Most people do not fully love themselves. They may like themselves a bit, think that they are okay, but they don’t cherish the precious being that they are. They don’t look at themselves with love and reverence. They don’t honour their bodily needs and treat themselves with the respectful thought, touch and actions that they would do for others.
Many of us have been taught to dislike ourselves. Life has shown us evidence that we are not lovable, good enough or okay. This is false evidence. It was just the interpretation of events that were not actually about you, even if it seemed they were.
Parents can rarely meet all needs of a child. It is too much to ask for. That is why traditionally they say it takes a tribe to raise a child. When one is tired and needs to rest, another steps in to care for the child. That way interactions can be mostly positive, loving, nurturing and accepting.
In today’s way of being parents are often trying to do it on their own or with occasional support from family or friends. The parents are tired, coping with work, money concerns, their own stuff as well as caring for the child. Out of exhaustion and frustration it is harder for all their interactions to be loving and kind to the child. There are times when they simply have nothing left to give and may feel resentful of the child and its needs. They may wish the child didn’t exist or they could give them away. This is just exhaustion. Just a lack of support in the way that modern life operates.
The children however can sense the above. They feel that Mum or Dad is not available, distant, angry or upset. They feel the absence of love and joy when Mum is depressed and lonely, struggling to cope. While the parents actions are not really about the baby itself, it will feel like it is. It’s not that it is the baby’s personality, the being that it is, that is the issue. It is the demands of parenthood in a time when that role is undervalued and unappreciated. It could be any baby and it would get the same response. However, as a baby and a child growing up we do assume it is about us personally. We may think ‘if only I was prettier, smarter, more like Mum, Dad, brother, sister – whoever does get the attention more easily – if only I was like them then I’d be lovable. Then I’d be okay’. This is the foundation of self loathing, self rejection and self denial. We start manipulating who we are to please others, to get approval, to fit in and receive love. It is all about LOVE.
In the early stages of life we need to be nurtured and looked after by others, mainly our families and friends who care for us and our welfare. Without touch and care babies do not thrive and gain weight. It physically damages them to be left alone and not cared for. Uncontrolled crying, being left to cry, actually releases cortisol into the baby’s blood stream, a stress hormone, that eats away, dissolves parts of the baby’s brain. It actually damages the brain physically.
So don’t let babies cry. Find a way to be there for them. Ask for help and support when you need it. Go outside into nature and let the Earth’s energy support you if no one else is around. Ensure that you do have plans in place for those times when your personal reserves are empty, when your gas tank is on zero. Have someone you can call on or text that can come help.
Do loving and nurturing things to reduce your stress levels and support your body. Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) is a process you can use at home whenever you like to reduce tension, stress and trauma. It helps you to come out of overwhelm, to calm down and relax, so it is easier to deal with life’s challenges and connect with others. It soothes your nervous system making it easier to face the day ahead and the tasks you must complete.
The breakdown of community and isolation that most people live in, makes connection so much harder. So many people are lonely, scared to reach out to others for fear of rejection or further loss and pain. Instead they hide at home with their pets who provide them with their main source of love and affection.
If so many people are feeling lonely, unloved or deep down feeling perhaps they aren’t lovable, don’t deserve love or will never be loved, shouldn’t we just all take the risk to love each other, to meet each others needs? Acknowledge we are all carrying wounds around this and beliefs about ourselves that we need to change, emotional pain that needs to be felt and released, so that we can realise we are perfectly okay as we are. Take a step today and reach out to another human being. Offer your friendship, your love, your time and see what happens. Not all will accept, but some might and you only need one or two to start with. Offer them your heart and say ‘I will love and accept you as you are, will you do the same for me?‘ You may not say this out loud, but energetically it is what you are wishing to portray. Get out there, join social, sporting, art or other types of groups. Do what makes your heart sing and you will start to feel more fulfilled and full of love as you honour yourself and treat yourself in more loving ways.
There is much that you can do to show yourself that you are loved, lovable and deserving of good things in life. Tell your friends how you feel and you will be surprised that they feel that way too. We all have some self doubt and insecurities. We all have issues we are working through. Sometimes sharing with others is good. Other times put that aside and just have fun. Just go out and have fun.
This is how you love yourself fully, by honouring your own needs and meeting them. By doing for yourself what your parents could not do. You choose to be there for yourself, to meet your needs, to rest when needed and have fun. You follow your heart’s messages and do what it desires. You risk opening up and connecting with others who feel safe and play together, honouring each other.
Love is not hard. It is our natural state, the most natural thing for us to do. We have just been conditioned to be wary of it due to life experiences. It could be school events where you were bullied or teased. It could be workplace incidents that led you to feel incompetent or not good enough. These issues can occur at any time of our life, but the seed of them is planted during our time in the womb and as a baby.
A foetus knows whether it is wanted or not wanted while growing in the Mother’s womb. The foetus receives the Mother’s blood supply and all the molecules of emotion it contains, through the umbilical cord. It carries this from the start, this knowing, and it forms the start of its identity. Preconception, pregnancy and birth truly are significant and important events which shape the personality of the child and its feeling of being loved or not, safe or not, wanted or not. These are times when tenderness and care are needed. When loving touch is needed. Ensure that these are times of love and joy, and your baby will flourish and grow with less doubts about self and his/her self worth.
The important thing to realise is everyone goes through this. We are all carrying degrees of ‘Am I okay?’ questioning. Realise you are. You are enough. You are perfectly enough exactly as you are. Find the courage to show yourself to the world and stand strong in who you are. You don’t need to play games for approval or modify yourself to fit in. Let it go and be yourself. Let it go and be happy with what you have and who you are. As you do so your inner world will flourish and your outer world will alter to match it. You are okay. You are lovable, and you do deserve the best in life. Do the healing necessary so you believe in yourself and live life freely as the beautiful human being that you are. Blessed BE. Amen.
By Jodi-Anne (8 Dec 2015).