“I feel so alone,” a friend of mine said. “I’m cutting myself off from my partner and other people. I’m trying to sell this business and don’t know what I’m going to do with myself after. My family is wanting things from me, but they never ask or seem to care about what’s going on in my life. I just want to go in my room and stay in my bubble and forget it all.”
I knew what she was going through. I knew about cutting yourself off and wanting to wash the world away in a Calgon bath. But I also knew it didn’t work because the problem didn’t have anything to do with the struggles she was sharing. It had to do with struggles she wasn’t.
Deep inside all of us is a younger version of ourselves, the part of us who is still trying to be good enough, never feels accepted, doesn’t feel she matters, or doesn’t trust people won’t leave. It may be any or all of these or something else. Wherever the wounding occurred is where we are stuck. But we don’t have to be.
The only requirement to healing and changing those old messages is self-love. The term has become so cliché, however, we don’t know what that means anymore. So to help you, I’ve made a list of what self-love looks like.
Self-Love Looks Like This:
- Self-love acknowledges what she feels as feelings, not a judgment on her character. She knows feelings can change, and do.
- Self-love accepts what she is feeling. Not because it is true, but because it is what part of her is feeling at the time. Good, bad, or indifferent.
- Self-love has compassion for the young part, knowing those beliefs started out as a way to protect the self from further pain and harm. It wasn’t an option, it was survival.
- Self-love says, “No matter what, I’m not leaving you.” It says to the part of us that is wounded, holding trauma, stuck in the pain of the past, that she will not be abandoned no matter what feelings come up.
- Self-love soothes the hurt. It turns toward the pain and rocks it, cradles it, validates the strength of the young part who came up with the belief in order to stay intact, and tells her it’s okay. She is loved.
- Self-love stays with the hurt until it eases in the body with total acceptance of whatever arises, knowing the young self needs more love at this time, not less. Pulling oneself up by the bootstraps when the heart is hurting, only confines the pain, preventing justified grief.
- Self-love is gentle with the process, accepting however long it takes for the hurt to heal in her life, knowing she is worthy of this kind of time, attention, and acceptance.
I told my friend, I had experienced something similar, and it was because I had cut myself off from my own heart that I felt the loneliness of separation. I ran from the emotions for a while, till depression beat me down, and then I finally let down my guard and allowed myself to feel whatever I was feeling, without judgement, and with compassion.
And here’s the interesting thing. At some point, my own self-generated love began to grow into a much larger Self. Feeling that tsunami of love, I couldn’t help but sob. And when it was over, my heart felt light and free. No longer did I feel alone. I had reconnected to my Higher Self.
When we engage in self-love, we access Self-love of the higher Self. We only need to be willing to have a felt experience of the hurt, loneliness, anger, rejection, or any other emotion we judge as wrong or bad. It doesn’t mean thinking about the emotion, it means feeling it! And when we do, the heart will do the rest.