For many of my clients, one of the most stubborn obstacles to healing, spiritual development, healthy relationships, and attaining higher consciousness is a lack of appreciation and love for oneself. What I’ve learned beyond a doubt is that the heart – an open, unrestricted and giving heart – is the key to everything. Love is the universal language that speaks to every problem and blasts every door wide open. Through this amazing physical and energetic portal in our chest we can connect with multidimensions, heal the deepest wounds, give and receive abundant love, and release the most profound joy.
But how many of us can say we truly love ourselves? Even now, after a lot of inner work, I can say honestly that I certainly like myself all the time but I can’t claim to remain in a constant state of self-love. I experience instances of truly loving myself, and those instances are lengthening, but like most of us I also tend to be my own worst critic. So it doesn’t take much to send me back into focusing only on the bits of me that I feel need improvement! From there it’s too easy to spiral further and further down into self-loathing, and from here it can seem impossible to get anywhere near a sense of love for yourself.
So how can you help yourself when you feel that you’re sliding into self-judgement and, as a result, are activating the lower vibrations which are so far removed from where you want to be?
Bring yourself back into the present. So often our bad feelings about ourselves are rooted in either dwelling on things we’ve done in the past, or worrying about mistakes we’ll make in the future. Bringing yourself back to the “now” moment immediately allows you to start afresh, free from both past experience and future expectation.
Raise your vibration by focusing on something you’re truly grateful for. It could be anything from a good night’s sleep, to the beautiful view from your window, to a steaming bowl of soup on a cold day. Allow your appreciation for whatever it is to fill you up on every level, and notice how much better you feel. There’s nothing like gratitude for opening the heart because gratitude resonates with the same frequency as love. Now you’re in a much better space from which to view yourself.
Choose one thing about yourself that you like and are grateful for. It could be a physical thing, like beautiful eyes or strong legs, or it could be a skill you acknowledge, such as being a good cook or having a quick mind. If you’re struggling to find anything positive about yourself, then simply be thankful for your breath, and the miraculous functioning of your lungs that keeps the life-giving air flowing effortlessly through your body. Being grateful for even a tiny part of you is a step closer to love.
Think about someone you love dearly and who loves you, and be aware of how your heart softens, warms and opens as your love flows towards this beloved. See yourself through their eyes, and feel the response of their heart and their love being returned to you. Too often we can be our harshest judge, unable to forgive or like ourselves for the smallest of imperfections that our loved ones don’t even register.
Visualise going through a normal day, seeing how your life weaves in and out of so many others through family, friends and work, and recognise the yawning gap your absence would create. It’s like treating yourself to watching “It’s a Wonderful Life”, only you’re being Clarence the angel and George Bailey at the same time! By the way, if you’ve never seen this movie then now is definitely the time, and even if you have it’s worth another watch given our subject matter! Understanding and sensing how your unique thread runs through a greater tapestry can be such a surprising and illuminating boost to your self-value. It also reminds you that you’re not existing in isolation, which is what we can tend to imagine when we’re not feeling good about ourselves.
Connect to your Higher Self who is your bridge to Source (I always imagine this as a star above my head from which I draw down the purest light into my heart). Through this connection, ask to feel and know the truth of the unconditional love Source has for you and all that you are. Know that you are loved beyond all measure just as you are in this moment…..nothing to change, nothing to improve, no question of “when I’ve mastered this or that”. To Source you are simply perfect, and simply loved. If you’re truly connected to this love, it’s impossible to remain in self-condemnation of any sort.
I’ve recorded a meditation to help you with the steps I’ve described here, which is up on Youtube: Meditation for Self-Appreciation.