Have you tried to practice self-love with the help of self awareness books and did you feel it sounded so easy, in fact it sounded like it was a piece of cake! But it wasn't that easy at all, as you tried that simple mantra or meditation every way possible and it didn't really work. You still don't love yourself. Happens a lot actually and there is quite a simple explanation as to why.
During a reading for a smart and highly educated client it was explicitly well explained why she kept failing at 'self love' with the help of exercises from self-help books. An insight that can serve us all.
She had noticed she had started to feel very negative about herself and her work, which is why she had taken to self help books. She'd never done a reading like this before, but she wanted insight as to why things were not changing. The reading explained that what she had tried to do in practicing "self love' exercises, could be compared with driving a car. If your car is in "parking' and you want to drive of in 4th gear, obviously the car will turn off straight away. You can keep repeating this relentlessly but it won't make you drive anywhere, unless you learn to use the 1st, 2nd and 3rd gear.
So how does this translate to 'self love'? When we practice self-love, we also need to build this up in logical steps. If we try to skip through to 4th gear-mode, which is what quite a few self help practices will suggest, it won't get you anywhere, just like the car won't drive off.
This wouldn't be so bad, if we only understood that this is how it works, however, it had caused her to judge herself even more; for failing in what looked like such a simple exercise. Judgement is really common in smart people: they try to skip ahead because they normally are so fast in understanding anything and when they then don't succeed they crucify themselves internally, which sabotages achieving self-love.
Self-love and respect are the natural result of having nurtured your own deepest inner needs. They are the flowers that are produced when the stem of the plant has proper roots, and a good environment and enough sun to grown and flourish in. You simply can't produce a flower without the rest of the plant well tended too and without a good environment... you simply can't skip ahead to loving yourself (producing a flower) if you haven't sorted out the inner environment (the stem and roots) for self-love to flourish in. It won't ever give you lasting happiness, or any happiness at all, like this.
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So simple and logical, yet the logical clarity of this explanation was a revelation. So what do we need to enrich ourselves with, to be able to feel the Self-love that leads to happiness.
Lets identify the bad stuff first:
1. Self Judgment. This makes your car shut down as soon as you are pressing the gas pedal.
Judgment towards your self just takes your roots out of the ground and disconnects you
2. Underneath judgment, lies fear. Often this is a hidden fear of all the good stuff, fear of
deserving true inner abundance.
What you need:
1. Kindness and understanding towards ourselves help us to stop judgment, which helps us to
stop sabotaging ourselves.
2. Realize that getting to self-love takes time. Time to grow and time to adjust.
3. Even though we understand with our mind what needs to be done, eg. being kind and
understand, unless we practice these qualities deep down, unless we believe them and
feel them in every single part of our body, it won't work! ( just like driving the car, you can
know how to drive it but unless you actually use the right gears, the car won't go anywhere
and the 4th gear will never get used.)
How to get to the good stuff:
1. Accept yourself, accept what is and what you need. ( this sounds easy and it is, but it will
take you time to practice it.)
2. Once you have accepted... Start imagining getting all the good stuff on the inside. This
means imagining that your needs are being fulfilled by yourself, by family, friends, partner,
work and life. Whether it is love, attention, gifts, friends, fun, support, money, time...
3. Make this a daily practice. Constantly fill yourself up with the very best of whatever it is that
you need. This is the key to where your real focus should lie.
4. The more you start to believe it inside, the easier it becomes to give it to yourself. Whatever
your true need is, fulfill it yourself first to get to abundance on the outside and start with
small, easy steps that you can implement easily.
Self love and self-appreciation will follow automatically from this and suddenly life starts to blossom, your love and sparkle will start to radiate and the people around you will see it and feel it and they, as well as life, will return it.