Cultivating Self Love

i am enough


Self love is the basis for true love on all levels and the root from which all things grow. Most of us have allowed and inherited prerequisites for our worthiness of love. We believe that we will be worthy of love when we _______(fill in the blank). When we believe this is true, we end up tiring ourselves out trying to earn love.. as if love is something outside of ourselves.

We are made in the image and likeness of God, Goddess, Universe, Love, whatever you ,may call it, and we are all aspects of the divine. There is nothing that we need to do, achieve, or remediate in order to be worthy of love. Love is who we are, and being loved is our birth rite.

Within the consumer driven culture that we find ourselves in today, we are up against an almost impossible image of perfection, especially as women.  We’ve even been programmed to believe that it’s selfish and egotistical to care for one’s self over overs.


Loving yourself means to confront everything about yourself that you do not like, that you wish would change, or that you would like to hide from others.  These places are the breeding grounds of shame, one of the biggest barriers to self love.  This is a constant practice.  We all experience shame, and when we can recognize shame as it arises,  and hold ourselves with compassion while honoring our authenticity, we can move through the experience of shame with even more love and acceptance for ourselves and others. 

I’ve struggled with trying to win the approval of my parents since I was a young girl, but this pattern persisted for a long time into my adulthood.  Ever since I went off to college, whenever I would see my Dad for the first time in a while, he would say ( totally naive and with no ill-intention), “ You look good.”.  Anytime I would head to see him, I found myself primping myself and perfecting myself and trying to seem like I had it all together. Putting all my self worth on whether I received that comment in the first few moments of reuniting with my father.  Then one day it happened, he didn’t say it. I was crushed, I felt like a failure, and was completely disappointed with myself.  I wanted so much for my Dad to think highly of me, for him to be proud of me. Whether it was for excelling at life, or being beautiful.  I’ve had to work though a lot of pain around feeling like my parents aren’t proud of me and the life path I’ve chosen for myself, and this journey has ultimately brought me closer to offering that love and pride to myself and also receiving it from the universe, knowing that, ultimately, I am a beautiful human being who has come so very far, who has healed so very much, and who has exhibited endless courage to be authentic, to stand for that I know to be true, and to continue walking towards my dreams.

I would love to report that I am completely free from this mechanism arising in my life, but the truth is, there is still a tender spot, and there is still a desire to be seen and appreciated for who I am, by the people who birthed and raised me.  I can still catch myself doing a little face check before I see my dad or puffing up my achievements when I speak to them on the phone, and each time I do.. I get to hold my hand on my heart and remind myself, I am enough. I am loved unconditionally, and there is nothing to win, lose, or prove.  I get to offer to myself, that which I seek, and deepen in my reverence for exactly who I am.


When we don’t love ourselves, we live imprisoned by our own perfectionism and fear that we have to earn the love and approval of others by living up to their expectations of us.  We think that perfectionism can save us from being hurt or unloved but it actually inhibits us from receiving the true authentic intimacy that is our deepest desire.  We can not be truly loved for who we are, if we are not revealing our whole, true self.  The fruitless quest to control outside perceptions of oneself leads only to exhaustion, disconnection, anxiety, eating/exercising disorders & addiction.  We may become angry and resentful when we don’t win their approval and even hide out and isolate ourselves out of fear of rejection.  Ultimately we belief that unless we live up to ours and others expectations, we are unworthy of love.  We may deprive ourselves from that which we deserve through self sabotaging behavior and neglect our own needs and boundaries, and even harm ourselves through lack of self care.

By offering ourselves unconditional love and acceptance, we free ourselves to be ourselves.  When you love yourself, you know yourself to be of worth and you allow yourself to be seen for who you are.  You honor yourself with real and authentic relationships by cultivating the courage to be your authentic and vulnerable self.  You know everyone makes mistakes, so you don’t try to be perfect and you forgive yourself when you mess up.  You honor yourself by meeting your needs and taking the time to care for your body, mind, and spirit.

If we want to live and love our lives fully, we have to own every part of we we are and what we have come through, we have to reintegrate all parts of ourselves into who we are, and love every step of our journey, embracing it all as the perfect path that has gotten us where we stand today.  We are ultimately happier, more authentic, more powerful, more connected, more compassionate when we embrace all of who we are, and then (and only then) can we hand down a healthy model for Love to the next generations.

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