Truly Loving Yourself Takes Practice.
While there is a (false) sense of security in doing what is expected of you, nothing feels quite as good as the freedom to decisively exist in your truth without an explanation for the way you live your life.
We are not here to prove we are worthy of affection, and it is not our job to convince others to like us, or even agree with our choices. We are here to live with honest intention and love each other, and that is only possible once we learn how to love every fiber of our own being, no matter how broken or weird we may seem to those on the outside.
Contrary to popular belief, the broken pieces do not have to be fixed, and the weird does not have to disappear for you to be lovable. The broken and weird pieces are what make us extraordinarily beautiful and unusually fascinating.
Because society places such high value on conformity, money, power and superficial beauty, we are not taught how to truly love ourselves. The messages we receive on a daily basis reiterate self-doubt by telling us we need to be more, do more, struggle more, achieve more and produce more, because no amount of effort will ever be enough to satisfy the ego. But you are enough. You are perfect.
There is no reason to run around like a restless maniac trying to demonstrate excellence. Now is the time to settle into your essence and fall in love with the already-perfect human you showed up on this earth to be.
Self-love is not indulging your fantasies at the expense of others. Self-love is honoring your truth even when the truth becomes difficult for those around you to swallow. Self-love does not give you a free pass to be reckless with other people’s hearts in order to suit your own fancy. Self-love is learning how to listen to your own heart so you can understand someone else’s.
Self-love is not deceiving another for your own gain. Self-love is being honest with yourself about your own needs so you can openly communicate your needs to another. Self-love is not running away from your problems. Self-love is moving toward the ache inside of you so you can heal the wounds that prevent you from fully loving another human being.
Self-love is not pretending you don’t need the support and love of others. Self-love is deciphering what your soul craves, surrounding yourself with kindhearted, caring individuals, and walking away from anyone who does not nourish your spirit. Jack Kornfield got it right: “If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”
Learning how to love yourself takes practice. Just like any relationship, it requires understanding, patience, honesty, courage, attention, curiosity, awareness, and a yearning for the unknown. We must be willing to study our darkness without judgment, so we can recognize the wounds we have kept hidden for years.
We must be willing to sit still with our pain, without numbing out or trying to fix it, until deep truths are unveiled. We must be willing to feel every ounce of emotion and cry and laugh and make a mess of ourselves and fall down, so we can get back up with the strength and gentleness needed to love with our whole heart.
Zella Sage is a Healing Guide, Creative Writer and Holistic Private Chef. As a leader of well-being retreats and workshops, she has been teaching Yoga for 16 years while encouraging others to restore connection to self and exist in their truth. She is passionate about healing the heart + soul + body through mindful movement, plant medicine and personal evolution. Her own healing journey has included massive amounts of solitude, silence, Yoga, dance, travel, deep breath-work, writing and unconditional self-love. Feel free to contact Zella through her website Zella Sage or Instagram.