THOUGHTS ON SELF-LOVE……The deeper the capacity for self-love, the greater ability to love and be loved. I am repeatedly asked, “ how do I love myself?” and without fail I recommend beginning with affirmations, positive thinking, and life enhancing intentions/goals. You think positive thoughts about yourself (‘I’m amazing”); you say positive things about yourself, (“I am worthy and deserving of the best life has to offer”); you set clear and positive intentions/goals for yourself, (“my income increases daily”) and you back it all up with complementary actions in the physical world. Practiced consistently affirmations, positive thinking, and clear intention feel great and tend to work quite well, for a while. Eventually though, if you’re doing it correctly you’re going to trigger off all the feelings around why you’re not amazing, why you’re not worthy and deserving, and why you will never reach your goals no matter what you say. So you affirm harder, think more positively, get clearer in your intentions, but no matter what you can’t twist out the feelings. If by this point you’re starting to think what’s the fucking point, it’s the same theme over and over, congratulations are in order. You have bumped into an unconscious wound. Nothing blocks self-love more effectively and will stop you from moving forward in your life faster than an unconscious wound.
Wounding that remains unconscious controls your behavior. Really uncomfortable feelings are part and parcel of wounding; they are the response, the reaction. An unconscious wound is akin to wearing shoes two sizes too small. You don’t know your shoes are too small because they’ve been too small forever and because they’re too small you have to walk, breathe, and carry yourself in a way to minimize the pain. You’re unconscious of the pain because that’s how it’s always been, it’s “normal,” and you remain unconscious of the pain until the day you decide you want to go dancing. You find out you love dancing but it hurts so much you know you’ll never be able to do it again so you suck it up and decide to be grateful for what you have. But the love of dancing and your deep desire to dance refuses to be swept under the rug no matter how many times you say, “I am grateful for what I have.” Inner voices start to answer back sarcastically, “oh really?” and clearly you feel like you’re losing your mind. It builds, your desire to dance, it builds all the reasons you can’t, and then one day the rage hits. “Why can’t I go dancing?” You holler. “Because my feet hurt too much,” you answer, and finally you ask the right question. “Why the fuck do my feet hurt so much?” This is the beginning of becoming conscious, of removing the too tight shoes, and learning to walk and ultimately dance “beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free.” The work of consciousness is a tangible and very real expression of self-love.
Think of the wound as an emotional block in the body; an emotional block is an energetic block and it’s hard like a rock. Water, tears, melt the block, revealing the wound. When someone’s lying on my table and something painful comes up I tend to say, “my darling bring that piece in and rock it, tenderly, for it is a piece of you.” I was originally taught to release, I was told you need to release that pain, anger, whatever, but life experience has shown me that you can’t release anything you don’t own. I also know if something can’t be released it’s not because I’m doing it wrong or you’re doing it wrong, it’s because something needs to be transformed. To transform the feelings you have to sit with them; this was one of the hardest things I ever had to learn. For example, most everyone I know, including myself, has abandonment issues and when the feelings of being less than and not being safe, (abandonment’s favorite dance partners), come up the last thing I or any of my friends wanted was to do sit with them. The process of staying with the feelings was an anathema to me because it was so difficult to shake off the idea that my so-called negative feelings would and were creating my reality and were defects of character. This is what I’d been taught along with it-happened-then-it-is-not-happening-now-so-move-on. There is no compassion for self in the kind of teaching, feelings become the enemy. Compassion for self is intrinsic to self-love; when there is no compassion in the teaching healing is absent and the work of consciousness devolves into fixing. The minute you are looking at yourself as someone or something that needs to be fixed you are out of the realm of your own humanity and genuine self-love is virtually impossible.
Uncomfortable feelings, from the mild to the excruciating, need to be paid attention to. One client said to me, “Kat I did pay attention and it only got worse.” “How so honey?” I asked. She thought a moment and then she said, “Well, all of a sudden it struck me that I truly believed I wasn’t allowed to have what I want. It was awful, I couldn’t stop sobbing.” My heart broke in on itself intimate as I am with the agony of that belief. “Of course you were sobbing,” I said, “how painful is that to realize there’s a part of you that genuinely believes you’re not allowed to have what you want.” “You mean there’s nothing wrong with me?” she asked. “Goddess no,” I said. “This is correct use of all those feelings they tell you to get rid of. Sit with ‘em long enough and they take you into belief systems you didn’t even know you had.” “I don’t think I wanted to know I had them,” my client said and we burst out laughing. I am flashing on a lotus as I write this. A lotus grows out the mud, really ugly, gunky mud; beauty (the lotus) has her roots in the mud, she draws the sustenance she needs to grow, to become, from the ugly, gunky mud. Thus, the ugly gunky mud is integrated, becomes part of the growth that is beauty, that is the lotus.
The work of consciousness integrates all the ugly, gunky mud that is the wound and the belief systems that keep it in place. You uncover your strengths, your weaknesses, your beauty, your ugly, your kind, your cold, your anger, your peace; you learn when to accept, when to surrender, and when to fight back. It’s a life long process, self-love and self-knowledge is ever evolving, but along the way the wounds lose their power to control you, your life, your work, and your relationships and oh, the places you will go. We are human beings, we are the divine incarnate, and we are vast beyond our wildest dreams. The work of consciousness puts us in touch with our vastness, it puts us in touch with our humanity. To be in touch with our humanity is to be in touch with our wholeness, our “ALL,” and our “ALL” contains all feelings, each has its place and purpose. The individual “ALL” is an exact replica of the Universal “ALL” and the Universal “ALL” is love. The macro (world) reflects the micro (individual). If we would see more love in the world, more compassion, then we must first start with ourselves.
Live loud, love fierce, and suffer no fools, Kat