One of the keys to health and happiness is self-love! I truly believe this! I also believe that the opposite … self-loathing [lack of self love] and its partner, fear … is at the root of all chronic health conditions.
But what is self love, how do you know when you love or loathe yourself and how do you cultivate it when it’s absent? Before I attempt to answer these questions, let me give you some personal background.
I was raised in a home where we were not taught to love ourselves. In fact, we were taught to be ashamed of ourselves. We were told that we were bad boys. We were criticized alot. We weren’t told that we were loved, nor were we ever hugged. Our most frequent physical contact was a spanking.
I’m not blaming my parents. Their behaviour was a reflection of what they had learned and experienced in their lives. How could they teach me and my brothers to love ourselves, when they didn’t love themselves. They didn’t understand compassion.
On a spiritual/soul level I believe my parents agreed to withhold love in order for me and my brothers to learn the lesson self love. It’s also why our family was blessed with a mentally handicapped brother. He is the epitome of unconditional love!
This lack of self love [an empty love tank as Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages, would describe it] led to all sorts of destructive behaviours: heavy drinking, poor eating habits, a maniacal drive for success, workaholism, etc. I was easily frustrated, very impatient and prone to anger. I had a destructive need to please in order to be liked. I lived a life of fear and chronic stress until I reached a point where I experienced widespread food sensitivities, migraine headaches and eventually, a neurological breakdown [better known as Parkinson’s disease].
But this journey had a purpose, which was to guide me to what was missing … self-love and an understanding of my true nature, divine love!
So what is self-love? Actually, I’m not sure that I can describe it, but I’ll give it a try! Self love has nothing to do with ego. It’s not about thinking you’re better than anyone else. It’s more of a feeling, like the feeling I experience when I think about my children. It’s about being totally comfortable with your looks, your body, your intellect and your lot in life. It’s about accepting yourself as you are. It’s about feeling good about yourself regardless of what is happening in your life or what anybody might say about you. It’s about knowing that you are lovable, deserving, adequate and in charge of your life. It’s also about understanding your true, divine nature, which is that of pure love, a spiritual being living in oneness with the universal-energetic-intelligence and all that is!
Cultivating self-love is about understanding your true divine spiritual nature and dissolving the detrimental beliefs that are keeping you in a state of self-loathing.
Cultivating self love is an extremely important aspect of my recovery protocol! I’m not sure that recovery is possible without it! Either way, I have nothing to lose by focusing on it … and everything to gain!
In order to develop self love, I have included a number of activities in my daily recovery protocol. The goal is to dissolve the beliefs that are keeping me in a state of self-loathing and re-pattern my brain with new “loving” neural pathways:
- Before I begin each activity, I start by saying, “Because I love myself, I am going to [do some push-ups].
- Throughout the day, I remind myself that I am a divine spiritual being, living in oneness with the universal-energetic-intelligence. I am love!
- Throughout the day, I repeat, “I love” statements. For example, “I love being outside in the fresh air!” “I love living by the lake!” “I love my children!”
- Throughout the day, I focus on my breath and place my attention in the present moment, while consciously relaxing every muscle in my body. This connects me with the universal-energetic-intelligence and puts me in a state of euphoria! It puts me in a state of love!
- Throughout the day, I look for moments that put me in a state of love, like an encounter with nature!
- I meditate on “I am love”, breathing in as I think “I am” and breathing out as I’m thinking “love”.
- Throughout the day, I repeat my love and light mantra … Thank you Spirit and thank you higher self for immersing me in love and light. Thank you for the light that shines on me filling me with divine goodness and compassion, forgiveness and gratitude, and understanding and abundance. Thank you for the light that shines on me filling me with happiness, kindness, courage, compassion and self love. Hallelujah!
- At least once a day, I do some Emotional Freedom Technique. I tap the karate chop part of my hand, while repeating the following: I love and accept myself exactly as I am!
When you experience divine self-love, you live in kindness, compassion, generosity, forgiveness and gratitude. You live in acceptance and you let go of judgment. You accept that you experience fear from time to time. You accept and let go of your past. You trust that your life is unfolding the way it is meant to and you have faith that no matter what happens, you will be okay! And most importantly, for those of us experiencing a chronic health condition, you set in motion a series of internal chemical actions which restore homeostasis and return your body to good health!