The Key to Self-Love: Be Your Real Self
Self-love. You read about it, you dabble in it, and then you “quit” it in pursuit of bettering yourself with potions, promotions, and critical self-talk.
Judging yourself is learned behavior, not innate. You come into this world as the most glorious and perfect expression of life. There is no-thing like you. The unique way you move your body, form your words, express your ideas, and share your talent is perfect.
Guess what? That doesn’t change just because you’re no longer a baby.
But at some very early age, you were likely encouraged to tone it down, hold back, reel it in…in other words, suppress your self-expression. The challenge is that the YOU that is being held back and suppressed is magical, extraordinary, and in fact, your super soul that is intended to shine through to uplift, inspire, and transform the world.
Your family did the very best they knew how given where they came from and how they were trained — believe me. They did not know that encouraging you to marginalize your self-expression would lead to all kinds of dysfunction.
They were doing what they learned.
But a spiritual awakening is occurring on the planet right now. It is safer, easier, and more desirable than ever for YOU to emerge. If you are squashing who you are to “fit in,” to make less waves, to go unnoticed, then it’s time to wake up.
I want to help us put some practices into place so you can get comfortable in your own skin and share who you are with the world.
1. Listen to good music.
What’s music got to do with self-love? It can set the right mood, for starters. You know that classic Minnie Ripperton tune, Lovin’ You? (Watch the video — we’re talking man with guitar, open shirt, baby’s breath, and chirping birds. Time capsule to 1975 — classic!) This is a direct message to cutting the bullshit and getting in touch with who you really are.
2. Pat your own back.
Take your dominant hand and reach it across your chest and rest it slightly behind your shoulder on the top of your back. Got it? Now, start rubbing your own damn back. Do this daily because you are worthy of being appreciated, celebrated, and acknowledged. And you don’t need to do a damn thing to deserve it! (Now do it with your nondominant hand — we are literally rewiring the brain here.)
3. Kiss yourself.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it again: Get naked and start touching, kissing, and connecting with your body. Your exposed arms, your knees, your hands. If you feel that you don’t get enough physical touch — whether you have a partner or not — don’t wait for someone else to do it. Give yourself some love.
If you think any of this sounds crazy or uncomfortable, it’s not. It’s actually the most native way of being. To love and appreciate the exquisite miracle that is Self. You’re made for that. You are an Original Blessing. And loving on that is far more ancient than any practice of beating yourself up or condemning yourself.
Whenever you notice your mind going down the rabbit hole of self-judgement, criticism, or loathing — you must interrupt it. Literally out loud: “Stop it!” And then quiet that persona that wants to hold you back, wear you down, and beat you up by thanking her for the many ways she tries to protect you.
Instead, accept yourself. Tell yourself that you are okay just as you are. I know this is scary, but you can’t hurt you by being more of you.
You are in good hands — literally.
Once you’ve quieted that persona or voice of fear, you must replace it with something new. Our minds are just like gardens — it makes no sense to weed the mind unless you are going to replace it with a new seed.
So what are you willing to plant in your mind?
Here are a few for the road:
- I am a glorious expression of life. No one can do me like I can!
- I am beautiful, brilliant, and bold. I let me shine.
- I am created perfectly. I allow more and more of my authentic and unique self to come forward.
- The universe is attracted to my essence. As I share my essence, only good is revealed.
Remember that the road to acceptance begins with you. You are the key to the perfect body, the perfect mind. You are the key to less stress and more success. Not the books you read, the company you keep, or the accomplishments you collect.
It’s you, here, as you are. If you can do that, amazing things start to happen.
You have nothing to lose…but your false sense of self.
“If you’re searching for that one person who will change your life, take a look in the mirror.” — Unknown
Lola Wright is the Spiritual Director at Bodhi Spiritual Center. Raised by hip-hop, Lola provides a fresh and upcoming voice reminding us of our shared humanity.
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