If You Feel Lost Read This
Sometimes I find it difficult to articulate what it really means to love yourself, because loving yourself is so cliche. And when something becomes cliche it loses its power in conversation.
I talk to a lot of people who believe they love themselves, and based on their choices it’s pretty clear that they really don’t. They like themselves, but they don’t have a deep loving relationship to themselves.
Yes, learning to love yourself is deep. Maybe you’re rolling your eyes and thinking, “Come on. How difficult is it to love yourself?” Well, for most of us, it’s pretty fucking hard. And I'm not say fucking lightly. I'm saying it because I want you to know it's deep and it’s serious.
It hurts my heart to know how long I lived my life withholding love from myself, and it really hurts my heart to see so many people in the world doing the same thing.
The brutal police officers, the people who fought against the legalization of gay marriage, the men and women abusing their partners, the mothers and fathers refusing to give their children love, the people who take the lives of others. These people are not confused. It’s not a matter of debate or helping them see things another away. These people are cut off from their own source of love.
We live in an ungrounded culture. The masses live in the mind, navigating ping-ponging thoughts, trying to make the best decisions. And most of us are trying. But we aren’t taught to trust ourselves. We don’t know what it really means to trust. We’re taught to compute, to process information, and then choose. But so many of us freeze when it comes to choosing. It’s too much pressure. There’s too little proof that things will be better. There’s too much fear.
We question ourselves all the time. We question our worth, our futures, and our actions. We don’t have a tool to navigate the madness, so we freeze. We stay in relationships where we’re not treated well because we don’t know if we can do any better. We stay in jobs where we aren’t challenged or valued because we’re afraid that we’ll be worse off if we leave. We don’t move our bodies or find a healthy way of eating because we don’t know which one is the best one.
And then we get hard on ourselves for not doing. And we start comparing ourselves to the small world of doers and havers in the media. We see the accomplishments of others and think we’ll never be that. We look at ourselves in the mirror and see all the “flaws” first. We see photos of ourselves and cringe. We see photos of other people and wish we were more like them. We feel uncomfortable in our bodies. We overthink our actions or lack thereof. We wish we had said something different, something better. We wish other people liked us more.
And with every one of these thoughts we shrink ourselves down.
And somewhere deep down, whether conscious or not, we start wishing someone will come to save us. We want other people to fill the deep hole within us. But it’s not up to someone else to save us because another person can never fill a wound within yourself. Only your own source of love can.
And this is part of the reason why self love can be difficult to articulate. People want to be saved. Because if it's up to us that means we have to face the pain that is holding us back from love. So instead we want someone to swoop in and tell us we’re worthy, that we’re smart, that we’re loved, that we’re amazing.
So if that happens to be what is holding you back then here, from the bottom of my heart:
You are worthy.
You are worthy of deep, fulfilling friends who understand you and love you for who you are.
You are worthy of a career where you are deeply fulfilled, challenged, and valued.
You are worthy of a partner in life who supports you, holds you when you need it, and holds no love back.
You are incredibly intelligent.
You have the world’s knowledge at your fingertips, and you have something unique to give to the world.
You are amazing.
You are quirky and endearing and sweet.
Your heart is big.
You deserve a life of joy.
You deserve to feel the depth of love that this life was created from.
You are loved.
You are loved by me, by the monks in Tibet who devote their lives to spirit, by the innocent children of the world who have yet to be scarred by pain, and you are loved by people in your own life even if you don’t realize it.
But you already know all this. Maybe your mind is telling you you don't know it. But the deepest part of yourself knows you are beautiful and incredible and worthy. There is a part of you that you can open up to right now, and that part is everything you always hoped you could be.
Now you have to do the hard work of loving yourself. Now you have to show up for yourself.
Now you have to give yourself permission to feel deeply, to stop hiding from what is holding you back, to wake up to the truth that the world is full of people waiting to love you.
But, first you have to allow yourself to be love. Because you can’t experience the depth of love that is all around you without first opening your heart wide to receive it, without first acknowledging that love lives deep and immensely within you, and that love is the source of who you are and the place from which you need to be living your life.