Jack and Diane are on a casual coffee date…
Jack: “What kind of man are you looking for?”
Diane: “Do you really want to know?”
Diane: “As a woman in this day and age, I am in a position where I’d like to know what you can you do for me that I can’t do for myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man…. or woman for that matter. So, I’d like to know what can you bring to the table?
Diane: “I am not referring to money. I need something more. I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life.”
Jack: “Go on..”
Diane: “I need someone who is striving for cerebral excellence because I need engaging conversation and mental stimulation. I don’t need a simple-minded man. I need someone who is striving for spiritual excellence, someone who gets that it’s all about love because I don’t need to be unequally yoked. I need a man who is striving for financial excellence because I definitely don’t need a financial burden. I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand my dreams and desires, but strong enough to keep me grounded. I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game playing are not my idea of a strong man. I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader and mentor and make decisions based on the greater good.”
Diane: “I need someone who I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn’t taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive…he just has to be worthy.”
Jack: “OK then”
Diane: “And by the way, I am not looking for him…He will find me. He will recognise himself in me. He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me. I can’t help a man if he can’t help himself. True Self-Love comes first.”
Jack: “You’re asking a lot.”
Diane: “I’m worth it.”
“It took many years of vomiting up all the filth I’d been taught about myself, and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.”
What Jack didn't know...
About a year and a half ago, Diane went through a horrific breakup that almost killed her. She had devoted so much of her energy to making the relationship work that she had completely neglected her own needs. She found herself in a place where she had given away her power and responsibility for her own happiness.
When she finally developed the courage to end this addictive and painful relationship, Diane had to live with the effects of lack of self-love. She struggled to eat, sleep, or continue her daily functioning. Every waking hour, Diane delved deep into understanding how and why she had ended up here. She simply had to know because, whatever it was, if she couldn’t fix it, she knew this would be the end of her. Diane became a seeker of knowledge which can only be gained through long periods of solitude – knowledge that comes from within.
During this time, Diane found places in her story where she was not actually present in her own life, her body, or her spirit. She was just there. Diane discovered the places where she had abandoned herself and then projected anger at the other person for not meeting her needs. Intellectually she knew that we can’t pour from an empty cup. The truth was, she didn’t have a big enough inner container to hold the love she so desired even if she did receive it, because Diane’s self-love tank had shrunk down to the size of a bottle cap.
It finally became very clear to her that there was one core reason she had arrived at this place: Diane did not know anything about self-love. This realisation launched Diane into a relentless search for the meaning of self-love, internally and externally. She discovered that self-love is a not a destination; it’s a practice. Self-love is the foundation on which we build a happy life. Without self-love, we have nowhere to put the love or abundance that comes to us.
What Diane didn’t know...
During their conversation, Jack’s mind was erupting with questions. He puzzled how can you learn how to love yourself more when your mind is literally at war with itself? What if you don’t even like what you see in the mirror? How can you learn how to love yourself when your environment is positively toxic and depressing? What if you never had positive role models? How can you learn how to love yourself more when people label you as being selfish and neglectful? How, how, how?
If only Jack knew about the Pure Element 5 – Pure Gold blog! We would say to Jack that in order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you. You are allowed to be both a masterpiece and a work in progress simultaneously. There’s no need to be perfect to inspire others. Let others be inspired by how you deal with your imperfections. Falling in love with yourself first doesn’t make you vain or selfish. It makes you indestructible! Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day and the rest will fall into place.
“To the people who love you, you are beautiful already. This is not because they’re blind to your shortcomings but because they so clearly see your soul. Your shortcomings then dim by comparison. The people who care about you are willing to let you be imperfect and beautiful, too.”
It’s All About Love
If there is only one lesson you learn this entire year, let it be this: You are absolutely the most important person in your universe. Your entire life is lived through your eyes. Your interactions with the world and those around you, your thoughts and how you interpret events, relationships, actions, and words. When it comes to your understanding of reality, you are the only thing that matters.
