Let’s talk about self-hate. If I'm honest, I spend a lot of time quietly hating myself. That happens. I own it.
One thing I know for sure is that my life is easier when I am living from love. By that I mean when I’m allowing space for that self-hatred to be here, when I’m hearing its nasty garbage dialogue… and letting it speak.
I let it have the floor, without reacting. Then I start to watch over it with a sense of okayness. I hear you, nasty voice. I'm just listening. Just giving you space to speak.
But who is this part of me who is listening to it and watching over it? Does this part of me have the gumption to give love to the other parts? The answer is yes. I can always deliver love. I can’t always shout louder than the garbage dialogue, but I can quietly shine kindness upon it.
And just like that, it’s ok. The loving gets louder than the hating.
I learned as a kindergarten teacher that the kids who act out with hate or nastiness are starving for patience and kindness. So I gave love to them. And they would respond with softening, loosening, then joy, self-acceptance, and better behaviour.
Now I apply this same compassion towards my own inner dialogues: Nastiness, I love you. I am here for you. I don't know where you came from, but the world is an OK place and we’re going to get through it together. It might get weird, and that's OK too.
I got you. Even when you are nasty or cruel. And I love you anyways. Because you don’t need any more shit from me. I give you love instead.
Did you know that I'm a control freak? Yep. That's how I learned to be compassionate.
Before self-love, I had to look harshly on all the uptight, wound-up habits I have in the world. (There's a lot, and they're hilarious.) The only way I could live with them was to learn how to love them.
Great counselling has taught me to regard uptight clenching as my "growth zone," and that I can love myself anyways. By loving my stiffness, closed-mindedness, and other unsavoury digressions, I can move past the agony of being, and get into just Being.
And I take myself less seriously - which is about the only thing I actually control. To me that means moving around, prancing. It's fun, and that is a gamechanger.
Some days I choose to hide behind fear and rigidity. I just want to know everything now. I can't accept the mystery, so I choose misery instead.
And other days, I can see that I'm blinded by rigidity and I know that it's time to move my body. With that bigger perspective I see that I don't need to know; that the mystery is a much bigger gift; that humility is joyful.
So here I am, putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes more freely than others. Sometimes with calculating and other times with courage. Always onwards, into more willingness to be open and love.
So the next time you hear me talking about "loving yourself" in a workshop or class, know that I am up to my elbows in doing it with you.
If you want to try this "being lighter" thing with me, check out my upcoming events.