What is self love? I see a lot of emphasis on self love being about loving and embracing your body. About loving your body regardless of it’s lumps and bumps and wobbly bits. I see lots of brands shamelessly playing on this and trying to self their ’stuff’ to help you achieve this idea of ‘self love’. As if by appearing more attractive by societies standards is meant to equate to self love. Capitalising on and trivialising something so important. Loving you body is great and important. Your body is exactly that ‘your body’ and therefore you are not your body meaning your body is not your self and therefor loving it is not self love. Loving your body is gratitude for being given something so wonderful to lead you through this life. If we judge our bodies by societies standards of beauty most of us are fucked. Most of us will never be happy with our bodies and this will serve as a constant distraction. If however we say “hold on a second my body is amazing because it allows me to run, jump, make babies, travel, hug my loved ones, help other people, do a job I love etc” then all of a sudden we stop needing our bodies to fit someone else’s idea of beauty and realise that this body through which we experience life needs to be loved and celebrated. Love you body but don’t mistake this for self love.
Self love is exactly what it says loving the self. Who and what is the self? The self is the perceiver of all things. Stay with me on this. We have the personality which isn’t truly us. The personality is a collection of thoughts and beliefs through which we see the world. They shape what we see and experience and how we react to what we see and experience. The self has to be present for you to experience this life. There has to be a subject for a object to be seen. There has to be a self who says ‘my body’, ‘my mind’ to whom these elements of us belong. For example the cinema screen. It never changes. It’s always just a plain screen. Many things play out on that screen and yet the screen stays the same. Never changing. The screen is the subject and the film is the object. We are the same. We experiencing emotions. Who experiences them? We experience pain who experiences it? We have thoughts. Who is seeing and hearing those thoughts? The self is. It sounds a little crazy at first I know because that what I thought the first time I heard this but then as I started to listen to my thoughts and watch the internal chatter carry on with me just observing it I realised I wasn’t that chatter so then I had to be the self watching it happen. This is the single biggest discovery. Once we know this the game changes. Once we know this we can start to change things. The personality that has been shaped through years of experience and holding on to the positives and negatives of those experience to build a world view can be changed when we just change the way we think about things. For example I used to eat meat and diary. I truly saw nothing wrong with this. Now I am vegan and can confidently say I never want to touch meat or dairy again. By changing the way I look at the same situation my actions around it, my feeling towards it have completely changed. I used to pretend to be tough, strong and funny all the time to hide the fact I was super shy. As soon as I started telling the truth only about my life instead of pretending to be someone I thought I was meant to be all the thoughts and beliefs I had around this dropped away and I become more confident and open.
Self love is about this self that we truly are loving the self we portray out in the world (lets call that our outside self). This means loving the personality (outside self) when it is judgemental, depressed, egotistical and all the things a personality is. I don’t know about you but I often get caught in my ego and argue with my boyfriend or just act like a bit of a dick. Sometimes I get caught in a ‘poor Claira’ cycle where life isn’t fair. I forget who I truly am. Then when I become aware of my true self again I want to punish myself for failing to remember not to go into my story, my drama, my personality, my ego but this is a trap because this again is my egos way of making me feel sorry for myself and thus the cycle continues. Our true self loves us no matter what. We have become so disconnected from that love that we don’t know it anymore so we go searching for it in other people, careers, family etc which often ends in disaster. If we develop this love we can remember that no matter how we are feeling or acting that we should be kind to our outside selves. We should love our outside selves. This is self love but there is another step.
The next step is about our outside selves loving our inside selves. A mutual love. This is true self love that unites and brings us closer to our true self and being our true self in all aspect of our life. This is the kind of love that fulfils all gaps and makes us feel whole. This is the love that no one can take from us and that we don’t need anyone to give to us. It’s a mutual love that flows both ways. Most people really aren’t aware of this inside love. This voice that is our true inner guidance. When we were children we intuitively just listened to it. Then it got drowned out and now many people don’t even know it exists. We have become so disconnected for the true self that we are. Self love is about rediscovering, learning and growing more and more. Once you establish that this true self is there you then can’t go back. You then will be curious and have a longing to know more and discover more of who you truly are. That’s what happened to me.
I send you love and blessings,