Have you ever wondered why it is that those who have done some of their inner work or who are on the path to higher consciousness are naturally able to love themselves more and are seem happier because of it? Why some people in the mainstream world who might seem to have everything on the outside still are far from happy and don’t truly love themselves?
Well, there are two major reasons for this strange paradox. One involves doing the necessary inner work. The other is about being connected to our divine self. Both of these generate being able to love our self in a way that is true and complete.
You can walk these paths in any order or simultaneously. How ever you choose to go about it is perfect for you. We all must embark on the journey that we are called on, in the right time and pace.
At the most basic level, the thing that keeps us from loving our self is that at our core, we don’t believe ourselves to be lovable and worthy of receiving love. Most of us feel this to at least some degree, even those that seem to have it all. So why is this?
It’s a combination of our childhood experiences with caretakers and others, the messages we received from not only those who raised us but also from our culture and society.
Many of these messages have been passed down for generations as ‘just the way it is’ and are largely perpetuated by the media which creates our pop culture to intentionally cause us to feel like we are never good enough which fuels our buying more to make ourselves feel better or good enough.
Though, of course, we never quite get there, do we? At least not permanently. (This is just a quick overview, I get into this in more depth in other articles.)
“Self-worth is an understanding on the intellectual level, trusting at the heart level, and accepting at the soul level that you are worthy just because you believe that you are. Your worthiness is proven by your existence. Your breathing. The beating of your heart. Your mere presence is all that is needed to establish your worth.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant
And the sad thing is, when we are unconscious, or unaware, we believe it. We believe every bit of what we have been told, what we hear, what we see going on in the world around us, all the things that everyone seems to subscribe to.
Unfortunately, some people remain unconscious for the whole of their lives, and allow these outside beliefs to infiltrate their inner self and rob them of their innate joy. We all have seen and know people like this. I have some in my own family circle that are like this and it’s certainly heartbreaking to witness.
This is why if we want to love ourselves, it is essential to remove these various programming that blocks us from ourselves. How do we do that? Well, there is no quick fix, no immediate gratification for this.
We remove the programming and blocks through doing the inner work which requires that we inquire into ourselves, become more aware, or conscious, of our inner landscape that holds our past conditioning. Then we can begin to recognize these misguided perceptions and rewrite the programming that guides us through our lives.
This is an ongoing process, one which requires dedication and continual effort to remain conscious of ourselves in every way- our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. But when we have practiced for long enough, it will become more natural.
At a deeper level, we have trouble loving ourselves because we are disconnected from the source of everything, our divine being. When we feel separate, we feel alone, abandoned and frustrated and we live in a perpetual state of low-grade fear resulting in chronic stress, which keeps us in a constant heightened nervous system response state of fight-flight-freeze.
“You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars, guides you too.” ~ Shrii Anandamurti
And we believe we have no choice but to base our worth on what the outside world deems it to be and the only way we can get love is from others. Of course, the problem with this is depending on other imperfect humans (who also don’t know how to love themselves) for love renders us utterly powerless.
As we all well know, love is a rollercoaster and can be ripped away from us at any given moment. Then we are left to believe we are flawed, unlovable, and unworthy, which is never true.
But, the tragic thing is, not only is all this pain needless, but we are entirely foundering on the true purpose of our being here on this beautiful planet in this human form.
If we understood that every single person we meet or difficulty we encounter is only here to further our awakening experience in some way, not to verify our unworthiness or make us critical of ourselves.
“Often it is the deepest pain which empowers you to grow into your highest self.” ~ Rumi
If we understood this is because we are all connected and are here to play roles in this game of life which only help each other to grow into out potential to reach our highest self.
If we understood that we are whole, perfect and a divine being loved unconditionally by our creator and that we always have been and nothing will ever change that. This is true of every single person, no matter who they are or what they have done.
In cultivating a relationship to stay connected with your higher self, you allow yourself to be more you which is the very essence of self love because at the highest level, what we are made up is love! All is love.
“You are one thing only. You are a Divine Being. An all-powerful Creator. You are a Deity in jeans and a t-shirt, and within you dwells the infinite wisdom of the ages and the sacred creative force of All that is, will be and ever was.” ~ Anthon St. Maarten
To have this level of understanding we need to become conscious, we need to be devoted to staying connected to our divine higher self which connects us to our Source creator.
Then our love for ourselves will radiate out of us to touch everyone we come into contact with. And that is the ultimate point of our existence here!
If you truly loved yourself, you could never hurt another. ~ Buddha