A couple of weeks ago, I got caught up in a video on social media. A woman with long gray hair who appears to be somewhere in her 70’s sits on a curb holding a sign that says “forgotten.”
A much younger woman walks over, takes her by the hand, ushers her into a salon, and viewers watch as the older woman undergoes a physical transformation. Her hair is cut short and dyed red, her eyebrows are also dyed, her face is plumped with creams and oils, and then makeup is applied—lots of it. At the end of all of this, she looks about 45-years-old.
For me, this was like watching a horror movie. I wanted to look away, yet I was mesmerized. Rather than experiencing the sparkling energy of beauty, I had a weighty sensation in my gut. It felt, to me, like a shroud over the truth. This woman’s need was not physical; she was craving a self-love makeover.
As spring slowly creeps into the Colorado foothills, nature’s makeover has been incremental. Samurai sword-sized icicles only recently melted off the roof edge of my cabin, and the horses still wear their fuzzy coats. More snow is on the way this week. Yet, the birds are singing, and the season’s first wild turkeys came by for a visit a couple of days ago. I feel a bit caught in the in-between space. How painful it must be for the seed to crack open before it sprouts! But, little by little, my heart is exiting the gray cave of winter and opening itself to the bright fires of spring.
In this process, I’ve been pondering the idea of self-love. It’s one of those phrases that gets tossed around so casually it seems like we should all instinctively know how to possess it. The commercial world would have us believe it is found in a spa day or a pair of jeans that fits just right or maybe a new car. In my experience it is simple but can be hard-won. It is intimately intertwined with healing. True self-love is found when we bravely accept the invitation to attend to our own healing. Then, we are equipped with what we need to make our difference in this life.
This is not to say that I believe most of us live lives of self-loathing. But I do believe we often spackle over the truth of our longing to connect more fully with ourselves. Lack of self-love is what causes us to hurt when we are rejected by another. It thrives on judgements and comparisons. It’s what makes us want to get what we believe we deserve, sometimes at the expense of another person or being, like Mother Earth. Distraction and addiction come from a deficiency of self-love. And it’s what needs to be restored when we experience trauma or micro-aggressions.
The trickiest part about self-love is that it can only be created by ourselves. Author and spiritual teacher Sarah Blondin says, “The love of self is to reach out and take our own hand.”
For me, that’s the key to how to achieve it. It requires slowing down and guiding ourselves to move our awareness out of our heads, where it usually resides, and into our hearts that so often remain unexplored. Self-love must be nourished by things like forgiveness, compassion and release–all things that are found through journeys inward.
A friend of mine recently expressed that he often feels unremarkable. When I heard this, I felt a strange sort of stabbing sensation in my heart. It was a “matching picture,” as we say in the metaphysical community. I could relate. At the same time, I heard in my mind’s ear, “No! This is not true!” I find my friend to be remarkably kind, remarkably curious and remarkably humorous, all energies desperately needed in our world.
We all have periods in life when we feel like we are stuck on the curb holding a “forgotten” sign. Maybe most of us, at least some of the time, feel unremarkable. Or lodged somewhere between winter and spring.
We can choose to cover these feelings with a colorful coat of something shiny, but we are far deeper than that. We are each a unique expression of Divine love, or like another friend says, “a tiny piece of the Divine.” We are each here for a reason. When we remember that, how can we not love ourselves?
If you are searching for more self love or a spiritual makeover, connect with your soul wisdom through my healing approach to intuitive readings and spiritual mentoring. Find out more and book your session today.