And because of that, your reality totally depends on how much you love and take care of you. Your relationship with yourself is the most defining factor in shaping the kind of life you live. The less you love yourself, listen to yourself, and understand yourself, the more confused, angry, and frustrating your reality will be.
When you begin and continue to love yourself more, everything you see, everything you do, and everyone you interact with, becomes a little bit better in every way possible. Self-love doesn’t mean that everyone will treat you the way you deserve to be treated. It means that you won’t let them change the way you see yourself; nor will you stick around for them to destroy you.
“How would your life be different if…You stopped allowing other people to dilute or poison your day with their words or opinions? Let today be the day…You stand strong in the truth of your beauty and journey through your day without attachment to the validation of others”
But self-love isn’t easy. Whenever we do something below expectation, we can fall into the anxiousness of not being good enough, judging ourselves harshly instead of appreciating ourselves for what we did do. We are programmed to have bouts of self-loathing and, for many of us, these phases of self-hatred can turn into our entire lives. It’s when we spend more time hating ourselves than we do loving ourselves that we adopt a more negative disposition of the world.
Practicing self-love can be challenging for many of us, especially in times when we face serious challenges. It’s not about being self-absorbed or narcissistic, it’s about getting in touch with ourselves, our well-being and our happiness. We practice self-love so we can push through our limiting beliefs and live a life that truly shines. Demonstrate love by giving it, unconditionally, to yourself. And as you do, you will attract others into your life who will love you without conditions.
“Document the moments you feel most in love with yourself – what you’re wearing, who you’re around, what you’re doing. Recreate and repeat.”
5 Self-Love Practices You Can Do Today!
Interrupt negative repetitive patterns. Interrupt the pattern by doing, saying or thinking the opposite of the original pattern.
2. Practice showing yourself compassion and kindness as you learn. Begin by smiling at yourself in the mirror and giving yourself a compliment.
3. Think about your most favourite thing. Feel that feeling and sit with that level of joy. Expand it through your heart space and see it expand your tank of self-love.
4. Reach out for support when you need it. The ego cannot ask for help. Sharing your thoughts and feelings can lighten your load.
5. Stand up for yourself. What is a deal-breaker for you? What are your deeply cherished values? What are your boundaries? Explore what your needs are and respect them by being your own advocate.
“As I began to love myself I found that anguish and emotional suffering are only warning signs that I was living against my own truth. Today, I know, this is “AUTHENTICITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood how much it can offend somebody if I try to force my desires on this person, even though I knew the time was not right and the person was not ready for it, and even though this person was me. Today I call it “RESPECT”.
As I began to love myself I stopped craving for a different life, and I could see that everything that surrounded me was inviting me to grow. Today I call it “MATURITY”.
As I began to love myself I understood that at any circumstance, I am in the right place at the right time, and everything happens at the exactly right moment. So I could be calm. Today I call it “SELF-CONFIDENCE”.
As I began to love myself I quit stealing my own time, and I stopped designing huge projects for the future. Today, I only do what brings me joy and happiness, things I love to do and that make my heart cheer, and I do them in my own way and in my own rhythm. Today I call it “SIMPLICITY”.
As I began to love myself I freed myself of anything that is no good for my health – food, people, things, situations, and everything that drew me down and away from myself. At first I called this attitude a healthy egoism. Today I know it is “LOVE OF ONESELF”.
As I began to love myself I quit trying to always be right, and ever since I was wrong less of the time. Today I discovered that is “MODESTY”.
As I began to love myself I refused to go on living in the past and worrying about the future. Now, I only live for the moment, where everything is happening. Today I live each day, day by day, and I call it “FULFILLMENT”.
As I began to love myself I recognised that my mind can disturb me and it can make me sick. But as I connected it to my heart, my mind became a valuable ally. Today I call this connection “WISDOM OF THE HEART”.
We no longer need to fear arguments, confrontations or any kind of problems with ourselves or others. Even stars collide, and out of their crashing new worlds are born. Today I know “THAT IS LIFE”!”