#30Layers30Days – Day 11: “Soulmate”

600full-emma-watson

Describe what the term ‘soulmate’ means to you and whether or not you are embodying that meaning for yourself.

In other words, are you your own soulmate?  Is your relationship with yourself intimate and kind, supportive and unconditional?

A soulmate is a person one is able to connect with on the deepest level; to experience a love so deep, so far and so wide that their souls become one. The love experienced is unconditional and grows deeper with the passing of time.

I read a book this year entitled The Gifts of Imperfection by  Brené Brown and she really opened my eyes to the importance of self-love and it’s impact on our ability to feel like we truly belong in this world; it impacts our ability to connect with others on a deeper, more compassionate level.

When we examine the word love, it can be difficult to define, especially for me. Brown does a great job  of attempting to define it for us. She states:

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection. Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them—we can only love others as much as we love ourselves. Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed, and rare.”

Now try to apply this definition of love to yourself, and it can become difficult for some to do. Self-love requires us to feel confident being our most vulnerable selves at all times, no matter what other people may think. Self-love demands that we trust and respect ourselves and our bodies.  Self-love demands that we show ourselves kindness and compassion rather than putting ourselves down.

In the past, it was so much easier for me to love another than it is for me to love myself.  My old, insecure self  loved others stronger, deeper and more passionately than I’d ever loved myself. Now looking back, it’s almost as if my practice of loving others showed me how I should have been loving myself all along.

When I love, I love hard! But life experiences and the birth of my now 11 month old daughter has taught me that I need to practice self-love with the same effort and tenacity that I love others!

Being someone you’re not in order to “fit in” is not practicing self love. Calling yourself stupid, or telling yourself that you have a disgusting body, or that you’re ugly is not practicing self-love. Allowing men to disrespect you or your body so that you feel validated is not practicing self-love. Attention or affection from another should not be what completes you. God’s love and self-love should be what completes you.

Practicing self-love was difficult for me in the past because I was so focused on getting others to love me first. Attention, validation and vain affection was my drug of choice. I craved the high I received when I felt desired & “loved”, yet I was never truly satisfied because I didn’t feel like I was worthy of that love.

Shame and doubt can sometimes get in the way of our believing that we deserve and are in fact worthy of love and belonging. Sometimes, we may allow past mistakes, self-imposed flaws, our current situation or status in life, or even the views of others to negatively impact our ability to love ourselves. This is not a healthy way of living, and speaking for myself, I know that I deserve so much more. I AM in fact WORTHY of love.

I am for the first time learning what it REALLY means to love myself. When I practice patience with my daughter, when I am kind to her, when I speak positive words into her life, when I am affectionate towards her, unconditionally, I am displaying acts of love that in turn should be nurtured and expressed towards the girl that lives inside of me. I am just as worthy as my daughter of receiving love and respect. And so now, I make an intentional effort to love myself.

I take a little extra time to do my makeup in the morning, not for anyone else but me. I now enjoy accentuating my beauty so that I can be fulfilled by my own compliments of love. I no longer look for or rely on affirmations from my husband, or anyone else for that matter, to make me feel beautiful or worthy of love. I am now confident in the woman God created me to be. When I make a mistake, I am now quick to forgive myself instead of remaining fixed on my error.

You too are worthy of love! You just have to believe it in your heart and begin to put it into practice. Respect yourselves ladies. Be kind to yourselves. Be purposeful and decide today that loving yourself is a priority, not an option! You are a Queen and deserve the very best that life has to offer. You are worthy of love, just as you are!

 

#30Layers30Days Self-Discovery Challenge 

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