For most of my life, I absolutely didn’t like myself. Childhood trauma mixed with growing up as a woman in this patriarchal society and, of course, my experience of myself was messed up.
Getting sober was my first act of self-love. I didn’t “believe” I deserved to be sober, nor did I feel good about myself when I chose to get sober, but getting sober was the first moment of clarity I ever had around wanting my authentic self to be experienced in life.
For me, that’s what self-love is now. It’s radical self-acceptance. It’s not wanting to be anyone else.
It is a very vulnerable thing to be a parent and understand that I am shaping how my daughter sees herself in her life. When a parent is delighted by who their child is, that builds confidence. When a parent does not compare their child to anyone else, that builds self-esteem and confidence.
We build our self-esteem and confidence as adults through the acts of attention, care, celebration, and behaviors that honor who we are.
It is a journey and one I am STILL on, but I am so grateful for all of the people I have in my life who reflect the truth about who I am. I am grateful to be committed to the work of being a woman who loves herself because there is no bigger threat to our culture than that!
Your midweek mantra is, “I am willing to love and accept myself as I am and treat myself like I would my best friend.” ✨
It is by being loved well that we learn to love ourselves.
By being in loving and affirming environments, our brains change, our nervous systems relax, and we can let in the good.
By being around people who provide accurate mirroring (not just affirmations in the mirror!), we can see ourselves clearly and learn how to rest in the love that exists in our lives.
Self-love is not just about positive self-talk; it’s about compassion, ending self-criticism over our mistakes, and comparing ourselves to others.
It’s about building our self-esteem through esteemed BEHAVIOR, like taking care of ourselves, keeping promises to ourselves, and not lying to ourselves about what we need and want.
Self-love is a practice, not a destination; no one has it down perfectly; everything is about devotion to practice.
It’s about loving ourselves when we feel lost, loving the parts of ourselves we have denied or repressed, loving ourselves when we make a mistake, and loving ourselves the way a healthy, nurturing, and affirming parent would.
It’s also about loving ourselves when we struggle with difficult emotions or when we are in grief, pain, or disappointment.
Self-love changes our life when we arrive into the conscious practice of it and when we choose to surround ourselves only with people (not just one partner!) who nurture our soul, reflect that we matter, and affirm the good in us.
It is a practice I am devoted to, a practice I’m devoted to modeling for my daughter, a practice my clients commit to that enables them to choose affirming and truly loving romantic partners.
Check out The New Truth podcast episode from this week, “The 3 Blocks to Self Love.” If you’ve been listening to the New Truth for a while, you know the most important key to healthy, thriving relationships – is a healthy, thriving relationship with YOU. And yet, most women struggle deeply with learning to love themselves. If you’ve had a hard time with the concept of self-love and don’t even know where to begin – this episode is for you!
I love you,