This week’s article is the first about self-love. I hope many will follow in time. Self-love is an important topic and – unfortunately – something we talk more about than we do the practice. For a long time, I made no difference. I was more focused on what other people wanted and how I could serve them better, especially in my career as a consultant. In time, I completely forgot who I was and what I wanted. It needed a good shake-up in the form of a spiritual awakening to have a close, honest look at myself. (Read more here.) What I found was anything but pleasant. I gave up counting patterns of self-sabotage years ago, so imagine they were plentiful. But the more I accepted responsibility for having made self-sabotaging choices and then having chosen differently, the more I understood about self-love. True self-love. Not the talking about it. For today, let me introduce you to three findings.
Self-Love Is Natural
One of the first poems I published on this site was Loving Myself. (read here) I wrote it back in 2019 when I had the first conscious realization that self-love is just that – natural. Yet, many of us were told as a child that loving ourselves is selfish and egotistical. Over time, this may develop into an unconscious belief we run our lives from. Even worse, many stop doing things that nurture us and keep us whole and healthy. Instead, we fragment ourselves by putting others constantly over our own needs.
Over the years, I have heard the “being selfish argument” repeatedly. But there is a difference between being in self-love and acting selfishly. Love never deprives anybody of anything. It’s all-inclusive. It means including YOU. Acting selfishly is not inclusive and is a way of energy stealing at work; you can best feel in your body. Leave a conversation, feeling drained. Rest assured, there was energy stealing at work.
Self-Love Is Never Lost
As I mentioned above, self-love has become a hype topic over the last few years. Rightfully so. Imagine a world in which everybody would love themselves. No wars, hardly any conflicts, and more cooperation and collaboration would lead the world to a better place than it is now. Imagine peace, abundance, unlimited creativity, and love for everybody. How beautiful would that be?
However, there is one thing I never cease to wonder about. There is the belief that you have to work to love yourself. That love has to be somehow achieved or attained. NO! That is not true at all! You never have to work for love, not even self-love. Especially not self-love. Love IS. It never gets lost, but often it gets “dusted over” with beliefs. That’s what we see everywhere because it has been made so normal. But it’s not. Love is love. Period. Do you want access to self-love? Dust away your (false) beliefs and assumptions. You’ll find love is right there. And yes, I was baffled, too, when I got aware of it. I even wrote a haiku about it.
never beg for love
it’s been with you all along
perhaps you forgot
Self-Love Is Unconditional
And this brings me to the last point, which seamlessly weaves into what I wrote above. But it needs to be mentioned separately. Self-love is unconditional. Always and without exception. And it’s all-encompassing. Again, you don’t have to work to love yourself. In all honesty, what kind of self-love would that be if you had to work for it? All it does is that the very work keeps you in a mental rut of constantly judging yourself. But self-love doesn’t know judgment.
However, there is one thing you have to learn, and that is embracing what you consider your flaws or your shadows. Yes, your shades want to be loved, too. By the way, loving your shadows is the fastest way to integrate them – and love yourself even more! And there is no end to self-love. It gets deeper and richer in many ways we can’t even think of.
I will elaborate more on different points in the future. May it be in articles or more poetry. If you have questions or feedback, you can always reach out here. If you love community, sign up for the newsletter and follow me on Instagram. I’d love to have you around!
Have a wonderful week full of self-love!
Nicole Erika is a self-realized writer and coach who reminds you of the Ease Of Creation and the Joy of Self-Expression.