Before I started learning how to love myself, self-care was very difficult for me. I couldn’t even seem to manage the simple things like drinking enough water, brushing my teeth at least once a day, showering regularly and making sure I got enough sleep every night. I knew these things were good for me but there was a disconnection. Subconsciously, maybe I believed that I was not worthy of feeling good. I had gotten used to feeling bad for so long that the thought of having energy and feeling fully alive scared me. It was uncertain and foreign. I was like the animal or bird that had been kept in captivity and wouldn’t leave its cage even when the doors had been opened.
I needed to feel that someone else loved me before I was able to slowly start loving myself. Teachers, mentors, and angels have blessed me by sharing unconditional love. It was the medicine that I needed to start owning my part of the story. Over time, the love I felt from others started to become the love I gave myself. See, no one taught me how to work with intense emotions, heartbreak, trauma and it was easier to feel like a victim. I think this is a common strategy a lot of us fall into. Our culture is largely a culture of blame. It is scary to sit inside of our pain, to open to what it has to teach us and then to take responsibility for how we choose to show up in the world after that. Even though it doesn’t always feel like it, I have come to learn that we always have a choice. We can choose love instead of hate, compassion instead of judgment, and acceptance instead of rejection. It just takes practice, courage and a good guide.
I have been fortunate to work with many different healing modalities. The ones that have helped to transform my life the most have been: Chinese Medicine (Acupuncture), Meditation, Shamanism, Shan Ren Dao emotional healing, owning my side of every interaction and 12-step work. Over the years, they have helped me at different stages of my healing. One of the greatest things I have learned is that self-care and self-love are muscles that get stronger the more we practice them. We start small, with the things that are easier. With consistency over time, deep healing and trust begin taking over. Today, the things that used to be hard for me have gotten easier and I have developed healthier habits. When I fall off the path, I forgive myself; take the medicine of unconditional love and step into personal responsibility. It is not always easy and sometimes it is a bitter pill to swallow but the door is open and I have decided to find my own freedom so that I can help others find theirs