Are you in the flow?
If I asked you why I should be your friend, how would you respond? Would you tell me that you are kind, giving and always there for a buddy? Would you tell me you are creative, fun and know how to have a good time? Maybe you wouldn’t know why I should be your friend or have a good answer.
Many people respond with the answer because I am kind, giving and will do anything for anyone. Nice answer and probably true. Are you kind, giving and will you do anything for yourself? A lot of people will and do not.
I see a radical lack of self- love in the world. Having been a counselor for over 20 years I worked with a lot of people and sat with a lot of different issues and problems. At the root of almost all of these issues was some form of lack of love. I know this sounds cliché. It is. Maybe it is cliché because we keep talking about it but do we really know what to do about this lack of love?
I grew up in a far from perfect home, with real people dealing with major issues, alcoholism, sex addiction and self- neglect. What I now see, that I did not see when I was my younger child self is that some of the people that were so important in forming how I saw myself and what relationship I was learning to have with myself were not in a place to teach me what I needed to know to be good at this relationship thing with myself at all.
I never learned what a boundary meant. I did not know that when you did not feel good, that taking a nap and exercising powerful self-care was an option. I did not learn that if I was to really feel loved, I needed to love myself first. It never occurred to me that happiness is an inside job. I was trained that when you don’t feel good, party, shop, eat, over-work, do relationships or do something to get your mind off of it. Later I came to learn that this very behavior that I had demonstrated for me on every level would be the base of every addiction. You couple that with a scoop of lack of self-love and shame, now you get depression, anxiety, addiction and drama.
In my personal life and in my professional career I have been an ongoing student of this self-love thingy. It has taken me a lot of hard work on myself to peel the onion back so to speak, and uncover and release the pain, shame and unlearn many things I was taught to do and be. It is ironic that peeling an onion can sometimes make you cry and can sting a bit. Does it make us not use and eat the onion?
The journey is never a straight one or an exact one, but it is a journey that needed to be taken for me. When I look back over the many years doing this work on myself and for myself, I can now look at who I am and love myself. I have found in learning to love myself through releasing the pain and unhealthy learning, I really like who I am. I know that I am here for a big purpose and I honor it all. I write this today all snuggled up on the couch, in comfy clothes, after haven taken a warm bath and a nap, feeling a little under the weather and contemplative and just honoring where I am today. Tomorrow is another day. It really feels good to honor where you are at, at any given time. It took time to get to this space for sure.
I would like to end with sharing something that I have learned and know to be true. It came to me one day while watching someone I love be very hard on themselves. This is someone that I have tried to love very hard for a long time and never saw results of my love making any kind of difference. This saying came to me when I realized that my love is and was enough. It is enough for me and it could be enough for someone else, if they were able to receive and let it in.
You cannot love someone more than they love themselves.
They will not be able to let it in.
Love yourself unconditionally,
so you can let the love flow begin.