In honor of this month that inundates us with messages of how only the love of another can complete us, I wanted to talk about the importance of self love.
Is romantic love with another person amazing? (or people if that’s how you roll – I don’t judge as long as everyone is a consenting adult. For the purposes of this post though, I’m going to stick with couples because it’s a bit easier.)
It should be. A healthy loving relationship should be amazing, fulfilling, and rewarding.
But it’s hard to have that healthy relationship with someone else without having it with ourselves first.
If you follow me anywhere, but especially here, you know why – your Shadow comes out and destabilizes alllll the things.
Your Shadow tells you to worry that this person you adore will leave because if they knew the real you, they could never love you. So you smother them in an attempt to keep them close. They leave, because everyone needs to be free, thus proving your Shadow correct – everyone leaves.
Shadow will tell you to keep those defenses up and never truly let anyone in because again, you’re so broken, the real you could never be loved. So your partner ends up feeling locked out and they eventually give up.
It will tell you to be jealous when there’s no other reason to be. That your devoted partner will stray if given the chance. So you make wild accusations. You hurt them. They leave. Your Shadow tells you they left before you could find the proof of their infidelity.
(Note: I mean no other reason. Intuition knows things, that’s not what I’m talking about here. If your intuition says something’s up, something’s up. The trick is to learn to tell the difference between your Shadow and your intuition.)
I could go on and on.
In order to have a healthy romantic relationship, we have to learn to love ourselves first. I know you’ve heard this before, served up tritely with no other information and no advice on where to start.
We start by working to see our inherent perfection within our imperfect selves.
We must learn we are sacred beings housed inside an animated organism. That because we are sacred, we deserve love.
All things sacred deserve love.
Love is sacred. Love is divine. Love is a gift. We must give it to ourselves first.
How can we start seeing our divine perfection?
Gratitude is one place.
Does that sound like a non sequitur? How can practicing gratitude lead you to love yourself?
Sometimes we have to start with the outward before we are ready to reflect inward.
Seeing the blessings we already have in life can help us to learn to see beauty everywhere – including within yourself.
A gratitude practice doesn’t need to be complicated, it just needs to be genuine.
Mine is about as simple as it gets. A cute journal, a pretty pen, a cup of tea, and the sunrise.
Every morning I sit down at my kitchen table and write a list of everything I’m thankful for, starting with my kiddo, my deities, my guides, and my ancestors.
Maybe for you it will start more like: I woke up today. I am breathing. I am here. And that’s ok. That’s wonderful actually.
Being thankful for this life? That’s a beautiful thing.
But maybe right now that’s too hard. That’s ok too. Meet yourself where you are.
If all you can find to feel grateful for is your cup of coffee, that’s still a great place to start.
Breathe in the smell. Enjoy every drop. Savor it. Write down everything you love about the way it makes you feel. The way it tastes, all of it.
Eventually, this feeling will spread to being grateful for more things and people in your life.
One day, that feeling will extend to you.
To speed this process up, you can add things about yourself that you are grateful for.
Maybe you’re grateful for your giving nature. Your patience when dealing with an upset client (or child). That you always know just what a loved one needs when they’re sad or in pain.
In time, you’ll find you’re grateful that your body houses your soul, no matter how “imperfect” that body may be, because that imperfect body allows you to experience this life.
Tarot can help with this too.
Ask tarot where to begin. That question can look like “what is blocking me from loving myself more?” Draw 3 – 5 cards. Less than that is usually not enough information, more than that becomes too confusing.
How do those cards relate to each other? How do they interact together? Do some of them say the same thing in subtly different ways? What are they asking you to see about yourself?
New to tarot or not comfortable reading for yourself? There are tons of wonderful readers on Facebook and Instagram that can help you – including myself – just click here for more information on my rates.
And finally, no post of mine would be complete if I didn’t recommend journaling now would it?
Ultimately, learning to love yourself is about Shadow and Mindset work. You’ve got to dig up your reasons for not seeing the beauty in all that you are and rewrite the story you’ve been telling yourself. Journaling can help with that.
You deserve to love yourself. And you deserve to be loved by someone else on top of that.
But you have to go first – the universe will follow.
Ready to go deeper? Ready to root out your negative stories and self talk and rewrite the narrative you tell yourself? Ready to learn how it feels to truly love yourself? My Reset Your Mindset program does just that. Click here to schedule a time to talk with me!