Hey Beautiful Witchy Tribe,
It's Valentine’s Day, a day of love and also a day for reflection. This year I wanted to share the love with you, so I asked Bernadette Sutherland, a friend and qualified counsellor, to share a piece with you on self expression. I was delighted when she agreed and sent through this GEM. I hope you have a beautiful Valentine’s my loves!
Each one of us are worthy of self-love, yet, self-love feels foreign to so many of us. It’s a feeling of unworthiness that lives deep within our being and it hurts to the core.
Our lack of self-love was born somewhere in our childhood and we still unconsciously hold the wounds that were inflicted upon us. Our lifetime of experiences also contributes to our lack of self-love. How many times have you said to yourself that “I’m too fat” or “I’m not pretty enough”, or “I’m not good enough” and the list of self-criticisms go on and on. These criticisms become a daily affirmation, and are doing more harm than good.
When we have been hurt, we struggle to self-love, but let me assure you, that it takes a gentle shift in consciousness to begin the practice of self-love. Self-love is so much more than just a daily affirmation. As much as I support self-affirmations, I also have to acknowledge that when someone struggles with self-hatred, daily affirmations do not help. They create more self-loathing because the body and mind are unable to connect to the energy of positivity and the feelings of worthlessness are exaggerated. I recommend professional support for those that experience self-hatred.
It’s clear that self-love isn’t as easy as it sounds, but let me assure you, that it is possible.
Without a doubt in my mind, we are all worthy of love. We are worthy of giving love and receiving love. I believe “the best relationship you will ever have, is the relationship you have with yourself”. When we begin to love our “SELF”, something inside us shifts; and we start to feel more energised, connected, and worthy of being here.
Here is a LOVING Awareness exercise: Read the exercise first and take just a few minutes to put it into practice;
Start by closing your eyes, and imagine yourself in your mind’s eye. I want you to look at yourself with as much love as you can possibly imagine.
Imagine that you are radiating this incredible, powerful, loving energy and now send that energy to yourself.
Begin to feel the loving energy sink deep into the cells of your body. Imagine every cell receiving your love. Now imagine the love sinking into the muscles of your body and let every single muscle relax, as they fill up with this beautiful, sacred, self-loving energy.
Now place your right hand on your heart and feel the loving energy that is radiating from it. Know that it is you that is creating this beautiful, loving, sacred energy and that you can gently love yourself by doing this exercise any time you feel the need.
Self-love starts with you.
What if you started your day by saying something like “I am a beautiful, well intended, gentle soul?”.
What if you had the courage to accept the things that are going on in your life with grace. What if you could honour yourself, as you embrace life, and at the same time, love who you are in each moment.
What if you dedicated just a few minutes a day to do at least one thing that was self-loving?
What if you could love and embrace who you are in our precious world? What if you showed the world your incredible uniqueness? What if you loved and accepted all of you, including your flaws? What if your faults and failures are gifts? What if telling another human being your story of pain, loss, suffering or failure gave them the strength and courage to acknowledge their own story? From one story to another, we can change the world.
When we show the world that we are unique, special, loving and whole, not matter what life throws our way, we are embracing the gift of life.
Loving the expression of who you are… is your unique gift to yourself and to the world.
Here are just a few ways of practicing self-love;
- Spend time in nature, connecting deeply to Mother Earth and her creations. Our body needs to be in nature, whether it be the forest, the ocean, a botanical garden, a lake, a river or a simple walk in a bush reserve, we need to reconnect to the healing energy of Earth.
- Practicing grounding is necessary for our overall well-being; next time you feel overwhelmed and disconnect from yourself, remove your shoes and go and stand on the Earth and allow the healing of Mother Earth’s medicine to nurture you.
- Meditation is a great way of connecting to yourself and becoming aware of who you are more deeply. A simple breath meditation is all you need. To practice a breath meditation, all you are doing is watching each breath as it enters and leaves your body. Any thoughts that come to your consciousness, allow them to be there, as you gently return to the breath. Fifteen minutes a day is a great start.
- Rituals can be very powerful and they don’t have to be complicated. A few examples of self-love rituals could be buying yourself flowers once a month. Having a relaxing massage. Taking a warm bath with essential oils and Epson salts. Sitting in the morning sun for your daily dose of vitamin D. If you have a deck of oracle cards, you could start your day by choosing a card and bring some aspect of the meaning into your life.
Express who you are to the world, with so much love, that those around you never want to leave your presence.
Know that you are worthy of self-love, capable of self-love and that you are a self-loving soul, here on earth, LOVING THE EXPRESSION OF YOU.
Finally, if you are alone on Valentine’s Day this year, do something that is self-loving, do something that nurtures your soul and connects you, to the beautiful “YOU”.
Written by Bernadette Sutherland from Hand in Hand Counselling.
Visit her page for more wisdom.