Final Thoughts on the Self-Love Series

When you incorporate the suggestions in the self-love posts we wrote over the course of the past couple of months, and make them a habit, you will develop a new liking for yourself. This will come through the recognition that much of what you think is associated with your perception of events and relationships and not the actual events or relationships themselves. Then the renewed attention to your inner-self will develop into the love you crave from others.

If you are not at the place you want to be now, start by asking yourself questions. Meditate. Read our posts. Remember, we define self-love in the guest post we did for Daily Muse so you might want to start there.

Loving yourself is about creating yourself. It is about asking what kind of person you want to become and growing into that ideal. It is about embracing the Sara Bareilles definition of bravery and fearlessly expressing yourself without worrying what others think. Above all, self-love culminates in turning yourself inside out to show the world who you really are. When you really love yourself, you will become the person you are meant to be.

Ever Wonder Why You Encounter Negative Experiences?

If you are undergoing a negative experience, think of it merely as a life situation. Situations change. Sometimes, it is hard to see what good might come from a negative circumstance—an illness, a death, an injury—but there are things you can do to grow from each and every one, no matter what life dishes out.

Although your beliefs may lead you to a place where it is inconceivable to see the situation in a good light, you can shift your thinking. You can change your mind. Realize that whatever you are going through is temporary and that you can ease the emotional discomfort.

Understand the Purpose of the Circumstance

We encounter challenging situations because we are meant to grow. Without that situation, with everything going well, we would miss the opportunity to learn. Further, some situations force us into action, and without that experience, we would miss out on some of the good things life has to offer. When you are unhappy about a circumstance, ask yourself:  What am I learning about myself at a deep level? Your answer will lead you closer to understanding its purpose.

Assess Your Response

When you confront a negative situation, examine your response. Are you sad? Are you confused? Are you angry? Figure out what you are feeling, and then examine whether your response is desirable. For example, you become angry at your boss because he gave someone else the promotion you wanted, and while you might think your reaction is appropriate, the anger only hurts you, so change your thinking. If you consider that maybe the other guy deserved to be promoted too, and your boss had a tough time making that decision, you will achieve greater clarity. By examining circumstances, and understanding them better, you will be effectively turning down the emotional intensity.

Change Your Focus  

You need not focus on a troubling circumstance, even if it seems important. You can place your attention elsewhere. Our advice may appear rather flippant. After all, we don’t know what you are going through, but we do know that when we are experiencing challenges, we need a shift in perception. We go to the park, or watch an inspirational film, or visit a friend, and we are in a better place emotionally so we can handle the situation with clarity. On the other hand, if we dwell on the situation, it keeps us from enjoying the day, and nothing improves.

Experience the Joy

Finally, think about things that bring you joy and make sure to put more of these activities into your life. While this sounds rather difficult to accomplish when you are confronting a major life issue, making small moves away from negativity can go a long way to provide momentum to create a better life.

Angelina Jolie’s Decision

No matter what you think of Angelina Jolie’s decision to remove her breasts preemptively, know that this is a very different decision than for someone who has breast cancer. Breast cancer forces one to act. Most act quickly. Some do not and lose their lives. But the decision made by Angelina was proactive and not reactive. She had to let go of some of what the ego wants. She had to lose some identification with her body in order to opt for this procedure.

Cynics would suggest that this is another publicity stunt associated with Camp Jolie, but the truth is it takes a lot of self-love, and a lot of courage, to go through surgery that for most would be significantly life-changing. For Jolie, this is one of many unpopular decisions she has made probably through following her intuition.

Choosing radical surgery due to a genetic predisposition seems to be laced with fear, and lopping off breasts does not guarantee a cancer free existence, but fear does not seem to be at the root of her decision. Look at it this way: one of the most sought after women in the world made a decision to disfigure her body. That requires a tremendous amount of self.

Love her or hate her, this is a person who made a decision that challenges her relationship with her ego. To go through with this from a position of love and not fear, she has to be connected with her inner guidance. So it is really not for us to judge. We should all do what is right for us, no matter the consequences and no matter what other people say. Jolie is a shining example of living by your truth, something we wrote about in our last post Don’t Let Your Ego Get in the Way.

Don’t Let Your Ego Get in the Way

Understanding yourself at the core level is knowing yourself as both your inner self and your ego. It is this self-knowledge that allows you to not only make the best decisions for your life, but it provides you permission to laugh at yourself, to make mistakes, and to live with uncertainty. Knowing yourself completely nurtures your confidence so when you go forward with your life, you understand that you are equipped to handle anything that comes your way.

