Our culture is obsessed with self-love, but how can we apply self-love in our lives?
My favorite definition of love is to keep your heart open. This means that in the face of an uncomfortable emotion, or your partner saying something that hurt you, you are able to turn toward it rather than going into blame, disconnection, or disassociation.
When it comes to self-love, what we are really trying to do is keep our heart open to our human experience. All of it. This means inviting and embracing shame, guilt, fear, disgust, embarrassment the same way we would joy.
Most of us learn to repress our full human experience
We are told from a young age that only part of our experience is worthy of attention, and quickly learn to repress the other part.
Self-love is all about waking up to the truth that experience is innocent. Whether you are having a bad day or are feeling an uncomfortable emotion such as jealousy it is all innocent.
We are the ones that label experience as good or bad, but on the deepest level there is nothing wrong with our experience, it is just what is. When we judge a sensation or emotion we lose, because that is the thing that holds it in place.
In order to embody self-love we need to learn to embrace all parts of our human experience. One practice that helps us to become present with our emotions and sensations is setting a 5-min timer and just allowing ourselves feel whatever we need to feel without judgment.
If resistance comes up, that's okay, then our 5-minute session is about feeling resistance. If sadness comes up that's okay, then our session is about allowing sadness to move through.
It helps to set a timer for a practice like this and make it time-bound so that we don't get overwhelmed by the idea that we will be in feeling-mode all day. When we know we are dedicating a certain amount of time to a practice like this it helps us drop in more fully.
A helpful tip is to try to feel the emotion on the level of sensation. To bring up the story in your mind and then see where it activates in your body.
Once you have found where that emotion lives in your body, whether it's tightness or a tingling sensation, you can drop the story and just be with it. This means breathing into the contraction in the body without labeling.
It's helpful to do this self-love practice a little bit at a time so that we can build our capacity to feel these sensations.
I hope this practice helps you in developing more compassion for the full range of your human experience and letting go of the old ideas that some emotions are toxic or not allowed. It's our resistance to them that usually hurts, not the emotion itself.
Working with a life coach is a great way to expand your capacity to be present for yourself, be more loving, and sit with difficult emotions.
Eventually these practices will become second nature, and you will reprogram your way of being from pushing away experience to allowing it fully.
If you are ready to learn how to accept the full range of your human experience and upgrade your way of being with yourself schedule a complimentary clarity session! It would be my pleasure to speak with you and share what is possible in your life! ✨
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