding and compassion, we are able to rise from trauma and hurt, grow from our pain and radiate our best authentic selves to the world and those around us. This acceptance of our whole selves allows us to connect on a real, soul level without fear or reservation. You can be confidently, unapologetic-ally, beautiful, authentic you. And if you are self aware enough to acknowledge and share your own feelings, it will open the way for others to do the same, which is where you get to deep trust and connection.
Looking back at my pre-divorce life, I really didn't know what self-love was. I wasn't that in tuned to personal growth and living my truth. I wasn't against it, I just didn't know much about it. Internally, I had a set of defined core values, but I wasn't living a life true to them. And I wasn't intentional.
Sometimes it takes a total tear down - reconstruction of our lives to see our truth in raw, unfiltered, vulnerable honesty. The funny thing is that once we get there, and really see that part of ourselves and then when we start feeling the really real feelings, that is when we can get to understanding the whys and move towards healing. That is where we become stronger, we grow, we develop understanding and can work on creating a life of authenticity which is where the real self acceptance and connection lies.
The best part about finding self love is that the key is right within each one of us- which means we have access to it anytime we are ready to go find it. But that also means that it is on us to do the work. Sometimes it takes big trauma and pain like divorce to force us to put on that lens and really see ourselves. As they say - "It is only through the cracks that the light can come in." How incredibly true that can feel.
Divorce is a time when we question everything. We question our decisions, our relationships, our path in life, our choices, our happiness, our lives, our selves. It's not a place anyone really wants to be and sometimes we are here because of someone else’s decision to move on. It will bring forth every insecurity you have and you will have moments of terrible loneliness different from any other time in your life.
Understandably, at this time we are often confused about who we are and struggle with our self worth. Our identities are often heavily tied to who we were in the marriage and as a family. As it turns out, this time of raw hurt is the perfect opportunity to look within and tap into your own truth. It is here and now, in this specific moment, that we can most clearly see and access our true selves including our wounds and pain. That is the beautiful and terrifying opportunity of it. You can see the wounds clearly if you choose to look at them. And it is when we see our wounds, that we can finally acknowledge, accept and forgive them and eventually have the power to heal them with love for ourselves so that we can let go and move on from them with a whole heart.
Looking at your truth and healing your wounds is going to look a little different for everyone, just starting with openness to look within and do the work is a crucial first step. Your journey may require professional guidance with a therapist, meditation, time alone to think and reflect, books, writing in a journal, yoga, running, new hobbies or inspiration like painting, hiking or traveling as mediums to really come to know yourself on a deep soul level and find the parts of you that need some work.
When we treat ourselves with love and dig into our insecurities and needs, we can create a blueprint for how we want to live and what we need for our hearts to feel safe and loved. When we are able to redefine our needs clearly, and surround ourselves with a life that supports those needs, we are honoring yourselves. We can then learn to overcome our blocks and release the fear and doubts because we are aware of them. This is the first step to healing, becoming whole and embarking on a journey of a self-aware, intentional life. It is not easy work, but is a journey you won't ever regret.