On Self-Love

There is a question, I think it is helpful to come back to again and again, as we navigate life: How do I best love myself in this?

Our “this” could be anything. Relationship challenges, career challenges, life transitions, grief and loss, identity crisis. But the same wisdom applies, regardless of the “this,” for it only through a lens of love that we are better able to clearly see our way through.

Self-love can be a hard thing to practice when we feel stuck, or uncertain, or fearful, or any of those other messy emotions that stretch us and force us to delve deeper into our experience of ourselves. Uncertainty and stress and overwhelmed and heart ache and sorrow and anger and not knowing– these are hard things to feel that can bring up challenging emotions, mental chatter, and aspects of ourselves that we find unlikable.

But these feeling are a necessary part of being human, and, as such, deserve space. Because we are here to learn to be whole. Not just parcels and pieces and parts of a segmented self.

Sometimes when we can’t see the bigger picture, the best we can do is to try and figure out:

What does self-love look like for myself today? How can I be compassionate towards what I’m experiencing? How can I practice kindness and radical acceptance of my own process? How can I make space for my feelings? How can I work on being curious and open instead of shaming and judgmental, as I consider what I might be trying to tell myself?

And sometimes self-love is as simple as acknowledging that which feels most dark and uncomfortable within, sitting down beside and putting your arm around it, then choosing to call it friend.

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