From the desk of Crystal Andrus:
If you haven’t read last week’s blog entitled: “Self-Love is Very Different than Selfish Narcissism” you really need to . . . before you plunge into this one!
You’ll notice some of the comments at the end of that post shared sentiments such as: “We hear this from everyone, but how do I learn to love myself in order to live and feel better in my own skin? Perhaps you could share with us.”
It’s really so sad, isn’t it—how we have un-learned to love ourselves?
….But there was a time that you loved yourself—unconditionally and confidently.
I remember a retreat I was having not too long ago, when Natalie Hughes (our musical director) couldn’t find a babysitter for her small daughter, Audrey. Natalie always performs during these special days and it’s just not the same without her. She asked if she could bring Audrey and let my teenage daughters watch her.
“Of course!” was our answer.
Just before the day got started, I asked Audrey if I could introduce her to the group of ladies—many who looked a little anxious. Audrey happily agreed.
Up Audrey came, a little shy but glowing; I asked her to tell everyone her name and how old she was. I then asked her if she was beautiful. “Yes,” she nodded with the sweetest smile. She certainly was beautiful! She then told us that she was also “smart and talented and very loveable.”
The ladies all admired her gentle strength and humble confidence. We admired her God-given sense of self-love.
Audrey hadn’t learned to hate herself . . . yet. Audrey hadn’t learned that her hips were too big or her breasts too small. She hadn’t decided that men would probably hurt her or that money didn’t grow on trees.
Audrey was still trusting, believing, and completely hopeful about life and the important part she would play in it. Audrey loved herself. Not with selfish narcissism but with a natural sense of divinity.
We are born with self love. We didn’t have to learn it. We innately felt it. We instinctively believed in our parents. We trusted that they would protect, guide, encourage, and empower us, until we were old enough to make our way out into the world with confidence, courage, and certainty.
But for many of us, this didn’t happen.
Our parents didn’t give us what we needed. It’s not necessarily their fault though. They probably didn’t get the messages of self love delivered to them either!
My parents never once told me as a child that they loved me. Not once. I didn’t find out until I was a teenager that my mother’s parents had never spoken those words to her either!
Parents don’t intentionally set out to ruin their children. I’m a mother myself; I can’t imagine carrying the burden of thinking I said or did anything that may have negatively affected my daughter’s self esteem, self worth and self love! But I probably have . . . not even knowing it.
Parents carry their own wounds, shame, pain, and blame. And they unconsciously project it all over their kids. The truth is we all project our light and our darkness on those around us—unless we’ve done some serious self-work!
So, this blog will not be a “blame mom or dad” post. Instead, it is to remind us that we can remember who we once were . . . we can remember what it feels like to love ourselves.
Your Self-Love is Still Inside You!
Marianne Williamson points out in her extraordinary book, A Course in Weight Loss, that “the love you’ve withheld from yourself … is held in trust for you until you’re ready to receive it.” This concept is so huge! You probably have a huge warehouse of self love stored up inside of you!
Do you get this????
The love you have withheld from yourself is still inside you,
held in trust, waiting until you feel safe enough to receive it!
Do you understand that the only reason you’re struggling so much is because you’ve been too afraid to shine bright. You’ve been worried that being YOU—magnificent, beautiful, talented, sexy, powerful, amazing—will hurt you. You’ve tucked your self-love, along with your bright shining light, deep deep inside.
You may have insulated your self-love so far down that you think it’s lost, but it isn’t! Your love can never leave you—even if you’ve left it!
This week, your job is to remember who you were as a child. Find a picture of yourself. Notice all the wonderful qualities you possessed; the wonder and trust in your eyes. (You may even have to go all the way back to a picture of yourself as a baby.)
Write down ten positive affirmations about “her”. An example of your list may be:
1. You are so beautiful.
2. You are so kind.
3. You are so smart.
4. You are so special.
5. You are so sweet.
6. You are so loveable.
7. You are so important to me.
8. Your life matters.
9. You matter.
10. I love you!
Then, every morning and evening, look into the mirror—into your own eyes—and repeat these affirmations to yourself.
This is the start . . . the beginning of falling back in love with you! It may feel futile at first. Do it anyway.
I will continue this conversation with you next week….
Until then . . .