Loving your whole self means loving the good parts and the bad parts. Bad parts not inherently bad, just the parts you are not fond of. These could be physical, emotional, spiritual, anything. If you live while hating part of who you are, you are not allowing your soul to utilize its whole form. Too much energy is directed towards focusing on the negative instead of appreciating the positive and moving forward. You must learn to love your whole self so that you can understand that you deserve love unconditionally. You deserve to feel whole and worthy. You deserve to feel beautiful and a part of this world. If we are not careful and we reject some parts of ourselves, it will take longer for our being to realize our greatness. It will take longer for us to truly receive the gifts we’ve earned for ourselves. If this element is missing in self-care, then you will be less likely to commit to things that are good for you in order to create healthy habits. You will not assume that you are worthy of taking care of yourself which will stop your self-care journey in its tracks. This is the L part of the series – enjoy!
Honestly speaking, I don’t know that there’s been a previous time where I can say I have fully loved who I am. I believe even still I am trying to integrate my whole self, good and not so good, into my journey. Sure, it’s a lot easier now than it used to be. But I have essentially lived my entire life fighting this pointless battle with myself. Over what? Security? Peace? The last taco? Who even knows at this point. I just know I’m tired of fighting. The “person” fighting myself isn’t even a person, it’s just me @ myself.
Some of you might think this is surprising. It’s easy to look happy and strong on the outside. But I’m human just like everyone else. I have my faults and my flaws, my strengths and talents. Sure, these things are true and make me unique, but I am not immune to having a darker side to myself. We all have one. We just have to learn to shine our light from time to time in order to recognize and acknowledge its presence. And I think that’s a key part to it, too. We can’t reject it. That would be denying something that obviously exists. We’d be lying to ourselves. And that’s not cool.
So I realized I had been lying to myself this whole time. If I could ignore that part of myself, I wouldn’t have to acknowledge the fact that sometimes I strayed from the path. I wouldn’t have to acknowledge my ignorance, my dishonesty, my laziness. I wouldn’t have to admit that I wasn’t perfect. I wouldn’t have to admit that I was lonely, sad, or lost. But in doing so, this rejection of parts of ourselves manifests as tension in our bodies. We become fatigued and exhausted without knowing the source. Ever wonder why you feel like you’re in a funk? Are you living in harmony with yourself or is there something you aren’t quite accepting? I’ve been in and out of surface-level depression for a while now, which I think is natural throughout your life. I’m still growing and doing work, so things aren’t going to be smooth sailing just yet. (but will they ever??!)
What’s even worse about this is that depression is ugly and we don’t want to claim it. So we end up lying to ourselves and then creating more tension because we don’t like what’s wrong. We don’t like feeling uneasy or scared. So at this point, I’m just a sad ball of nerves who has no idea what to do next. Who hates part of myself for some reason.
And it’s hard to get out of this little ball. And it’s hard admitting that we hate ourselves. That we are literally that cruel to our own being. And we do it in stealthy ways. Denying what we deserve in order to punish the parts we don’t like. But where is this getting us?
We must fully accept our entire being to find peace.
Let’s get into why we would be rejecting dark parts of ourselves in the first place.
Like I said before, if we reject it, we don’t have to admit it.
But why would admitting and embracing our darkness be so hard?
It reminds us of our imperfections. The reasons we are unlovable. I think it also scares us because we feel that if someone we care about sees these truths in us, that they would not want us anymore. Once again, we’d be denied on our journey to wholeness. All our souls want is connection, and this darkness is a threat to feeling one and whole and connected.
So I get it. I get that it’s scary. I’ve been saying this stuff to myself for basically my entire existence. I feel alone and if I can pretend to be what I think others want from me, then I won’t feel so alone. But even when you’re at a fun party laughing and drinking, surrounded by so many people, you still have this lingering feeling inside you. You aren’t happy. You think you are in sync, but you are still way disconnected. Being superficially connected to your friends isn’t going to solve your problems. If you aren’t being your authentic self, then you are lying to yourself, as well as others.
You’re still lonely.
You haven’t actually addressed the things that are really at the core of your funk.
If this is getting heavy for anyone, just remember to breathe through the discomfort. This work isn’t easy. It’s such a challenge to be this open and vulnerable with yourself. But it is the most awesome thing in the world. I find that talking about things like this helps us all understand we are just humans suffering through life. This is just how the human condition is.
So if you can get to this point of being honest with yourself, you begin to see patterns in the way you operate. I’m taking these actions because this is what has or hasn’t worked. Maybe you were hurt in the past. You build up walls to protect yourself from the pain and loneliness. And that’s completely fair. Don’t forget to turn to yourself with compassion and acknowledge that some behaviors, although detrimental to our lives, are powerful indications of our hurting. When we can work through this pain, it becomes easier to turn inward with unconditional love.
Our poor souls are just trying to protect themselves.
Remember, all souls are looking for connection. When we can reframe our darkness from this perspective, the rejection transforms into a sort of tenderness. We aren’t so harsh towards ourselves anymore. We just wanna give us a big hug. It’s okay that we feel lonely. It’s okay that we feel sad sometimes. It’s okay that we feel like we can’t be honest sometimes. It’s definitely worth getting deeper into, but it’s all okay that we feel like that. Feelings are feelings, and we can’t attribute goodness or badness to experiencing them. This slow road to acceptance immediately begins to release some of the tension we’ve been harboring. We are beginning to sync up with the rest of our being.
Whatever your spirituality may be, we can all agree that we are part of something big and beautiful. Even if you just believe that we are energy, we’re all just smaller parts of the whole energetic field. And because we are the parts that make up the whole, then we become inherently beautiful, too. For me, I recognized that despite anything faulty or “bad” about me, I am still beautiful and part of the universe, so really nothing can ever be bad about something so full of life. There are so many good things to me that it would be silly to deny the universe of her beauty like that. It’s like saying you are worthless when God knows you are so worthy. Are you gonna deny God like that??!
Transforming this relationship with your darkness allows you to look objectively at yourself without judgments of being unworthy or unlovable. You find yourself holding accountability for your feelings and behaviors. If you don’t like certain parts of yourself and you realize you have the ability to change things, then you don’t have to sit in rejection anymore. You can finally become who you want to be. You stop holding yourself back from what you deserve. And that is to experience this amazing love fully and completely.
We all just want to feel connected and loved. It’s part of being a smaller piece of the puzzle. We just want to get back to what it feels like to be whole.
And we can come to this conclusion in the earthly realm, no doubt. By recognizing our goodness, our spirit, the love and light in our friends and family. The beauty in the world around us. How perfect and simple nature can be. How profound the little things truly are.
When we can recognize that our darkness doesn’t make us inherently bad, we can accept that we really are worthy and deserving of love. We aren’t rejecting or denying ourselves anymore. We can hop on this self-care train and move on to the next destination. We can work through our shadows in order to integrate our whole selves. Our human bodies feel better since we’ve removed this blockage of energy flow. We realize that everyone has light and dark, it’s just a part of being human. If we can all work together to acknowledge the collective darkness without judgment, then the road to wholeness becomes clearer and closer.