The ego is the part that you recognize as your body and your image and all the concrete identifications you may come up with. It prompts you to feel unique and separate from other people. It creates needs, wants and expectations in relation to the outside world. It reinforces the illusion of the human experience, making you believe that it is all there is. The ego is there to dictate and rule your world, and it will as long as you let it. If you are oblivious to it, your ego will make your life miserable, but it is only a part of you. The other part is the higher self.

The higher self is the part that whispers. It breaks through often unexpectedly in situations where you feel conflicted. The higher self is that quiet voice you will easily miss if you don’t pay attention. Your higher self is also equated with intuition. Sometimes, the higher self manifests as a feeling of peace and love that overtakes your entire being for seemingly no reason. It is the juice of creativity, where you feel alive and passionate about what you are doing. It is that undeniable knowing coming from an unknown source that guides you forward. Its job is to prompt you to recognize the oneness with the world, making you feel connected with everyone, and to nudge a realization that love is the most important thing there is. It infuses you with the desire to give more and act in a loving way towards the people around you. The higher self creates magic, cementing an instant and intrinsic understanding that we are part of one another. Your needs, wants and expectations change because it is not just about you anymore. As a result of this connection, your world expands.

We all have a higher self, but it is hard to connect with that beautiful, spiritual energy all the time. Also, we would not want to be without the ego anyway. The ego manages our outer functioning, prompts us to forge solid experiences in the world, protects us from what it perceives as harm, and directs us to protect our things. It is our shell, the image we project to the world. We don’t want to do away with it. We just want to tame it enough so it will not block us from experiencing our inner selves.

We know who we are, and of course the ego helps define our desires, but the inner world feels so right when we can access it, and it is where we want to be most of the time anyway. So how can you experience your higher self more often? First, you need to know that this part of you functions in opposition to your ego. If the ego reacts, the higher-self shuts down, at least momentarily, but if you allow your higher self to shine through more often, simply by connecting with it purposefully, you will know that nothing is ever really threatening. Your inner self is the peace and strength that when accessed, allows your ego to take a break. When you are able to connect fully in this way, the ego can relax because you no longer need protection.

There is really nothing to fear, not ever. You, as a spiritual being, will live on and nothing can stop that. Living by the light of your higher self fosters this comprehension. Understanding the difference between the ego and the higher self, and learning to recognize the ego in life situations, stifles reactivity. When you are more aware of your higher self, you respond to situations in a more positive way. Think about it. Many people often react to what is in their environment, and they do not tap into the positive energy that will release the grasp of the ego and allow spirit to flood in, or when they do, it is too late. The situation has passed, and they regret their actions.

Many times, situations are caused by our inability to cope with our feelings, but if we can set aside the transient emotions, we will be able to experience a true unearthly connection. This is not easy to do, and no one is able to do this all of the time, but the sooner we recognize that the ego is the trickster that makes us feel as if we are separate in our human condition, the better we can connect to source. When we allow the connection, we regain consciousness and revel in the peace of our higher selves.

What do you tell yourself?

Loving yourself means being kind to yourself, and this includes thinking kind thoughts. Louise Hay is famous for telling people to look in the mirror and say “I love you. I really love you.” She says this all the time, but that is because it is one of the most powerful tools she can give to the world. Self-love includes kindness, and everyone knows that words can do harm.

In our last post, we suggested that you may have beliefs that come from the outside and are really not part of who you are. If you have a belief that contains a negation, then reframe it in a positive way. What is the opposite of that negative thought? For example, you may think “I will never be able to afford the home I want.” Change the thought to: “I can afford the home of my dreams.” Such affirmations are effective in altering our views.

When you think more positive thoughts, it does not result in instant manifestations, but it will point you in the right direction. With the new thought, you may come up with a way to save for the home that you now believe will come into your experience. Similarly, when you think “I am ugly,” you set yourself up for negative experiences. You believe that other people will think your appearance is unsightly, and you act as if you are unworthy. However, think the opposite thought: “I am beautiful.” Your day will go a whole lot better.

We suggest you notice all the negative things that generally go through your mind and write its direct opposite. Begin to use these affirmations daily. These are actually good to use prior to meditation. Meditate after reading a list of these positive thoughts, ask the universe to make these a reality, and brilliance will flood into your experience.

What we tell ourselves is tied to what we believe, but we can change what we believe by what we tell ourselves.