Once I held my first born for the first time, my whole perspective about the world changed in an instant. I became committed to loving fearlessly and loving large.
Every month I gave myself a challenge. I hugged strangers, performed acts of mushy, unabashed gratitude, left anonymous notes of encouragement in unexpected places, even started some Tim Hortons store pay-it-forward coffee lines and studied everything I could find about loving myself so I could know how to love others.
I learned so much during that time, but the thing that surprised me most was how much easier it was for me to turn my love outward to others but not to myself. I had no trouble texting love notes and performing random acts of kindness—until it was time to redirect that loving attention to myself. I was incredibly struggling to show myself the same sweetness and patience I found so easily to show to others.
AND here’s what I now know:
All love begins with self-love. At the center of every truly important and meaningful thing we do, there is love. It connects us to each other, the planet, the Divine and to ourselves. It fuels our bravest moments and our passion to collaborate with our communities. In the final moments of our lives, how we feel we loved will be the measure of how well we feel we lived.
So why do we find it so hard to practice self-love?
Here’s my list of three common barriers and their surprisingly easy fixes.
1. We are too judgmental
We end up focused on what we lack, holding ourselves to an impossible standard of perfection and then feeling inadequate when, inevitably, we decide we don't measure up.
2. We are feeling lost
Feeling lost is one of the worst feelings in the world, whether it’s a relationship gone stale, a job we’re no longer excited about, or just an overwhelming sense that we were meant for something more. That feeling of being motionless while all around us people are moving, doing, and accomplishing things zaps our energy and messes with our sense of self. It can lead to a feeling of helplessness.
3. We put ourselves last
We have work to do, people to care for, errands to run. We have so much to do that it becomes the last thing on our agenda to give ourselves the time we need to connect in with ourselves.
Leanne Martell B.Ed, CST is an intuitive coach and full-time Certificate of Science and Master ThetaHealing instructor since 2012. She teaches and coaches spiritually minded truth seekers and who want to break out of their comfort zone and create a legendary, inspired and abundant life. LOVE LIFE MORE!